“Harvey is a good-natured romp” according to Cleburne Times-Review critic Mark Nobles

HARVEY will be leaving PlazaCo this weekend. But there are still four more chances to see the show. You shouldn’t miss it, or so says Times-Review critic Mark Nobles. Check out what he had to say:

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HARVEY IS A GOOD-NATURED ROMP by Mark Nobles. Special to the Cleburne Times-Review

“Harvey,” written by Mary Chase in 1944, is best known for the 1950 big screen adaptation staring Jimmy Stewart as the oh-so-pleasant Elwood P. Dowd. The play’s themes of the importance of friendship, family and tolerance as well as it’s leisurely paced, slapstick comedy are refreshing in today’s over-the-top, frenetic entertainment options.

Jay Cornils portrays Dowd and his unassuming demeanor and understated comic delivery are a perfect fit. Katy Wood pours herself into the role of Dowd’s sister, Veta Louise. Wood plays the social climbing character full tilt but remains in complete control even when Veta Louise is on the verge of a nervous breakdown. While Dowd is the only character on stage for every scene, it is Wood that drives the proceedings and commands the spotlight.

Milette Siler plays Veta’s daughter Myrtle Mae with a ditzy charm and her interaction with asylum attendant Duane Wilson, played by Michael Hatch, is endearing. Hatch plays the hot-headed Wilson with energy and pluck.

Rachel Benham makes her Plaza debut as good-hearted Nurse Kelly. Benham fills the character with charm, sweetness and understanding. Her chemistry with Luke Hunt’s portrayal of young Dr. Sanderson is genuine as serves as a good change of pace from the misunderstandings and slapstick comedy that drives the show.

Jamie Long deserves special recognition for his performance as the esteemed Doctor Chumley. Long charges through the proceedings with conviction and righteous indignation until his character reaches a new understanding of Dowd and his pooka friend, Harvey.

“Harvey” exemplifies the importance of friendship and community. The Plaza Theatre has established itself as a place of friends and close knit community. During one second act black out, when the lights came up several audience members were suddenly wearing pink, fluffy bunny ears in honor of the six foot tall rabbit. To the actors’ credit, no one broke character but it had to be as much of a jolt to them as it was the rest of the audience not participating in the joke. The Siler and Barrus families have built a strong bond between the theatre, its actors and the community. This is a rare thing and both the theatre and Cleburne should be proud of the relationship. I would encourage anyone who has not experienced a Plaza production to hop to it and catch “Harvey” before the end of its run. Find out what all the fuss is about and enjoy this light hearted family entertainment.

“Harvey” runs through Saturday. Shows are at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, with a 3:30 p.m. matinee on Saturday. For information, call 817-202-0600 or visit http://www.plaza-theatre.com.

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