Harvey

Description

Written by MARY CHASE

Directed by ANDREW BARNICLE

It is a spring afternoon at the Dowd family home when Elwood P. Dowd starts to introduce his imaginary friend Harvey, a six-and-a-half-foot tall rabbit, to guests at his sister Veta’s society luncheon. Horrified that the embarrassing family secret is now exposed, Veta decides to have Elwood committed to a sanitarium, but a mistake is made when Veta is committed rather than Elwood. French Stewart (3rd Rock from the Sun, Mom) and real-life wife Vanessa Stewart (Laguna Playhouse’s “Keely” in Louis and Keely, Live at the Sahara) star in Mary Chase’s Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy that has everyone questioning what exactly is real, and who is really crazy?

Average Running Time: 2 hours 15 minutes with intermission
Recommended for audiences 9 and up

Open caption performance: Saturday, June 15, 2019 at 2:00PM

Talk-back performance dates: Thursday, June 13, 2019 at 7:30PM and Saturday, June 8, 2019 at 2:00PM

Corporate Producer - Haskell White

 

 

Larry Cedar
Judge Omar Gaffney
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Larry Cedar

Larry Cedar's credits include TV: HBO’s Deadwood, For the People, Law & Order The Menendez Murders, Runaways (Hulu), Trial & Error, Mad Men, Grey’s Anatomy, Community. FILM: The Midnighters, The Crazies, Hollywoodland, Towelhead, Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas, She Sings to the Stars (www.shesingstothestars.com). THEATER: The Best of Enemies, Around the World in 80 Days, Billy Bishop Goes to War, The Accomplice, Stage Struck, Celadine, American Fiesta, and Travels With My Aunt (Colony Theatre),  Thomas Jefferson in Discord (Geffen Playhouse), Lear in The Porters of Hellsgate production of King Lear, Nightmare Alley (Geffen Playhouse), The World Goes ‘Round (Reprise!), and Return to the Forbidden Planet (Rubicon Theater) Larry’s one-man literary stage adaptations, Orwellian and Dostoevsky’s Notes From The Underground each won Best Solo Performance at the NoHo Fringe Festival. Visit Larry on Facebook, Twitter (@larrycedar), Instagram (@larrycedaractor), or www.larrycedar.com

Nick Gabriel
Lyman Sanderson, MD
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Nick Gabriel

Nick Gabriel is a former Resident Artist of the American Conservatory Theater where he played many principal roles in mainstage productions, including Clov in Endgame opposite Bill Irwin and Nihad in Scorched opposite David Strathairn. He has also played principal roles in mainstage productions, including several world premieres, at other major venues such as Milwaukee Rep, the California Shakespeare Theater, the La Jolla Playhouse, New York’s Town Hall, South Coast Rep, and the Guthrie. He has danced numerous character roles with the Berkshire Ballet and has performed principal singing and speaking roles with the San Francisco Symphony, where he played the Soldier in A Soldier's Tale alongside Elvis Costello as The Narrator and Malcolm McDowell as The Devil. Gabriel is an Assistant Professor at Chapman University, a Ten Chimney’s Foundation Lunt-Fontanne Fellow, and has received numerous San Francisco Bay Area Critics Circle Award nominations and wins. In 2011 The Huffington Post named him the second most valuable contributor to the Cultural Landscape of the San Francisco Bay Area. He earned his BFA in musical theater from the University of Michigan. www.nickgabriel.net

Teresa Ganzel
Betty Chumley
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Teresa Ganzel

Teresa Ganzel's recent theater credits: the revival of Justin Tanner's Heartbreak Help with Marisa Winokur and Melissa Peterman, Stan Zimmeran's hit Meet and Greet, The Furniture director Joel Zwick, Off-Broadway and national tour of Viagara Falls, and Truvy in Judson Theatre's Steel Magnolias. Other highlights: 35 appearances on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, Series regulars on The Duck Factory with Jim Carrey, Teachers Only, Roxie with Andrea Martin, the miniseries Fresno with Carol Burnett, Jackie Gleason's wife in The Toy & opposite Jeff Goldblum in Transylvania 6-5000. Teresa's thrilled to make her debut at Laguna Playhouse.

