Darrell Harrison plays Elwood P. Dowd in Mary Chase’s family comedy HARVEY. Performing here with John Harter who plays Dr. Chumley.
For the past month, Harvey has been rehearsing at the Spotlight Playhouse and it is amazing how a play that was written in the 1940s still has relevant wisdom.
The play is based on a humorous and far-fetched concept, but Mary Chase does not let the absurdity of the comedy diminish the show’s core values of kindness, family, and truthfulness. All qualities desperately needing attention in today’s chaotic atmosphere.
Harvey tells the story of a man whose best friend is an invisible 6 foot 3 rabbit that only he can see. The titular character is Elwood P. Dowd, and when we meet him he is taking care of his sister with the help of Harvey.
Elwood’s sister, Veta, is constantly worrying about what other people will think of her and tries to hide the family’s imperfections from visitors. The play highlights how damaging keeping up appearances can be for a person.
Elwood, in his signature suit and hat, is a renowned socialite in his town. However, when Elwood’s family discovers that he has been talking to what they think is an imaginary rabbit they send him off to Chumley’s Rest home for the mentally ill.
The kind and inviting Dr. Sanderson wants Dowd to feel comfortable at Chumley’s so he agrees to speak with him and try to get Elwood to realize that his friend isn’t real. This comically backfires when Elwood presents himself so well that Dr. Sanderson suspects the sister, Veta, must be the ill one and has her committed.
The comedic part of this play lies in the fact that Elwood’s family is so invested in getting rid of Harvey they lose track of what’s important, while all Elwood wants to do is take care of his friends and family.
The entire cast is phenomenal, and I can’t imagine anyone else playing these characters now. Come see this heartwarming and humorous play Sept 3-18.
Austin VanWinkle plays the kind-hearted Cab Driver as he explains that being crazy may not be so bad.
Myrtle Mae Simmons – Lydia Escobar
Veta Louise Simmons – Jennifer Escobar
Elwood P. Dowd – Darrell Harrison
Mrs. Ethel Chauvenet – Sydney Garrett
Ruth Kelly, R.N. – Angel King
Duane Wilson – Caleb Kingston
Lyman Sanderson M. D. – Edwin Tait
William R. Chumley M.D. – John Harter
Betty Chumley – Letha Hembree
Judge Gaffney – Isabel Escobar
E. J. Lofgren – Austin Van Winkle