HARVEY Previews

supersam1026
Leading Actor
joined:5/15/07
HARVEY Previews
Posted: 5/18/12 at 04:38pm
Who's going tonight? Would love to hear any reviews!! I'm a big Parsons fan and would love to know how he does with the role.
themysteriousgrowl
Broadway Legend
joined:11/10/10
HARVEY Previews
Posted: 5/18/12 at 04:45pm

I'm also looking foward to early reports. I've got tickets for the end of next month and have had a hard time imagining Parsons in this role since it was announced.
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macnyc
Broadway Legend
joined:7/26/08
HARVEY Previews
Posted: 5/18/12 at 04:59pm
I'm going Saturday night. Would love to hear comments from the first preview tonight!
showchoirguy
Broadway Star
joined:7/14/10
HARVEY Previews
Posted: 5/18/12 at 05:36pm
Going Sunday Afternoon and very excited! Been waiting since January for this!
Marianne2
Broadway Legend
joined:3/28/08
HARVEY Previews
Posted: 5/18/12 at 07:37pm
Going to tomorrow's matinee. Can't wait.
"I don't want the pretty lights to come and get me."-Homecoming 2005 "You can't pray away the gay."-Callie Torres on Grey's Anatomy. Ignored Users: suestorm, N2N Nate., Owen22, master bates
Rainbow High2
Chorus Member
joined:1/17/12
HARVEY Previews
Posted: 5/18/12 at 09:09pm
Going to see it on Sunday and I'm dying to read some reviews! So so excited!
dave1606
Broadway Star
joined:12/8/07
HARVEY Previews
Posted: 5/18/12 at 11:02pm
I saw the show tonight. I have mixed feelings, mostly toward the play. It seemed very silly and rather pointless to me. That said it was funny, and I thought Parsons was solid in the role. I LOVED Jessica Hect.

My problem is that many scenes just went on and on.

There was a cute bit of stagecraft, and I definitely laughed (though not as much as most of the audience), but I don't know if I could really give it a recommendation unless you were dead-set on seeing Jim Parsons on stage.

I will say this. There was a rare standing ovation tonight. Not that it means anything on Broadway these days, but it does count for roundabout productions, which are usually followed by polite clapping.
WhizzerMarvin TrinaJasonMendel
Broadway Legend
joined:5/26/05
HARVEY Previews
Posted: 5/18/12 at 11:10pm
I was there, and as expected Jessica Hecht walks away with the whole show. She doesn't even need a preview period; send the critics in and let her raves roll out.

The other star of the show is the set. It's large (on three turntables) and gorgeous. It rotated flawlessly and presented a pleasant backdrop for the action.

Parsons does well, but that's mostly because it felt like he was doing a Jimmy Stewart impersonation. It's hard to imagine anyone else in the role, and with this production you don't really have to. Hecht is so different from Josephine Hull, put Parsons doesn't make any attempt to deviate from his movie counterpart.

Charles Kimbrough is his usual reliable self and mines his part for all the laughs he can. Carol Kane is fine in her very small role. The rest of the featured cast has that normal Roundabout stock feel; Myrtle Mae was particularly annoying.

The play feels a little old, but not horribly so. I like the sweetness of the final scene. I paraphrase, but lines like, "My mother advised me to go through life either being very smart or very pleasant. I used to be smart. I recommend being pleasant," are still nice medicine to swallow. By Roundabout standards this production is a brilliant masterpiece- overall it was fine with a wonderful performance by Hecht.
Marie: Don't be in such a hurry about that pretty little chippy in Frisco. Tony: Eh, she's a no chip!
Vagabond Anarchist
Stand-by
joined:10/29/11
HARVEY Previews
Posted: 5/19/12 at 12:18am
I actually didn't think Parsons was *enough* like the Stewart portrayal. It felt much more like we were watching the character of Sheldon from Big Bang Theory do an impersonation of Elwood.

I missed the sheer innocence, as Parsons' Elwood comes off as a little more sassy, and a lot more aware of when he's being funny.

I like Parsons on TV, so it was fun to see him... but just not totally feeling him as Elwood.

Agreed about the sets being gorgeous, though!
Auggie27
Broadway Legend
joined:10/13/03
HARVEY Previews
Posted: 5/19/12 at 07:46am
I'm fascinated to hear about Hecht. When I heard the casting, I thought she was dead wrong, lacking in the comic brio and necessary energy. Just goes to show, it's easy and unfair to pigeonhole. Good for her. The play is lovely but having just read it (last summer) I'm not surprised to hear that it feels overstuffed. Its charms are many, but nowadays it reads as potentially very talky, as does ARSENIC AND OLD LACE, another vintage piece that can overstay its welcome.
"I'm a comedian, but in my spare time, things bother me." Gary Shandling
whatever2
Broadway Legend
joined:8/25/06
HARVEY Previews
Posted: 5/19/12 at 01:10pm
thanks for the posts.

what's the run-time?
"You, sir, are a moron." (PlayItAgain)
WhizzerMarvin TrinaJasonMendel
Broadway Legend
joined:5/26/05
HARVEY Previews
Posted: 5/19/12 at 01:27pm
Auggie- Harvey very much reminds me of Arsenic and Old Lace too, though I prefer the latter. I had only seen Hecht in dramatic roles (View From a Bridge, Three Sisters), but she is so special I had a feeling she would make this work. Her scene at the top of act two got such nice exit applause that it was clear the audience didn't want her to leave the stage. I don't know if she can sing, but I'd love to see her do a MUFTI of Say Hello to Harvey! (What a terrible idea to reset Say Hello in the present btw.)

