Previews for Mary Chase’s Harvey Begin at Shaw Festival

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Repertory theatre in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario officially launches 2010 Season with special Shaw Theatre ticket rates on previews for Harvey and other upcoming performances

Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario The Shaw Festival’s comedy-infused 49th season has kicked off 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 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?

The Harvey play cast 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 began preview performances Thursday, April 1 and opens Saturday, May 29 and plays through Sunday, October 31. During the preview performance period patrons can take advantage of special Shaw Theatre tickets. Book by calling 1-800-511-SHAW (7429) or locally 905-468-2172 or online at http://www.shawfest.com.

Harvey is sponsored by Scotiabank Group.

About the Shaw Festival Theatre
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.

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Odette Yazbeck
Shaw Festival
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