The Huron Country Playhouse presents Harvey, a funny, thought-provoking play about dignity, self-respect, and the loyalty of friendship. The production runs three weeks from June 28th through July 14th.
Theatregoers are invited to suspend their disbelief and enter the surreal world of Elwood P. Dowd, an affable man who claims to have an unseen (and presumably imaginary) friend named Harvey, who is described as a six-foot, three-and-one-half-inch tall rabbit.
When Elwood decides to introduce Harveyto guests at a party, his society-obsessed sister attempts to commit Elwood to a sanitarium, inadvertently setting in motion a chain of events that will cause everyone to question their own reality.
Harvey received overwhelming audience and critical acclaim during a successful run earlier this season at the St. Jacobs Country Playhouse. Audiences enthusiastically opened their hearts to this classic “tail” that will stay with you long after the final act.
“You can’t help but be charmed by the warmth and wit in this compelling story about the power of friendship and the beauty of imagination,” Alex Mustakas, Artistic Director of Drayton Entertainment. "With its loveable characters and insightful look at the human condition, Harvey encourages each of us to challenge our perception of reality.”
Over the past two decades, Mustakas has directed over 100 productions for Drayton Entertainment, and has returned to the helm to direct this special production.
Written by Mary Chase, Harvey was a runaway success when it opened on Broadway in 1944. In 1945 Chase was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in Drama for Harvey, which made her the fourth woman in history to win the prestigious award. The stage play inspired the beloved 1950 motion picture starring James Stewart, who also played the role on Broadway. A revival of the play recently began on Broadway, starring Emmy Award winner Jim Parsons (of The Big Bang Theory) as Elwood.
A stellar cast has been assembled for this Grand Bend production with Ted Simonett as the “oh so pleasant” Elwood P. Dowd. Audiences will recognize Simonett as the face of Canadian Tire in the company’s long-term television advertising campaign. Michelle Fisk tackles the role of Elwood’s status-seeking yet skeptical sister, Veta Louise.
Audience favourite Keith Savage plays Judge Omar Gaffney, an old family friend and lawyer of the Dowd’s who is responsible for arranging Elwood’s commitment to the sanitarium.
Canadian veteran stage and screen actor Victor A. Young isesteemed psychiatrist, Dr. William R. Chumley, head of the sanitarium. A difficult man who’s feared by his subordinates, Dr. Chumley eventually sees the magic that Harvey creates. Jayne Lewis is Dr.Chumley’s wife, Betty, who is more concerned with socializing than with science.
Jayme Armstrong joins the Harvey cast along with Lorraine Foreman, Dan Payne, Alan K. Sapp, Tova Smith and David Snelgrove. Armstrong received high praise for her performances in The Sound of Music at the Drayton Festival Theatre and 9 To 5: The Musical, which debuted in St. Jacobs and transfers to Grand Bend in July.
Director Alex Mustakas is ably supported by Set Designer Allan Wilbee, Lighting Designer Simon Day and Costume Designer Jessica Bray, whose combined talents will effortlessly transport audiences to the 1940s.
Harvey plays eight shows a week from June 28th through July 14th.Tickets are available by calling the Box Office at (519) 638-6000 or toll free at 1-855-372-9866. To find out more about the 2012 Season at Huron Country Playhouse, or to order tickets online, visit www.huroncountryplayhouse.com.