By Jose Alpizar
Special to The Independent
After the success of “James and the Giant Peach,” Collierville High’s Draco Playhouse has decided to trade in giant insects for a giant rabbit! This season’s fall show is the rib-tickling comedy “Harvey” by Mary Chase as the cast and crew aim for an early November opening.
“Harvey” tells the story of Elwood P. Dowd, an eccentric man who claims to have a 6-foot tall, invisible white rabbit as a best friend. His social-climbing sister, Veta, increasingly finds his eccentric behavior embarrassing. She decides to have him committed to sanitarium to spare her and her daughter Myrtle Mae from future embarrassment. However, after frequent interviews with both Dr. Sanderson and Dr. Chumley, they decide that Veta is the one in need of psychiatric help and hilarity ensues.
“Harvey” opened on Broadway on Nov. 1, 1944 to glowing reviews and won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1945. It was turned into an equally successful film in 1950 with a legendary performance by its star, the great Jimmy Stewart. The show was back on the Great White Way just last year with Jim Parsons, star of CBS’s “The Big Bang Theory”, as Elwood.
This cast of twelve talented students includes Jose Alpizar and Ellen Carr portraying the lead roles of Elwood and Veta. Madison Pruitt, Kristen Aune, Joseph Piercey, and Mark Elich will play the roles of Myrtle Mae, Nurse Kelly, Dr. Sanderson, and Dr. Chumley, respectively. Rounding out the cast are Sofia Tosches as Betty Chumley, Kye Ruddy as Wilson, Orryn Echols as Judge Omar Gaffney, Luke Howard as E. J. Lofgren, Hannah Peeples as Ethel Chauvaunet and Amy Tedford as Miss Johnson.
Those working behind the scenes are Production Assistant Pam Kirk, Costume Designer Katherine Quinn, Wardrobe Mistress Kateyann Winstead, Lighting Designer Emily Cain and Sound Designer Cole Fullerton. Props are headed by Haley Doss.
The production runs Nov. 7-9 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 10 at 2 p.m. in the CHS Theatre. Tickets are $10 and $8 and are available at the door.