Lily Gibson
Myrtle Mae Simmons
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Lily Gibson

An Ovation Award-winning actor, Lily Gibson starred as May in the critically-acclaimed Nibroc Trilogy (Rubicon Theatre Company, Ovation Awards – Best Lead Actress & Best Production). Theatre credits include: Baby Doll in Tennessee Williams’ Baby Doll (ETC), Hedvig in The Wild Duck (A Noise Within, Ovation Nomination – Best Featured Actress), and the non-binary Burbank in A Singular They (The Blank Theatre, LADCC Special Award – Outstanding World Premiere). FILM: the upcoming feature Pizza & Whine, Killing Animals, The Negotiator, Up Close & Personal, and The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle. Television: Boy Meets World, Girl Meets World, NCIS, The Mentalist, The Guardian, 8 Simple Rules, and Judging Amy. www.Lily-Gibson.com

Roxane Hayward
Nurse Ruth Kelly
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Roxane Hayward

Having just finished a two season sold out run where she played the leading lady for the West End hit play, Shakespeare In Love in South Africa, Roxane is delighted to make her debut on the American stage in this production of Harvey. Theatrically trained through Trinity College (drama, musical theatre) and Imperial Society of Teachers of Dance, London (modern, tap, ballet), her career started at age ten with highlights including lead and supporting roles for BBC, Universal Pictures, Sony, National Geographic and many more. Being spokeswomen for human rights & self-defense led to her directorial debut - a CNN broadcast Public Service Announcement on Human Trafficking.

 

Nicholas Mongiardo-Cooper
Duane Wilson
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Nicholas Mongiardo-Cooper

Nicholas Mongiardo-Cooper has appeared Off-Broadway in Rothschild & Sons, Lonesome Traveler, and Julius Caesar. Regional appearances include Matilda (5-Star), Sweeney Todd, Once, Shakespeare In Love (South Coast Rep) King Lear (Rubicon), End of the Rainbow (Laguna), Our Lady of 121st St. (RedHouse), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (SBCCLO), Side Show (La Jolla), and at North Coast Rep: Of Mice and Men, Side By Side By Sondheim, Sherlock Holmes, Laughter on the 23rd Floor and the world premiere of Words By: Ira Gershwin, (SDCC Award nom for Best Actor). His television credits include “Fuller House” (Netflix, WB) “Superstore” (NBCUniversal) and “Casual” (Hulu). He attended LaGuardia HS and received a BFA from NYU. He is a proud Equity member. nicholasmongiardocooper.com

Gregory North
Dr. William B. Chumley
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Gregory North

Gregory North joyfully returns to Andy and the Playhouse: Verdi Girls, Leaving Iowa. BROADWAY: Grand Hotel opposite Cyd Charisse, Into the Woods, Secret Garden, Christmas Carol. TOURS: Les Misérables, Phantom, Show Boat. WORLD PREMIERES: Rock of Ages, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Last Ship. REGIONAL: Kennedy Center, Actors Theatre Louisville, Taper, SCR (Fantasticks), Pasadena Playhouse (12 Angry Men), La Mirada, Sacramento Music Circus (Peter Pan), Ensemble Theatre Company, North Coast Rep, 3-D, Reprise!, Sacramento Theatre Company (Barrymore), Arizona Theatre Company (King Charles III), Pioneer Theatre Co. (A Comedy of Tenors). Hollywood Bowl (Amadeus w/ Neil Patrick Harris) FILM/TV: “11.22.63,” “Elizabethtown,” Law & Order,” “HTGA With Murder,” “Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders.” Proud Equity member. www.gregorynorthactor.com

Tom Shelton
E.J. Lofgren
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Tom Shelton

Tom Shelton is delighted to be back at the Playhouse, where he’s been seen in A Christmas Memory, Red Herring, The Underpants, The Constant Wife, Who's Hot Who's Not, Communicating Doors, The Woman In Black, A Moon For The Misbegotten, Travels With My Aunt, Don't Dress For Dinner, Company, Inspecting Carol, What The Butler Saw and Bedroom Farce. At nearby South Coast Rep he appeared in The Vibrator Play, An Italian Straw Hat, The Only Child, The Wind in the Willows, Galileo, Hotel Paradiso and many more. Thanks and love to Andy, Anne E., Michael, Miriam, Diana and Lionel.

French Stewart
Elwood P. Dowd
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French Stewart

French Stewart began his theater career as a member of Justin Tanner’s legendary Cast theater originating roles in Zombie Attack, Party Mix, Pot Mom, Teen Girl, Happy Time X Mas, and Intervention. Recent theater credits include - Stoneface (Sacred Fools, Pasadena Playhouse), Finks (Rogue Machine – LADCC nom) Forever Bound (Atwater) Voice Lessons (With Laurie Metcalf – Steppenwolf, Theater Row), Tesla (Laguna Playhouse) and Watson (Sacred Fools). On television – French is best known as Harry on the classis series 3rd Rock From The Sun. Recurring credits include Mom, Secrets and Lies, NCIS, The Middle, and as the Scorpio Slasher on Deadly Class. French met his wife Vanessa in a green room romance (Geffen).

