|Ben Dibble Susan Riley Stevens, |
Ellie Mooney & Mary Martello
Walnut Street Theatre, located at 825 Walnut Street, is presenting Harvey through March 6 on its main stage. Harvey is an age-old Pulitzer Prize winning gem, which, thanks to its supremely talented ensemble cast and excellent creative team, has its present audience enthralled as much as the original which ran on Broadway for four years when it premiered in 1944. Although the play is stylized, the actors portray their roles so well that you can laugh right along with them as well as laugh at them and their farcical antics. Mary Martello, who enriches every script she touches, is none-the-less remarkable as the slightly hysterical Veta Louise Simmons, society wanna-be. Ben Dibble is perfectly cast as good-natured Elwood P. Doud, kind to all, including his best friend who just happens to be an invisible 6’3” tall rabbit. Ellie Moonie is very convincing as Myrtle Mae Simmons, desperately longing for a social life that seems beyond her reach because of her unusual uncle. Ian Merril Peakes and Greg Woods, two other local favorites, portray psychiatrists at the sanatorium where Elwood and his Aunt Vita are alternately and intermittingly committed. Spoiler Alert! Perhaps the doctors should be committed as well! There are two totally different sets which are changed after the curtain closes for less than a minute. Thanks to scenic designer Robert Koharchik and the days of modern miracles, an ornate mansion’s mahogany library becomes the sterile white ante room of a psychiatric facility. This is not a show to be taken seriously but one to be taken for the sheer fun of it. Laughter abounds at the utter absurdity that happens onstage and off. For more information or tickets, call 215-574-3550 or 800-982-2787, or visit online at www.WalnutStreetTheatre.org or Ticketmaster.