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Entertaining production of ‘Harvey’ playing at Cultural Park Theatre

January 15, 2014
By MARTIN HASTINGS - Special to The Eagle , Pine Island Eagle

"Harvey," the Pulitzer Prize-winning play now at Cultural Park Theatre, boasts an ensemble cast.

As Veta Louise Simmons, played by Gerrie Benzing, attempts to strive for societal acceptance, she unravels delightfully; because of, or with the help of the title character. Her unraveling is in distinct counterpoint to the calm joy of Elwood P. Dowd, played by Dave Rhode. Aunt Ethel (Melissa Baulf ) provides the hysterical reaction that puts the show on the road. That road of course leads to the "nut house!"

As they travel from the stately Dowd Mansion to the bucolic confines of Chumley's Rest, more unraveling ensues. And, a bit of raveling, too.

Before I get things too tangled up, make plans to witness this madness for yourself.

As things go wrong. Miss Myrtle Mae Simmons (Lisa Kuchinski) holds her head up and moves on. Even as the good Dr. Chumley (Bill Allenfort) loses his hysterically.

Betty Chumley, played delightfully by Shelley Sanders, almost explains it all, but it takes the wisdom of a cab driver and a bit of doubling by Ms. Baulf to clear things up.

Of course, this doesn't happen before denial becomes love and, well , plans become unraveled.

Tyler Young, the director, has assembled this ensemble that provides laughs, wisdom and an evening of entertainment for the family.

"Harvey" runs through Jan. 19 and stands as a classic bit of community theatre . Warning! Attending theatre is habit forming.



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