Vanessa Claire Stewart
Veta Louise Simmons
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Vanessa Claire Stewart

Vanessa Claire Stewart co-wrote and starred as Keely Smith in Louis and Keely: Live at the Sahara for Sacred Fools (Ovation Award for best actress, best musical). Louis and Keely later moved to the Geffen Playhouse, Laguna Playhouse and Royal George Theater in Chicago. She also penned Stoneface starring French Stewart (Sacred Fools, Pasadena Playhouse) Favorite roles: Alex, A Clockwork Orange (LA Weekly award for best actress); Natalie; Finks (Rogue Machine) Laura, The Glass Menagerie; Louise, Gypsy; Olivia, Twelfth Night FILM/TV: Rules of Engagement, Wanda Sykes Show, The List, Chase the Slut (Edinburgh Film Fest) Vanessa is thrilled to be back at Laguna Playhouse acting alongside her husband French.

Carole Ita White
Mrs. Ethel Chauvenet
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Carole Ita White

Carole Ita White is best known as Big Rosie Greenbaum on Laverne and Shirley, has wanted to act since she accompanied her father, the late character actor Jesse White, (TV’s original Maytag repairman) to the set of the Danny Thomas Show, Make Room for Daddy. There Angela Cartwright (6 yrs old) was on the show. Carole Ita wanted in. “Wait until you’re seven,” her dad used to say. As she grew up she started doing plays in school. First at Beverly Hills High, with Richard Dreyfuss, Rob Reiner, Albert Brooks, Julie Kavner, and many more who later became famous. Then college, and finally the “big time.” Her first professional role was the TV movie, Evil Roy Slade, starring Dick Shawn, Mickey Rooney and John Astin. She did improvs on the Carol Burnett Show.  Then Starsky and Hutch, The Odd Couple, Beverly Hills 90210, Trapper John, MD, Dynasty, S.W.A.T., The Love Boat, Who's The Boss, Falcon Crest, Profiler, The Wayans Bros, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Wilfred, Royal Pains, and many more. Films include The Witches of Eastwick, Grand Canyon, Falling Down, The Fabulous Baker Boys, and too many web series to mention. She is currently filming Peridot, a film where she plays a Russian Madame, and in the fall will film Turn Left, playing half of an old lesbian couple, at a Buddhist retreat, Coincidentally, Jesse White starred in the original production of Harvey on Broadway for 4 years, before being brought to Hollywood to recreate his role in the film, starring Jimmy Stewart, as Elwood P. Dowd. Jesse was also responsible for bringing a smash revival of Harvey back to Broadway in 1970, starring Jimmy Stewart Helen Hayes, and himself.

 

Andrew Barnicle
Director
Biography »
Andrew Barnicle

Andrew Barnicle served as artistic director of the Laguna Playhouse from 1991 through 2010, where he produced over 100 Playhouse shows and directed over 40 of them. Recent directing projects at Laguna include the world premiere of King of the Road: The Roger Miller Story, Sex And Education, starring Julia Duffy, Shirley Valentine, Private Lives, and Moonlight and Magnolias. He has also directed at San Diego’s Theatre at Old Town, Michigan’s Meadow Brook Theatre, Burbank’s Colony Theatre, Ventura’s Rubicon Theatre, the San Jose Repertory Theatre, the Ensemble Theatre Company of Santa Barbara, San Diego’s North Coast Rep, Burbank’s Colony Theatre, the Hudson Guild Theatre in Hollywood and L.A.’s Odyssey Theatre.

Press Coverage

  • On Theater: ‘Harvey’ hardly looks his age in Laguna

    The last time we “saw” Harvey, the title character of Mary Chase’s Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy from 1943, at the Laguna Playhouse, he was accompanied by Charles Durning, the since-departed actor who churned up laughs in movies like “Tootsie” and “To Be or Not to Be.”

    Well, the invisible big bunny’s back in Laguna, this time making life interesting for French Stewart and his offstage wife Vanessa Claire Stewart, who headline this vintage story with an illustrious supporting cast, all of whom generate more laughs than a 76-year-old play has any right to expect.

  • Theater review: ‘Harvey’ at Laguna Playhouse is gentle fun

    “I wrote it to make people laugh.” — Mary Chase

    Not many comedies land on theater audiences quite like “Harvey.” During Sunday night’s opening performance at the Laguna Playhouse, the full house was in gentle stitches for more than two hours.

  • Nowhere Hare: Stewart (French, Not Jimmy) Pulls a 75-Year-Old Rabbit Out of His Hat

    Seventy-five years ago playwright Mary Chase’s Harvey started hip-hopping across the stage for four and a half years, as this whimsical classic about a great white rabbit went on to have one of the longest theatrical runs in Great White Way history. Chase’s three-act play rather famously depicted well-to-do Ellwood P. Dowd, owner of a posh home somewhere in the Far West, also inhabited by his sister Veta Louise Simmons, his 20-ish niece Myrtle Mae and – much to the chagrin of the mother and daughter – the titular six-foot, three-and-one-half-inch, invisible rabbit. Ellwood regards Harvey to be his best friend, but his sister and niece consider the hare’s purported existence to be apocryphal and a source of embarrassment. Hilarity ensues.