BWW Review: HARVEY at Adobe Theater
Adobe Theatre's delightful run of Harvey by Mary Chase begins its run starting Friday, August 25th. The play, directed by Nancy Sellin, revolves around Elwood P. Dowd and his family-sister Veta and niece Myrtle Mae-as they navigate life with Elwood's imaginary friend Harvey...who just happens to be a six-and-a-half-foot tall rabbit. Elwood insists that his friend is a "pooka"-a benign Celtic spirit who likes to be mischievous and play tricks on people. Veta doesn't much care who or what Harvey is, she's just worried of the impact that having a brother who is hallucinating will have on her social standing, as well as the possibility of marrying her daughter Myrtle into a good family. Pushed to the edge of her tolerance after a disastrous party where she was intending on introducing Myrtle Mae to polite society, Veta decides the only way to deal with her brother is to have him committed to a sanitarium. This comedy of errors-which leads to Veta being committed herself due to her explanation of Elwood's condition and Dr. Chumley, a psychiatrist at the sanitarium, going on a chase to find Elwood when they leave the sanitarium-culminates in a scene at the end where the entire cast is trying to figure out what to do with Elwood-and Harvey.
No matter the role, everyone is perfectly cast in this production, allowing the story to shine and drawing the audience in to the story. Micah Linford gives a phenomenal performance, allowing the sweet, good-hearted nature of Elwood to shine without making him too naïve. Linford really shines in his interactions with Harvey, helping the audience to believe that there just might be a six-and-a-half-foot tall rabbit up on stage along with the rest of the cast. As Veta, Carolyn Hogan balances the fine line of portraying a person who is exhausted by a family member's potential mental illness as well as being a concerned sister and mother. She allows the audience to feel sympathy for the struggle of Veta's decision to have her brother committed, and an understanding that the character seems to be doing what she believes is best for the whole family. Sarah Kesselring as Myrtle Mae brings a level of comedy to the production with pitch-perfect timing and Lewis Hauser as Dr. Chumley gives an enthusiastic performance, making the struggle the psychiatrist is going through, as well as the difficulties he has running the sanitarium, easy to relate to. This funny and touching play was a delight to watch from start to finish, in no small part to the incredible cast.
Harvey is playing at the Adobe Theatre from Friday, August 23rd - Saturday, September 22nd. Performances will be at 7:30 PM on Fridays and Saturdays, and 2:00 PM on Sundays. Tickets cost $20 for general admission and $17 for seniors, students, guild members, military, and first responders. Tickets can be purchased at adobetheatre.org, or by calling 505-898-9222.
Image Source: Dan Ware, Adobe Theatre