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POSTED October 21, 2013 9:52 p.m.

 

 

*WHAT: “Harvey” comedy production

*WHERE: Fallon House, Columbia State Park

*WHEN: Opens Oct. 25 and runs through Nov. 24.  Thursday and Friday performances begin at 7 p.m., Saturday evening shows begin at 8 and Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday matinees begin at 2 p.m.

*COST: General admission ranges from $26-$32 depending on the day of the performance. *MORE INFO: Call Sierra Rep at (209) 532-3120 or visit Sierra Rep at www.sierrarep.org.

 

THEATRE

Classic comedy ‘Harvey’ opens Oct. 25

at Fallon House in Columbia State Park

COLUMBIA — The Dowd family has a problem. Beloved brother, Elwood, has taken up with an unsettling best friend – Harvey, a giant, invisible rabbit whom he escorts around town and kindly introduces to everyone he meets. Elwood has always been a bit eccentric, but what is a respectable sister expected to bear – especially when she’s trying to find a husband for her daughter?

That’s the dilemma in Harvey, one of American theater’s most funny and charming comedies, coming to the Fallon House stage Oct. 25 through Nov. 24

Sierra Repertory Theatre’s Dennis Jones is directing the play, and considers it a gem.

“I think this is one of the finest American comedies ever written,” Jones said. “We’ve done it once a decade at SRT. I really love it.”

 Elwood gives the story its heart.

“Wouldn’t we all love to be as carefree, gentle and loving as Elwood?” Jones asks. “He’s such a genuinely considerate human being … he just has this one flaw.”

Elwood politely introduces Harvey to everyone he meets, telling them his friend is a delightful, caring pooka from the spirit world. He knows most folks can’t see Harvey … or can they?

The situation increasingly perturbs his tightly wound sister, Veta Louise, who decides Elwood should be committed. But when the distracted hospital staff mistakenly locks up Veta and Elwood goes free, the chaos begins. While friends, neighbors, doctors and family grow ever more frantic, Elwood is the picture of kindness and calmness – and it’s apparent who has the bigger issues.

Jennie May Donnell (Mrs. Lovett in SRT’s Sweeny Todd) plays Elwood’s sister, Veta, and SRT newcomer Ambien Mitchell is his self-absorbed niece, Myrtle Mae. Veteran SRT company actor Ty Smith is the famed psychiatrist Dr. Chumley, and Southern Californian Eva Swan, who just won raves as the savvy French chef in SRT’s Don’t Dress for Dinner, is Nurse Kelly. SRT newcomer James Holbrook is the strong-arm hospital attendant Duane Wilson, William Elsman is the young Dr. Sanderson and Sonora actor Thomas F. Maguire has a delightful cameo as taxi driver EJ Lofgren. Rounding out the cast are Susan Michael as neighbor Mrs. Chauvenet, Jack Halton as Judge Gaffney and Barbara Ann Cecchetti as Mrs. Chumley.

 

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