• ‘Harvey’ playing at The Western Stage from Oct. 31 – Nov. 23

    Tickets are $24.00 each and may be purchased online at http://www.westernstage.com

    The Western Stage’s 40th Anniversary begins to draw to a close with the penultimate show of its season – Mary Chase’s Pulitzer Prize winning comedy-of-errors, Harvey playing in the studio theatre October 31 -November 23. Elwood P. Dowd may enjoy his martinis, but he is still a friendly and likeable enough fellow…he just possesses one somewhat glaring eccentricity. He claims his best friend is an invisible fairy known in Irish folklore as a Pooka. And this Pooka, according to Elwood, has taken on the form of a giant, six-foot three rabbit named, Harvey.

    Much to the horror of his sister, Veta, Elwood loves to tell everyone he meets about his invisible Pooka friend. So hoping to spare her daughter and the rest of the family from the embarrassment of his eccentric behavior, Veta carts Elwood off to the local sanitarium to have him committed…when her own eccentric behavior lands her in the sanitarium instead of Elwood. What ensues is a comedy-of-errors that forces Veta to question which reality is best – the often harsh reality the rest of us live in or the “delusional” reality Elwood has created for himself.

    A native of Denver, Colorado who began her writing life as a journalist, Chase said she was inspired to write Harvey based on two distinct events. The first and more irreverent influence involved a dream she had one night in which a psychologist was being chased by a giant rabbit. The second event, however, was more profound. One day she caught sight of her neighbor walking down the street shortly after learning her only son had died in World War II. The woman carried such despair on her shoulders that Chase wondered if she could ever possibly write anything that could make this woman laugh again.

    In 1942, Chase began writing what would become her most successful play, squeezing in time to work on it during the evenings while her husband was at work and her four children were asleep in bed. Two years and fifty-five drafts later, she submitted the script to producer Brock Pemberton who immediately snatched it up and took it to Broadway in 1946. Harvey ran for 1,755 performances at the 48th Street Theatre before being made into the now classic film starring Jimmy Stewart.

    Harvey is directed by longtime TWS director and actor William J. Wolak whose previous credits include Shakespeare in Hollywood and The Foreigner. He was last seen on stage at TWS in last season’s Song of My Father. In addition to his close to forty year association with The Western Stage, Wolak served as the chair of the theatre department for the University of the Pacific in Stockton and has performed in regional and summer stock theatres throughout the country. Harvey performs Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2:00 pm from Halloween through November 23. Tickets are $24.00 each and may be purchased online at www.westernstage.com or at the box office by calling 831-755-6816. Also consider purchasing a Flex Pass for 2014 and help The Western Stage celebrate its 40th Anniversary. Group tickets are available through Marketing and Group Sales at 831-759-6012.

    Hartnell Community College District 

    The Hartnell CCD serves over 15,000 students annually through its main campus in Salinas, the Alisal Campus in East Salinas, the King City Education Center, and various outreach learning centers throughout the Salinas Valley. Hartnell College, a Hispanic Serving Institution, provides workforce training, basic skills courses, and prepares students for transfer to four-year colleges and universities. Hartnell College is recognized for its innovative public and private partnerships that support world class STEM education, career technical education, fine and performing arts, humanities, and athletics. We are growing leaders through opportunity, engagement, and achievement. For more about Hartnell CCD, visit www.hartnell.edu.

    posted to Cedar Street Times on October 23, 2014

    Topics: Arts & Music, Front PG News

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