We are pleased to offer licensees official changes
that permit all and any of the characters to be played by a diverse cast of actors from all backgrounds.
For years after it premiered in 1936, Kaufman and Hart’s You Can’t Take It With You
was one of the most popular plays of its time, winning the 1937 Pulitzer Prize for Drama as well as an Academy Award for its film version in 1939. Times change, however, and the Hart and Kaufman estates are aware that sensibilities change as well. Since inclusiveness is the essence of the extended Vanderhof family—and the play itself—making these changes available to be produced seems very much in keeping with the spirit of the play. No further alterations are permitted.
Winner of the 1937 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
The family of Martin Vanderhof lives “just around the corner from Columbia University—but don’t go looking for it.” Grandpa, as Martin is more commonly known, is the paterfamilias of a large and extended family: His daughter, Penny, who fancies herself a romance novelist; her husband, Paul, an amateur fireworks expert; their daughter, Alice, an attractive and loving girl who is still embarrassed by her family’s eccentricities—which include a xylophone player/leftist leaflet printer, an untalented ballerina, a couple on relief, and a ballet master exiled from Soviet Russia. When Alice falls for her boss, Tony, a handsome scion of Wall Street, she fears that their two families—so unlike in manner, politics, and finances—will never come together. During a disastrous dinner party, Alice’s worst fears are confirmed. Her prospective in-laws are humiliated in a party game, fireworks explode in the basement, and the house is raided by the FBI. Frustrated and upset, Alice intends to run away to the country, until Grandpa and Co.—playing the role of Cupid—manage not only to bring the happy couple together, but to set Tony’s father straight about the true priorities in life. After all, why be obsessed by money? You can’t take it with you. . . .