Monday, May 28, 2012

Joisey Review: Harvey starring Jim Parsons

As many of you are aware, I am a fan of the television show The Big Bang Theory. I watch the marathons, have the DVDs, bought merchandise, you name it. My favorite character on the show is Dr. Sheldon Cooper played by actor Jim Parsons. Now last year he debuted on Broadway with the play The Normal Heart but by the time I found out about it, tickets were sold out all through the run. So when I heard that he was returning to Broadway this summer to be a production of a play called Harvey -- I patiently waited online until tickets went on sale and got myself a preview ticket for Sunday May 27th, 2012. The play does not officially open until Thursday June 14th but the benefit of the preview tickets is you get to see kind of a dress rehearsal. This is the time period where the actors have to get their lines right, their cues right, their mannerisms right, basically everything right. I figured what the heck -- a preview of a play where I do not have to deal with the possibility of a large crowd on a Sunday afternoon, works for me.

So what is Harvey about? Harvey is a six-foot-tall rabbit invisible to everyone except Elwood, much to the exasperation of his sister, Veta. In order to save the family’s social reputation, Veta takes Elwood to the local sanatorium. But when the doctors mistakenly commit his anxiety-ridden sister, Elwood—and Harvey—slip out of the hospital unbothered, setting off a hilarious whirlwind of confusion and chaos as everyone in town tries to catch a man and his invisible rabbit. In my opinion, it kind of sounds like Donnie Darko, just without all of the Jake Gyllenhall angst. I did enjoy the movie so the synopsis kind of appeals to me. Harvey is written by Mary Chase and directed by Scott Ellis.

Walking into the lobby of Studio 54 I was met with a variety of fans -- young, old, and we were all there for one reason only. Now most of the audience knew of the movie version with Jimmy Stewart which I will admit I have not seen but heard about it through my mother. Jim Parsons as well as not watched the movie version as he said he did not want to be influenced; he wanted to make the role his own. He most certainly did. A lot of the lines would be considered Sheldon-esque which I will not spoil if you plan on going to the play. The play is hysterically done and the chemistry between Jim Parsons and Jessica Hecht is spot on.

If there is one Broadway play you plan on seeing this summer, I highly recommended Harvey. It is in previews right now until June 14th which is the date of opening night. It lasts until August 5th. It is playing at STUDIO 54 whose address is 254 West 54th Street in NYC.

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