“Years ago my mother used to say to me, she’d say, ‘In this world Elwood, you must be’ – she called me Elwood – ‘In this world, Elwood, you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant.’ Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant. You may quote me.”
Elwood P. Dowd in Harvey, Mary Chase
You may have heard of the eccentric and kind Elwood P. Dowd. He is the gentle, wealthy man who lives with his social-climbing sister, Veta and her daughter, Myrtle May. The only problem? An unseen houseguest, Elwood’s best friend and confidant -- Harvey, the elusive 6 foot, three-and-one-half-inch tall, white rabbit. The family worries Elwood has gone insane. So, for his safety (and the safety of the large family home and wealth), Veta decides a sanitarium is just what Elwood (and Harvey) need. But that very same sanitarium turns out to be an ideal location for a comedy of errors, eventually proving Elwood (and Harvey?) may be the sanest characters in the room!
Harvey was written in 1944 by American playwright Mary Chase and enjoyed a successful run on Broadway until early 1949. Chase was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1945. Harvey has been adapted for film and television several times, most notably in the 1950 film starring James Stewart. Theatrical production revivals include the 2012 Roundabout Theatre Company’s production starring Jim Parsons as Elwood and the 2015 Theatre Royal Haymarket’s production starring James Dreyfus.