Marie: Don't be in such a hurry about that pretty little chippy in Frisco. Tony: Eh, she's a no chip!
Owen22
Broadway Legend
joined:2/24/11
HARVEY Previews
Posted: 5/19/12 at 05:46pm
Wow, I thought Parsons's was a dramatic departure from Jimmy Stewarts's. There's charm there, but a completely different type of charm. More pragmatic, less genteel. But a worthy interpretation I thought, and he'll only get better. I have never seen Big Bang Theory but what clips I've seen seems unike what he's doing on the Studio 54 Stage.

Again, as all have said, Jessica Hecht, in a somewhat stylized performance, is magic. She's amazing. And the set is magnificent as well.

It IS an old fashioned play, but its sentiments (let alone its use of a supernatural entity) seems attuned to our times.

PLUS: Harry from "Mad Men" plays the orderly. How did I miss that? Was so pleasantly surprised when he walked onstage.
Marianne2
Broadway Legend
joined:3/28/08
HARVEY Previews
Posted: 5/19/12 at 09:12pm
I was at this afternoon's show. I don't know much about the show, movie, or Jim Parsons, so I didn't really have anything to compare it to. But, I did enjoy it. I totally agree with what everyone is saying about Jessica Hecht. She was great. I'm not sure if it had to do with timing or what, but I think it could be trimmed down a bit, if that is possible. Act 1 was good, but act 2 was better. It just felt like it was a tiny bit too long though for what it is.
"I don't want the pretty lights to come and get me."-Homecoming 2005 "You can't pray away the gay."-Callie Torres on Grey's Anatomy. Ignored Users: suestorm, N2N Nate., Owen22, master bates
macnyc
Broadway Legend
joined:7/26/08
HARVEY Previews
Posted: 5/19/12 at 11:10pm
I didn't see The Normal Heart last year, so the only other Jim Parsons role I'm familiar with is Sheldon on The Big Bang Theory. I saw a lot of Sheldon--probably too much Sheldon--in his portrayal of Elwood. I think that Parsons should avoid playing lovable eccentrics for a while. My husband thought he was terribly miscast, way too young for the part.

Jessica Hecht was a commanding presence, but I was detecting a Swedish or some kind of Scandinavian accent. That kind of threw me off a bit, as no one else in the play had one. And I was surprised that Rich Sommer took that role as the orderly. It was kind of an icky part, and all the lasciviousness reminded me of Harry, the jerky guy he plays on Mad Men. He would have done a lot better playing the young doctor.

So, to sum up: If someone wanted a vehicle for Jim Parsons, I have to think there was something more suitable out there for him.










Updated On: 5/20/12 at 11:10 PM
choitoy
Broadway Star
joined:12/12/07
HARVEY Previews
Posted: 5/20/12 at 12:33am
Isn't Jim Parsons approaching 40? How old is Elwood supposed to be then?
Xanadu! Can't cry on cue!
WhizzerMarvin TrinaJasonMendel
Broadway Legend
joined:5/26/05
HARVEY Previews
Posted: 5/20/12 at 12:35am
Elwood is 39 in the script and Jim Parsons happens to be 39 so on paper his age is perfect. I agree that he plays younger than 39 on stage though.
Marie: Don't be in such a hurry about that pretty little chippy in Frisco. Tony: Eh, she's a no chip!
After Eight
Broadway Legend
joined:6/5/09
HARVEY Previews
Posted: 5/20/12 at 05:30am
I thought the prouction was fairly flat, due mainly to the direction. Not enough get up and go. Jim Parsons struck me as a mite bland. Jessica Hecht commands a stage, but I too found her accent somewhat disconcerting. Larry Bryggman and Carol Kane succeeded best in capturing the spirit of the piece.
jacobtsf
Broadway Legend
joined:6/12/04
HARVEY Previews
Posted: 5/20/12 at 10:40am
I was afraid the show would feel very dated, but am happy to say that it did not. The revolving set was perfect for this production, and the few moments of stage magic were cute and not too much at all.

I know I am in the minority, but I thought Hecht's performance was beyond terrible last night. Maybe it was an off performance compared to the first preview, but the weird accent and the odd quirks (like waving her hands around, and talking to everyone like they were 2 years old) were just annoying and I longed for her to get off stage so I could see some real performances. When she got exit applause after her second act scene I was in absolute shock.

