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SPOTLIGHT ON THE ARTS | Have you seen Harvey?

Many people in Maumelle have reported sightings of Harvey in the community! Who is Harvey, you ask? Harvey is a pooka – a creature from Celtic mythology, a fairy spirit who is always in animal form and very large. In the case of Harvey, he is in the shape of a rabbit. Not just an ordinary rabbit, but a rabbit who stands over 6 feet-tall and wears a hat and tie. He is a wise, but mischievous creature. He is also the friend of Elwood P. Dowd (Mike Crosson) who is the only person who can see him. Elwood P. Dowd is the affable, bar-hopping brother of Veta Simmons (Peggy Cromwell), ladder climbing socialite wannabe, who sees her brother as an obstacle in breaking into this “inner circle”.

Veta finally decides to have Elwood committed to Chumley’s Rest sanitarium so she and her daughter Myrtle Mae (Rachel Thompson) can continue their upward mobility in the small town social circle. Veta wants to get Myrtle Mae married off to someone in this circle and Elwood’s eccentric ways and friendship with Harvey just get in her way. Veta tries to get Elwood committed, but in a hilarious turn of events, finds herself on the wrong side of the sanitarium walls. Wilson (Jim Narey), the strong arm of the sanitarium, had taken her off to the hydrotherapy tubs to begin her treatment. Dr. Sanderson (Jeff Riggs), the young aspiring psychiatrist has ordered this mistaken commitment and treatment. His nurse, Ruth Kelly (Erica Monday), wants desperately to get his attention, but he appears more interested in making her a “case study” until Elwood starts showing her some attention in the pleasant, altered-reality world that Elwood lives in.

Included in the cast is Dr. Chumley (Victor Werner), the owner of Chumley’s Rest, who is horrified when he finds out that the wrong person has been committed. He goes after Elwood personally, only to become a victim of Harvey’s mischievousness and begins to think that Harvey might be his friend, too. The family lawyer, Judge Gaffney (Mike Knabe) gets involved when Veta wants to sue Dr. Chumley for the mistaken commitment. Betty Chumley (Marcia McCardle) plays the wife of Dr. Chumley and gets caught in the middle when the realization has been made that the wrong person has been committed.

Rounding out the cast is Mrs. Chauvenet (Denise Loken), one of the social ladies who gets introduced to Harvey, Miss Johnson, the maid (Janell Reiske), and Mr. Lofgren (Bill Lamb), the cab driver, who thinks that folks he brings out to Chumley’s Rest are more pleasant when he brings them out than when he takes them back.

The show is directed by Victor Werner with assistant director, Matt Patton.

So come join The Maumelle Players as they present “Harvey” by Mary Chase from April 12-14 and April 19-21. The Friday and Saturday shows are at 7 p.m. and the Sunday shows are 3 p.m. matinees. Be aware that Friday, April 19 is already SOLD OUT! Check around town for “Harvey sightings”! Tickets are available from cast members, the Senior Wellness Center and online at www.maumelleplayers.org. For more information call 501-492-9851 or e-mail us at info@maumelleplayers.org.

Mark your Calendars.

Maumelle Photography Club meets at 6:30 the first Tuesday of each month at the Maumelle Library.

Remember to let us know about your event or organization so we can give it a place in a Spotlight on the Arts feature story or calendar. Contact me at maumellearts@gmail.com.

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