For The Ardmoreite
A Pulitzer Prize-winning play and classic among American stage comedies, “Harvey” by Mary Chase, opens Ardmore Little Theatre’s 2015-16 season with a four-day run starting today.
“Harvey” opened on Broadway 71 years ago, enjoying several returns to the Big Apple and to London’s West End theaters over the ensuing years, plus being transformed into an Oscar-winning movie starring Jimmy Stewart and spawning multiple TV versions. The play remains a mainstay in community playhouses and still ranks among Broadway’s longest running non-musicals.
“Harvey,” is a pooka, an invisible creature who appears (to those that he allows to see him) in the form of a man-sized white rabbit. As his primary pal, Harvey has selected Elwood P. Dowd, a well-mannered, likable and generous gentleman who inherited his mother’s estate. Elwood’s only flaw seems to be a great fondness for his invisible drinking buddy, Harvey.
When the friendship between Harvey and Elwood causes problems, Elwood’s sister sets out to get her brother institutionalized. However, things get complicated and comedic when her plan goes awry and the sister is committed at Chumley’s Rest while Elwood and Harvey are out on the town drinking with the sanitarium’s owner, noted psychiatrist Dr. William Chumley.  
In ALT’s performances, the role of Elwood P. Dowd is played by Dave Mordy, with Monica Stolfa as his widowed sister Veta Simmons, Roger Woods portrays Dr. Chumley. Other cast members include: William Hale as Dr. Sanderson, Kalina Keester as Nurse Kelly, Ruth Ellis as Mrs. Betty Chumley, and Mary Ann Keester playing Dowd family friend, Ethel Chauvenet, all are Ardmore residents. Veta’s daughter (Elwood’s niece), Myrtle Mae Simmons, is portrayed by Wendy Newton, an Ardmore native now living in Norman. Pat Tickle of Madill plays the Dowd family lawyer, Judge Gaffney.  Ezra Mann of Paoli portrays Wilson an orderly at Chumley’s Rest, and Bobby Pinkerton of Lone Grove fills the role of sagacious cab driver, E. J. Lofgren.  
Directing the production is Carl Clark, with Daphne Adair as stage manager. Both reside in Ardmore and serve on the theatre’s board of directors.       ALT performances will be at 7 p.m., Thursday, Friday and Saturday, plus a 2:30 p.m. performance on Sunday. The show is family friendly.  Admission is $12 for adults, $8 for students. More information is available online at the theatre’s website or Facebook page, or by calling (580) 223-6387.