Theater Info for the Washington DC region

Chantilly High School Harvey

By • May 4th, 2009 • Category: Cappies

A six-foot tall invisible rabbit, a very genial man with an unusually uppity sister, and a sanitarium…what else could a comedy lover possibly ask for? Chantilly High School’s production of Harvey contained these elements, and so much more. This comedy, written by Mary Chase, premiered at the 48th Street Theatre on Broadway on November 1, 1944 and was staged there until 1949. The story was also made into a major film in 1950 starring James Stewart and Josephine Hull.

The plot follows Mr. Elwood P. Dowd and his invisible rabbit “pooka” friend, Harvey. Harvey “lives” with Mr. Dowd, much to the dismay of his sister Veta and her daughter Myrtle, who wish to live normal lives, but cannot due to the fact that they are embarrassed by Elwood’s strange behavior. They try, to no avail, to commit Elwood to Chumley’s Rest, a local sanitarium. The story ends in a climactic moment when Veta realizes that Harvey completes Elwood and, indirectly, her own life.

The true shining star of Chantilly’s performance was Chris Albrigo, portraying Elwood. His innocently humorous demeanor strengthened the action of the play greatly. His awareness of his character and of the invisible Harvey were unbelievably good. Also notable was Maggie Monk‘s performance as Veta. Her signature wail became familiar throughout the play, and it just seemed to get funnier every time. Her grasp on her character was excellent, and her deliverance of her lines displayed this well.

Miles Drawdy delivered an excellent performance as Dr. Sanderson. The beautiful Angela Virostek did an amazing job as the shallow but lovable Nurse Kelly, and Adrian Tafesh performed well as the abrasive Wilson. Lastly, Razan Ahmed and Barry Coleman stood out as Dr. and Mr. Chumley; this pair clearly held a thorough understanding and love of their characters, and the stage as a whole.

The technical aspects of Harvey truly surpassed all expectations. The intricate and impressive set was the hallmark of the tech work; with two levels, rotating panels, working doors, and period decorations, those who worked on the set simply must be commended. Many of the beautiful and detailed costumes were made by Chantilly students. The sound was virtually flawless, and the lighting was excellent throughout the play.

Overall, Chantilly’s performance of Harvey cannot be beat. With an unbelievably strong cast and equally strong technical work to match, this production epitomizes what good theater is all about.

by Lindsay Kijewski of Paul VI High School

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