I also felt Parsons was nothing like Stewart (and I was expecting him to be). He was great, and I believe he can get even better (especially when interacting with Harvey, those were the only moments I feel he didn't have down perfectly). His Harvey is one who has been a part of the real world, and no longer wishes to be stuck into what society demands he be.

Poor Charles Kimbrough fumbled his way through his first act scene, not sure he got more than 3 lines right, but his second act was wonderful. And as someone who has never seen Mad Men I loved Rich Sommer's Harry.

David walked into the valley With a stone clutched in his hand He was only a boy But he knew someone must take a stand There will always be a valley Always mountains one must scale There will always be perilous waters Which someone must sail -Into the Fire Scarlet Pimpernel
Updated On: 5/20/12 at 10:40 AM
everythingtaboo
Broadway Legend
joined:5/5/04
HARVEY Previews
Posted: 5/20/12 at 01:01pm
I've never seen the anything Harvey, but I'm not sure why people are expecting Parsons to do a Stewart impersonation. Why would they even want to try to impersonate it, and why would Parsons want his Broadway leading debut to be that?


"Hey little girls, look at all the men in shiny shirts and no wives!" - Jackie Hoffman, Xanadu, 19 Feb 2008
jacobtsf
Broadway Legend
joined:6/12/04
HARVEY Previews
Posted: 5/20/12 at 01:33pm
I won't speak for others, but I feel the role itself is written in a way that lends itself to a "Stewart style" of performance. That was why I was expecting it, and why I was pleasantly surprised that it was not the case.
David walked into the valley With a stone clutched in his hand He was only a boy But he knew someone must take a stand There will always be a valley Always mountains one must scale There will always be perilous waters Which someone must sail -Into the Fire Scarlet Pimpernel
Buffyfan51
Chorus Member
joined:2/28/10
HARVEY Previews
Posted: 5/20/12 at 01:51pm
Any info on possible rush tickets or stage door info?
Owen22
Broadway Legend
joined:2/24/11
HARVEY Previews
Posted: 5/20/12 at 02:03pm
The main difference with Stewart and Parsons is you never for once believe Stewart's Elwood might be insane....eccentric, maybe, but mentally sound. Parsons you're never quite sure if he's gone mental (SPOILERS: until you realize Harvey is real), its a semi-idiot savant take on the role...
Marianne2
Broadway Legend
joined:3/28/08
HARVEY Previews
Posted: 5/20/12 at 02:10pm
Rush is probably the same as it is for all Roundabout shows. Jim Parsons did come out and sign autographs after the matinee yesterday. I don't think anyone else did. But then, I left as soon as Jim signed my playbill because I had to go catch my bus. It was a bit crowded, but nothing as insane as How to Succeed or other shows with big names. No idea if it will get worse or not. But, we were told Jim would not stop and pose for pictures, but we could take some as he was come down the line. However, I think he did do it for a few people.
"I don't want the pretty lights to come and get me."-Homecoming 2005 "You can't pray away the gay."-Callie Torres on Grey's Anatomy. Ignored Users: suestorm, N2N Nate., Owen22, master bates
mamaleh
Broadway Star
joined:5/11/04
HARVEY Previews
Posted: 5/20/12 at 03:34pm
Saw yesterday's matinee, which was only the second performance. Yes, the play's a bit dated and some scenes went on a bit too long--especially those in the sanitarium. Not really fair to single out just Kimbrough's line flubs; Larry Bryggman also made a few "gaffes by Gaffney," as I called them. He's portraying Judge Gaffney but a couple of times referred to himself as "Doctor." Still, both very minor flubs and totally to be expected at such an early stage and didn't deter from my (mostly) enjoyment of the performance. Parsons and Hecht were amazingly spot-on. My only real demur was lack of projection at times, resulting in several laugh-worthy lines not heard by the rear mezz. Was it mic'd? I guess you can't have it both ways: Ah, the old conundrum--natural sound vs. audibility issues.

Updated On: 5/20/12 at 03:34 PM
nasty_khakis
Broadway Star
joined:3/15/07
HARVEY Previews
Posted: 5/20/12 at 06:19pm
I for the life of me will never understand the Hecht love. She is always acting. She affects her voice, adopts insane mannerisms, and plays schtick while managing never to be in the moment. People seem to love her and eat her up, but I've never gotten it. He voice grated on my brain in "View From the Bridge" but I will say her style was better suited to "Harvey" but I found myself wanting her to either play it more naturally or go even further with the craziness.

Parsons is charming and carries it well, but is sassy southern charm like he always uses. It works fine for Elwood but he does come off a touch "simple" in moments instead of just bon vivant charmer.

It was one of the best non-imported Roundabout shows I've seen in years. The piece is doughnuts for dinner fluff, but still a nice way to spend the afternoon.


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