Friday, November 11, 2022

A "Real" Harvey

What fun last night when I saw my first real presentation of Harvey at one of our local schools. 

It took place in a magnificent state of the art theater with a cast of delightful and earnest teenagers playing the roles of Elwood, Veta, Myrtle Mae, Wilson, Dr. Chumley, Dr. Sanderson, Nurse Kelley and Judge Gaffney with an appearance at the end by the school director as the cab driver. Some were garbed in old fashion furs, others streaked with grey hair and the doctors and Wilson all in white, all talented and all a joy to watch.

The other aspect that I so admired was the amazing ability to still revel in all the elements that made Mary Chase's play so successful when it first appeared on Broadway in 1944: the sparkling dialogue ("old as a cast iron deer," "white slaver," "all you men think about is sex;" the fast paced scenes that keeps one interested for the entire time; the satire on society and psychiatry; and above all, the absolute humane character of Elwood P. Dowd.

The five years I've spent with Mary Chase have been filled with delight and many surprises. Last night's production was a great reminder.

Mimi Pockross is a freelance writer and the author of three books. Currently she is working on her fourth book, a novel about immigration and assimilation.