Hopping to see “Harvey”


The cast goes through a dress rehearsal (photo by H. Mueller).

Opening night of the theater department’s spring play “Harvey” was put on Thursday, March 30. The storyline followed Elwood P. Dowd and his journey with his invisible best friend, Harvey, a six-foot tall white rabbit who is only seen by people of his choosing. His sister, Veta, tries to put him into a mental institution, but her plan backfires and the doctors are confused on who is the one seeing Harvey until later, when one of the doctors sees him, too. The show was set in the 40’s, giving it more of an appeal to the older generations in the audience, but you could still hear many giggles among the children attending.

The opening set was rather simple: an open living room with green walls, a couch, bookshelf, fireplace with a picture above the mantel, a chair, and small chandelier. Later on, the set changes to the mental institution. There was a fair amount of props that needed moving and the cast and crew managed to change everything rather quickly. This display had blue walls with white splotches, many desks for the workers, a book shelf, and lounge area. The sets were not truly intriguing, but they got the job done.

Costuming was very accurate to that of the 40’s. Elwood’s costume made him stand out, as he was the only one in a suit and hat. Veta had a lovely navy two piece and Myrtle wore a salmon colored dress. The doctor’s outfits fit perfectly, as did nurse Kelly’s. There was even a coat and hat for Harvey with holes for his ears. Even though you never see Harvey, it was amusing to see he had a costume, as well.

The acting job was done quite well. Remington White, 12, played the role of Elwood. He changed his voice to be rather peppy for the entirety of the show, giving his character a charming and funny personality. He always wore a smile and his character did not get sarcasm, which White took advantage of and added funny pieces to the show. Matalyn Chitwood, 12, playing Veta was hilarious. In the beginning, her character did not have many lines to make their own, but when she was given the chance, she took it and ran, making the audience laugh. There were funny relationship moments between some of the doctors as well as Myrtle and Mr.Wilson. These bits only came up a few times, but you could tell the audience found them amusing. Quinten Vasser, 11, played the role of Mr.Wilson. His character was quite amusing. He made the character his own and added a lot to the “tough guy” role. Overall, the acting job was fantastic; however, the play chosen did not have the most interesting storyline to follow. It began rather slowly in the first act, and the audience missed many of the jokes that were made. There were not many twists in the show, which is different from other productions the high school has put on in the past. The pace began to pick up in act two, the audience engaged more, and the play ended rather nicely.

The casting job was done well. White, Chitwood, and Vasser portrayed their roles incredibly well. Keira Blattel, 12, made Myrtle a funny girl who the audience enjoyed watching. The rest of the cast may not have had the most stand out roles, but each character played a significant part and gave their characters a piece of their own personalities.

All in all, the show was good and I recommend seeing it at least once. I’m not sure it’s one that someone would want to watch twice as it was around two hours and takes a bit to pick up.

Tickets are $8 at the door. The next shows are Friday and Saturday starting at 7 p.m. The understudy show is Saturday at 2 p.m.