Whitefish Theatre Company opens season with “Harvey”

On Stage

The Whitefish Theatre Company opens its 2014-2015 theatre season with a production of “Harvey” at the O’Shaughnessy Center in Whitefish. This endearing comedy about how real friends are hard to find continues through Oct. 19, with shows at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 4 p.m. Sundays.

Made famous by the 1951 movie version starring Jimmy Stewart and recently revived on Broadway, “Harvey” is the 1944 Pulitzer Prize-winning comedic farce about Elwood P. Dowd and his imaginary friend, a six-and-a-half-foot tall rabbit named Harvey. Elwood introduces Harvey to everyone he meets, much to the dismay of his social-climbing sister, Veta, who decides to have him committed to a sanitarium to spare herself and her daughter Myrtle Mae from social scandal. But when the doctors mistakenly commit his anxiety-ridden sister, Elwood and Harvey set off a hilarious whirlwind of confusion and chaos as everyone in town tries to catch a man and his invisible rabbit. “This winsome comedy about a lovable eccentric casts a satisfying spell,” writes The New York Times.

“This is an ageless story that pulls us in with its warmth and with its wisdom,” says director Nancy Nei. “Elwood, in his ability to connect with and truly pay attention to people, has a great deal to teach us about relationships in this day and age. Not only can we learn how to be a friend like Elwood, but we all could use a true, trusting friendship like the one that Elwood has with Harvey. ” As the Herald Tribune noted, “If crazy looks like the gentle, compassionate and accepting Elwood P. Dowd, a world with a lot more invisible rabbits might be a happier place.”

Nei also adds, “The cast for this show is extremely experienced and such a lovely group. Between the actors and the script, we all have been finding such joy in putting this play together.” The production features Andrew Matulionis, Gail Cleveland, Kim Krueger, David Blair, Wayne McEntire, April Vogel, CrisMarie Campbell, Jack Eaton, Penny Carpenter, Mike Conway, and Greg Postell.

Tickets are $18 for adults, $16 for seniors, and $8 for students with reserved seating and may be purchased at the Box Office, 1 Central Ave., Whitefish, by calling 406-862-5371, or ordering online at www.whitefishtheatreco.org.