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Previews for Mary Chase’s charming Harvey begin today at the Shaw Festival

“I wrestled with reality for forty years, and I am happy to state that I finally won out over it.”
~Elwood P. Dowd

Media Release #7

Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, April 1, 2010….The Shaw Festival’s comedy-infused 49th season kicks off today with preview performances of Mary Chase’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play Harvey at the Royal George Theatre. Joseph Ziegler returns to direct this endearing story that dares ask: what truly is a “perfectly normal human being”?

Peter Krantz is Elwood P. Dowd, the mild-mannered eccentric everyone in town seems to know. Always genial, cheerful and hospitable towards everyone he encounters, Elwood is the perfect host with a rather peculiar companion: his best friend is an invisible six-foot-tall rabbit named Harvey. Elwood always makes sure Harvey is accommodated so they can go everywhere together. His society-conscious sister Veta (Mary Haney) and her daughter Myrtle Mae (Zarrin Darnell-Martin) attempt to have Elwood committed to the local sanitarium, where the age-old question is raised by prominent psychologist Dr Chumley (Norman Browning) and his staff: does the world need another “normal” chap, or more of the carefree dreamer with a vivid imagination?

Harvey also features Guy Bannerman, Diana Donnelly and Gray Powell, with Donna Belleville, Jennifer Dzialoszynski, Peter Millard, Jennifer Phipps and Tim Ziegler

Designed by Sue LePage, Harvey’s production team also includes lighting design by Louise Guinand and fight choreography by John Stead. The stage management team includes Stage Manager Meredith Macdonald and Assistant Stage Manager Barry Burns.

Harvey’s initial run lasted on Broadway for four years and 1,775 performances. Regularly revived on the stage, it was adapted to the big screen in the 1950’s and made famous by Jimmy Stewart’s portrayal of the loveable Elwood Dowd.

Harvey begins preview performances Tuesday, April 1, opens Saturday, May 29 and plays in repertory until Sunday, October 31. During the preview performance period patrons can take advantage of special ticket pricing and save significantly. Please call the Shaw Festival Box Office for more information. Harvey is sponsored by Scotiabank Group.

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In the spirit of George Bernard Shaw, the Shaw Festival provokes the mind and stirs the soul through a theatre experience so compelling that, year after year, ever-broadening groups of artists, audiences and supporters are drawn to our work in Niagara-on-the-Lake and beyond.

Please visit our website at www.shawfest.com/news for other Shaw Festival media releases. For more information, or to download images from our image bank to accompany this release, members of the media may contact:

Odette Yazbeck
Public Relations Director
(905) 468-2153 or 1-800-657-1106 ext. 2222
odette@shawfest.com

Jenniffer Anand
Public Relations Coordinator
(905) 468-2153 or 1-800-657-1106 ext. 2224
janand@shawfest.com

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