Harvey Review Essay

Submitted By pbean198
Words: 1416
Pages: 6

The Players Theater of Sarasota presented Harvey on March 28th until April 7, 2013. The director of the play is Linda MacCluggage. The original playwright was Mary Chase that starred on broadway in 1944. The play won the Pulitzer Prize for drama in 1944, and its initial run lasted for four years at 1,775 performances. It has continually been in theaters around the globe since then. It was also adapted to film in 1950, starring Hollywood legend James Stewart. The play was first presented in the early 40’s. It is also set in this time period. It is a very care-free, take your mind off of your worries type comedic work.
A majority of the actors in this production have appeared in several other plays put on at The Players Theater. MacCluggage is not only a director, but she also enjoys being on the other side of the stage and has acted in the well known play "The Philadelphia Story." The main character, Elwood Dowd, played by Allen Kretschmar has an invisible friend, a pooka named Harvey, who accompanies him during his daily activities. A pooka is a mythical creature who appears here and there, where ever it pleases, and to whoever it pleases. In this case, the pooka has taken the form of a rabbit who is six feet, one and a half inches tall. I believe that the playwright would have been well pleased with MacCluggage’s production of this play. The first thing the audience noticed when they entered the theater was the elaborate set of the Dowd library. The set was put together well and extremely realistic.
Act 1 opens in the Dowd's library late in the afternoon. The room is filled with old fashion furniture and the most obvious thing in the room is an oil painting of an older woman above the mantle. A woman's voice, singing badly, can be heard coming from the next room. No one can be seen in the opening act. The telephone is ringing and Myrtle Mae, a young woman, comes to answer it. The phone call is for her mother, Veta, and Myrtle calls her in. Upon learning that the call is from the Society Editor of the newspaper, Veta gladly takes it, even though they are hosting a party. While on the phone she motions to the portrait above the mantle, and proceeds to describe her late mother's great accomplishments.The second scene of the first act happens about an hour later and takes place at Chumley's Rest, which is a facility for mental patients. At the opening of the scene Nurse Kelly, a young pretty woman, is talking to Veta. It becomes apparent that Veta is giving Miss Kelly information about Elwood her brother to check him into the facility. She tells the nurse that Elwood is in the cab and the nurse instructs Wilson, a heavy set male, to go fetch him. This establishment was founded by renowned psychiatrist Dr. Chumley, who hardly has time to see patients. Veta Louise, as any good sister would, only wants the best for her brother and insist that Dr. Chumley handle this case personally. Miss Kelly, denies this request, but reassures Veta Louise that her brother will be in good care and seen by Dr. Sanderson, who also practices out at Chumley’s Rest. Veta Louise describes her situation and Elwood’s case to Dr. Sanderson, but as she is doing so, she becomes hysterical. Dr. Sanderson suspects that Veta is the one that is suffering from some sort of mental illness and that she is projecting her problems onto Elwood, but he plays it cool so she won’t suspect that he has figured her out. He excuses himself from the room for a moment, to get an orderly to help him with this crazy women. They get her locked and put in the hydro-room in an effort to calm her down. It isn’t until later that Chumley figures out the truth that a sane woman has been locked up and Elwood has escaped.
After a short intermission the second act starts back in the Dowd family library, about an hour later. Myrtle Mae is showing the house around to some prospective buyers, when Judge Gaffney comes in looking for Veta. It seems that Veta had called him in hysterics.