Rutgers Theater Company presents Kaufman and Hart’s "You Can’t Take It With You" Jan. 24 to Feb. 2

Following your bliss can be a challenging journey—but the rewards, according to playwrights George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart, include staving off everything from boredom to insomnia—and indigestion. In Rutgers Theater Company’s production of the classic comedy You Can’t Take It With You, running from Friday, January 24, through Sunday, February 2, 2014, at the Victoria J. Mastrobuono Theater, a colorful family reminds us that happiness comes in many forms (including fireworks, xylophones, and ballet slippers).

Times were tough when Kaufman and Hart wrote You Can’t Take It With You in 1936, but the duo was determined to make the point that personal happiness is always an attainable goal—especially when you do as you like.

The simple sentiment is as relevant now as it was during the Great Depression, says director Robert Moss, whose “long history” with the play includes stage managing the 1965 version on Broadway.

“This play has real life in it,” Moss says. “It’s about respecting each other’s differences and solving problems together.”

The Sycamore family is a lively brood, presided over by Grandpa, a free spirit who doesn’t follow just any old rule, including paying his income taxes. When granddaughter Alice brings her boyfriend and his family home for dinner, contrasts in American family values and paths to contentment become the focal point.

Moss says the heart of You Can’t Take It With You is the celebration of diversity “in a magical and very funny way.”

And although the play, which won the 1937 Pulitzer Prize for drama, features off-the-wall characters with hobbies including snake collecting, candy making, and printing-press operation, Moss is careful to note that the work is “not just a laugh machine.”

“It was written as entertainment, of course,” says Moss, “but the writers were serious people. It’s got a human heart.”

You Can’t Take It With You runs from Friday, January 24, through Sunday, February 2, 2014, at the Victoria J. Mastrobuono Theater. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and at 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $25 for the general public, $20 for Rutgers alumni and employees and seniors, and only $15 for students with valid ID.The Victoria J. Mastrobuono Theater is in the Mason Gross Performing Arts Center, 85 George Street (between Route 18 and Ryders Lane), on the Douglass Campus of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, in New Brunswick. For more information about any Mason Gross event, visit www.masongross.rutgers.edu or call the Mason Gross Performing Arts Center ticket office at 848-932-7511.

Posted January 2014