Theater Info for the Washington DC region

Dominion High School Harvey

By • May 9th, 2011 • Category: Cappies

Despite pookas being the best creatures in the world, not everyone can see them! Dominion High School’s production shows a day in the life of a remarkable individual who could, and does so lovably and wonderfully energetically.

Harvey, the notorious invisible pooka, is the titular character in Mary Chase’s 1944 play. Best friends with Mr. Elwood P. Dowd, he causes a lot of mischief he never intends. The story centers on Mr. Dowd, a lovable man in his forties with an invisible friend, and the struggles of his family to understand him. They attempt to have him committed into a sanatorium, which sets off a whole chain of events that are finally righted when Mr. Dowd’s sister, Veta, realizes that Elwood is perfect the way he is, Harvey or no Harvey.

The production benefited greatly from a devoted leading man, Ty Sheedlo as Mr. Elwood P. Dowd. Spacy and sweetly carefree, Dowd obliviously avoided confrontation until it seemed an impossibility that he would ever be caught. Most impressively, whenever Sheedlo ‘spoke’ to Harvey, it truly seemed like he was present. Sheedlo made everyone a part of the delusion, made it easy to partake in Dowd’s madness, and even to love it.

Stephanie Booth as Veta Louise Simmons was just as endearing as her brother. Fussy but caring, Booth accurately portrayed what a woman with a mad brother living in the 1940s would be like. Even though she obviously knew he was mad, she chided Myrtle Mae (Nikole Holland) with becoming gentleness, a soft spoken manner that gave way to her later emotions.

Inessa Oelschalger and Arta Seyedian as Nurse Ruth Kelly and Dr. Sanderson, respectively, had lasting chemistry. Constantly bickering and arguing, they added a romantic comedy element to the show. While there were some issues with over and under acting, the cast remained focused and delivered a memorable performance.

Sound cues (Andrew Subowo) and lighting cues (Lauren Nibert) were perfect and on point. Every time the telephone rang, or a buzzer was pushed it was synchronized, as well as the lights dimming exactly when Wilson moved the dial. Some technical aspects could have been more focused and quicker, but they did not greatly detract from the show.

Dominion High School’s performance of Harvey was endearingly quirky and spoke to the inner child in everyone.

by Amber Holder of G.C. Marshall

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