Fairfield Ledger

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By VICKI TILLIS, Ledger lifestyles editor | Oct 09, 2013
Photo by: VICKI TILLIS/Ledger photo Elwood P. Dowd (Coren Hucke) settles down to read “Jane Austin” with his 6.5-foot tall invisible rabbit friend, Harvey.

The Broadway Players of FHS will be presenting the fun little play “Harvey” this weekend in the Fairfield High School Auditorium.

‘Harvey,” by Mary Chase is the story of Elwood P. Dowd (Coren Hucke), a middle-aged, amiable and somewhat eccentric man whose best friend, Harvey, is an invisible 6-foot, 3.5-inch tall invisible rabbit.

Elwood’s sister Veta (Madison Nelson) and her daughter Myrtle Mae (Shea Malloy) crave a normal life and a place in society. But the two are so embarrassed by Elwood’s friendship with the invisible pooka, Veta tries to have him committed to a sanitarium.

Problems arise, however, when Veta is mistakenly assumed to be the sibling on the verge of lunacy as she explains to the handsome Dr. Sanderson (Chance Nicely) and the dim, but good-looking Nurse Kelly (Claudia Sloat) that after living with Elwood’s hallucinations for so many years, she’s seen Harvey, also.

The sanatarium staff, which also includes the tough-talking, ladies’ man Wilson (Evan Wood), lets Elwood go and locks up Veta instead.

But the mistake is sorted out, and the head doctor, Dr. Chumley (Alex Helmick) begins a search to find Elwood and bring him back to the sanitarium.

Meanwhile, Veta, her hair hanging wet, her coat on backwards, has made her way home after her ordeal at the sanitarium. This is one of the best, most comical scenes in the play as she explains what happened when she was jumped by a “white slaver,” and she demands Judge Gaffney (Duncan Phipps) sue the sanitarium for her mistreatment.

Eventually, Elwood turns back up at the sanitarium — when Veta had tried to commit him earlier, he’d made a date for drinks with Dr. Sanderson and Nurse Kelly.

Sanderson and Chumley recommend treating Elwood with a serum called Formula 977 that will stop him from seeing Harvey. And because Veta asks Elwood to accept the treatment, he says he will.

But as the doctors are preparing the injection, Veta’s cab driver Lofgren (Nicolas Rich) tells her about all the other people he has driven to the sanitarium for the same treatment — how on the way there, they are happy, nice, friendly people, but on the way back, “they are perfectly normal human beings, and you know what bastards they are.”

The thought of Elwood not being Elwood alarms Veta, and she stops the injection.

In the end, Elwood finally finds Harvey: “Oh, there you are. I’ve been looking all over for you.”

The 12-member cast also includes Paige Holderbaum as Mrs. Chumley, Shado Iseman as Mrs. Chauvenet and Joanna Funkhouser as a maid and nurse — she never says a word, but can be spotted in the background of the scenes, dusting at the Dowds’ home and carrying a straight jacket back and forth at the sanitarium

The crew has done a fantastic job of finding a quick way to change the Dowds’ home into the sanitarium, complete with white institutional furnishings and green walls.

And the costume crew outfitted the cast in wonderful 1940s garb.

“Harvey” will be staged at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. The box office opens one hour prior to curtain for ticket sales, and the auditorium opens 30 minutes prior to curtain. Activity tickets will be honored.

For more photos, click below.

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