GRAND BEND – Theatregoers are invited to suspend their disbelief and enter the surreal world of Elwood P. Dowd, an affable man with a very strange best friend, an invisible rabbit named Harvey, now on stage at Playhouse II until July 14.
Endlessly pleasant and mild mannered, Elwood becomes known around town for his “hare-brained” antics with his 6-foot, 3.5-inch rabbit companion and their seemingly one-sided conversations, which sheds light on the question of Elwood’s sanity. When he decides to introduce Harvey to guests at a party, Elwood’s society-obsessed sister, Veta Louise, attempts to commit him to a sanitarium, inadvertently setting in motion a chain of events that causes everyone to question their reality.
“Hilarious and smart in every way, Harvey is a must-see that will resonate with audiences long after a truly delightful theatre experience,” said Alex Mustakas, who is artistic director of Drayton Entertainment, in a press release.
“This comic gem reveals its true brilliance through expertly interwoven mishaps, strongly layered characters and rich meaning that becomes fully visible as the play unfolds,” he said.
Over the past two decades, Mustakas has directed more than 100 productions and he returns to the helm to direct this masterful work that’s ultimately about acceptance and the beauty of life.
Mustakas has assembled a cast for this production, including: Ted Simonett as Elwood P. Dowd. Simonett; Victor A. Young as the esteemed psychiatrist William R. Chumley, head of the sanitarium; Michelle Fisk as the the emotionally complex social climbing sister, Veta Louise; Jayme Armstrong as smart and efficient nurse Ruth Kelly; David Snelgrove as Elwood’s examining psychiatrist, Dr. Lyman Sanderson; Tova Smith as Veta Louise’s daughter, Myrtle Mae Simmons; Keith Savage as Judge Omar Gaffney, an old family friend and lawyer of the Dowd’s who assists in arranging Elwood’s commitment to the sanitarium; Alan K. Sapp as Duane Wilson, the undignified sanitarium orderly who lacks a bedside manner; Jayne Lewis as Dr. Chumley’s wife, Betty, who is more concerned with socializing than with science, frazzled by her husband and both confused and intrigued by Elwood and his description of Harvey; Dan Payne as E. J. Lofgren, the cab driver who pivotally triggers the assembled characters to reconsider whether of not it’s desirable to be a perfectly normal person; and Lorraine Foreman as socialite Ms. Ethel Chauvenet.
The play earned playwright Mary Chase a Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1945, and the story skyrocketed in popularity with the 1950 film starring Jimmy Stewart.
Harvey is sponsored by Lavis Contracting Co. Ltd. The Media Sponsor is The London Free Press and the Design Sponsor is Commercial Print Craft Limited.
Tickets are available by calling the Huron Country Playhouse Box Office at 519-238-6000 or toll free at 1-855-372-9866. To find out more about Harvey or to order tickets please visit online.