Community theater returns in August with “Harvey”

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By Mike Cook

Live Theater returns to the stage at the Las Cruces Community Theater (LCCT) with its production of “Harvey,” starring Brandon Brown as Elwood P. Dowd and Lennie Brown as Veta Louise Dowd Simmons.

The show will be presented at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday August 20-21, August 27-28 and September 3-4; and 2 p.m. on Sundays August 22 and 29 and September 5.

The other actors are David Edwards, Cindy Murrell, Ed Montes, Vanessa Dabovich, Mike Cruz, Alecks Rundell, Erin Wendorf, Alex Wheeler Larkin and Nathan Harper.

Gail Wheeler is the director.

“I think we’ve all learned — really learned — the incredible importance of family and the need to expand the definition of family during difficult times,” Wheeler said. “The shows are very much like families, and in our case the roles and members have changed over time, much like real life. We don’t always agree with the family – just like the Elwood family don’t believe in Harvey, but whether Harvey is real or not, it’s important that we respect the fight he could be…”

“LCCT is super excited to finally be able to put ‘Harvey’ on stage with a live audience in the seats,” said LCCT Board Chair Janet Beatty-Payne. “A year and a half after it opened , the cast has changed some, but the classic story remains as engaging as ever. As we welcome our guests back to the LCCT, we are excited to unveil some upgrades to our theater space, such as a new ADA-compliant family bathroom in the front lobby and new carpeting throughout. Although we were unable to hold shows during the Covid-19 closure, we have used this time to make these improvements that will make coming home to the LCCT more comfortable and convenient for everyone.

Playwright Mary Chase won a Pulitzer Prize in 1944 for Harvey. The 1950 film version starred James Stewart and earned him an Oscar nomination. Josephine Hull won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress.

Elwood P. Dowd is an affable man who claims to have an invisible (and presumably imaginary) friend, Harvey, a six-foot-three-and-a-half-inch-tall pooka. Elwood introduces Harvey to everyone he meets. Her sister Veta, a social climber, finds her eccentric behavior increasingly embarrassing. She decides to have him committed to a sanatorium. Dr. Sanderson mistakenly hires Veta instead of Elwood, but when the truth comes out, the search for Elwood and Harvey is launched.

Ticket prices are $17 for adults, $14 for seniors, military and students, $10 for children 12 and under, and $10 for groups of 10 or more. Tickets are available online at lcctnm.org. Student rush tickets are available for purchase at the box office 15 minutes before showtime for $5 with valid ID.

LCCT is located at 313 N. Main St. downtown.

Call 575-523-1200.

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