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Harvey

Harvey
Your Price: $19.50 CDN
Biz Bestseller!
Author: Mary Chase
Publisher: Dramatists Play Service (cover image may change)
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 72
Pub. Date: 1971
ISBN-10: 0822205009
ISBN-13: 9780822205005
Cast Size: 6 female, 6 male

About the Play:

Winner of the 1945 Pulitzer Prize for Drama

Harvey is a full-length comedy by Mary Chase. The whimsical comedy centers on the benignly nutty Elwood P. Dowd who drives his sister crazy by insisting that his friendship with an invisible white rabbit is real. Mary Chase's comic fantasy Harvey has become one of the most successful and popular plays ever offered to high school and community theatres.

Harvey is a lighthearted comedy featuring a mischievous invisible rabbit who frolics around the stage throughout the evening. When Elwood P. Dowd, a good-natured, mild-mannered eccentric, starts to introduce his imaginary friend, Harvey, a six-and-a-half-foot rabbit, to guests at a society party, his sister, Veta, has seen as much of his eccentric behaviour as she can tolerate. She decides to have him committed to a sanitarium to spare her daughter, Myrtle Mae, and their family from future embarrassment. Problems arise, however, when Veta herself is mistakenly assumed to be on the verge of lunacy when she explains to doctors that years of living with Elwood's hallucination have caused her to see Harvey also! The doctors commit Veta instead of Elwood, but when the truth comes out, the search is on for Elwood and his invisible companion. When he shows up at the sanitarium looking for his lost friend Harvey, it seems that the mild-mannered Elwood's delusion has had a strange influence on more than one of the doctors. Only at the end does Veta realize that maybe Harvey isn't so bad after all.

Harvey first opened on Broadway at the 48th Street Theatre in 1944 to great commercial and artistic success. The Canadian première of Harvey was an American touring version of the Broadway production. It opened in 1947 at the Royal Alexandra Theatre in Toronto. A successful production followed in London's West End at the Prince of Wales Theatre in 1949. The first production by a Canadian company was in 1950 at the Canadian Repertory Theatre in Ottawa. A celebrated success: two Broadway productions, a classic film, and three television productions have guaranteed Harvey's place in the theatrical canon and collective consciousness.

Cast: 6 female, 6 male

What people say:

"Harvey is the most delightful, droll, endearing, funny and touching piece of stage whimsy I ever saw ...." — New York Daily News

About the Playwright:

Mary Coyle Chase (1907-1981) was a newspaper reporter, playwright, and novelist. Her best-known play, Harvey, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Capitalizing on the play's tremendous success, she wrote the screen adaptation of Harvey, receiving an unprecedented $1,000,000 from Universal Studios for the rights to the film. It was released in 1950 and starred James Stewart, who earned an Oscar nomination for his performance in the film.