Saturday, January 22, 2011

Have You Seen Harvey?

I braved the cold (and the slippery sidewalk conditions) to go see Harvey. I love the story and the 1950 movie. I knew whoever played Elwood P. Dowd was taking on a thankless task as everyone would be comparing him to Jimmy Stewart, but I went anyway.

The Sandy River Players did a phenomenal job! The stage setting was fabulous as they artfully co-mingled the Dowd's home and the sanatorium and never had to do a scene change. The actor who played Elwood was fabulous. He made the role his own, not a hint of Jimmy Stewart, and yet just as lovable and convincing. The woman who played Veta Louise, the sister, however, stole the show. I read an interview where Jimmy Stewart said the woman in that role in the movie had the hardest part because she had to believe and not believe in Harvey at the same time. This woman did that convincingly. She had just enough "drama" to pull it off without getting melodramatic. The whole production was fabulous.

When I arrived, I saw some friends and I also saw some graduates. I ended up sitting with my former students, one who had come from Portland and one from New Hampshire. It was so great to see them. This was about the fourth time I had run into the NH grad at a play at UMF. The other three times he was a student on campus, but it was still unusual that we kept picking the same performances of the same shows to attend. It turned out that none of them (there was another UMF student with them that I hadn't had in a class) had ever seen the movie, so I was wrong that most people in the audience would be comparing this production to the movie. How could someone have not seen the movie?? Oh. I guess since it is 60 years old, not everyone watches the classics. ;-)

Great drama with good friends--What a great way to spend a cold winter's evening.

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