Arts + Music » Arts + Culture

Harvey

Long, but with a good message

by

BRUCE GOODICK
  • Bruce Goodick

“In this world, you must be oh-so smart, or oh-so pleasant," says Elwood P. Dowd (Dave MacNeil), the visionary in Harvey who befriends a giant invisible rabbit and chooses pleasant over smart. Dowd spreads his sunshiney outlook despite opposition from his dithery sister (Cathy Cameron) and his self-absorbed niece (Rebecca Schneidereit). In my memory, Harvey—made famous in the 1950 movie—was just a pure and simple, feel-good story. I was actually surprised that by today’s standards, this play is very long and a little disturbing in its use of casual sexism and its portrayal of the clinical treatment of mental illness. The performance in this production are uneven, but the opening-night audience at Dartmouth Players found lots to laugh about, and the play’s ultimate message of making the world a better place through kindness endures.

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