Meet the Cast of Harvey

By the time you read this, Harvey, the popular 1944 Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy about an affable man and his unseen (and presumably imaginary) friend Harvey—a six-foot, three-and-one-half-inch tall rabbit—will have celebrated its opening performance. Here is an opportunity to learn more about its cast.

Stan Allen has enjoyed participating in several Boutique productions and wishes to continue honing his acting skills. He’s from Calgary, Alberta. Thomas Carroll has also been involved in several productions at The Boutique. “I love acting and think that Harvey is one of the funniest plays out there.” A New York City native, Carlo Gagliano saw the movie and the play while he was young. “For a time in my life, I worked as a psychiatric nurse, so I can relate to Elwood, the lead character.”

Frank Harrison, who plays the lead role of Elwood P Dowd, was drawn to the character “because I’m as crazy as Elwood,” he said. He is also excited to collaborate again with Ralph Hyman, who is directing the production under Karrie Sebryk’s oversight. Also from New York City, Cat Meders is thrilled to be part of the company. “I’ve always wanted to be in this play,” she commented. When the play was adapted as a movie in 1950, starring James Stewart, Ellie Frank saw the film. “I was very young but remembers every detail. When I found out the Boutique was casting the play, I really wanted to do it.”

Miana Melendez is making her acting debut with this production of Harvey. “I love the cast, but more importantly, I love the opportunities that The Boutique Community Theatre offers local residents to get involved, both on and off stage. Brandon Miller is originally from Texas and fairly new to Puerto Vallarta, also making his acting debut. John Scott is also new to the stage and will be making his acting debut with this production. When asked how things are going, he gave a huge smile and said, “I’m having fun.”

The cast has been rehearsing rigorously to prepare for their opening night and encourage visitors and locals to enjoy this new production of a classic comedy, and one of the most popular plays in the English repertoire. 

When asked for compelling reasons for the audience to explore the local community theatre scene and not to miss this new, Puerto Vallarta-based production, Brandon had the best answer: “the beach isn’t going anywhere!” Harvey continues its run April 6, 12, 13, 19 & 20 at 6 pm, and on April 7, 14 & 21 at 2 pm. Evening performances include a dinner option at 5 pm.

Paco Ojeda is The Boutique Community Theatre’s Publicity Manager. A Puerto Vallarta-based freelance communicator, he writes news and stories for Puerto Vallarta’s English-speaking community at his blog, paco-ojeda.com.

Pulitzer Prize-Winning Play To Open at The Boutique

Harvey, the popular 1944 Pulitzer Prize-winning play about an affable man and his unseen (and presumably imaginary) friend Harvey—a six-foot, three-and-one-half-inch tall—is coming to The Boutique Community Theatre this month. The production, supervised by Karrie Sebryk, opens Friday, April 5, for a nine-performance run.

Written by American playwright Mary Chase, Harvey tells the story of Elwood P. Dowd, who insists on including his friend Harvey in all of his sister Veta’s social gatherings. Trouble is, Harvey is an imaginary six-and-a-half-foot-tall rabbit. To avoid future embarrassment for her family—and especially for her daughter, Myrtle Mae—Veta decides to have Elwood committed to a sanitarium. At the sanitarium, a frantic Veta explains to the staff that her years of living with Elwood’s hallucination have caused her to see Harvey also, and so the doctors mistakenly commit her instead of her mild-mannered brother. The truth comes out, however, but it seems that Elwood and his invisible companion have had a strange influence on more than a few people! Only at the end does Veta realize that maybe Harvey isn’t so bad after all. Harvey premiered on Broadway on November 1, 1944, at the 48th Street Theatre and closed on January 15, 1949, after 1,775 performances. Since then, it has become one of the most successful and popular plays, with several adaptations for film and television, most notably the 1950 film version starring James Stewart.

Karrie has a life-long history with rabbits. “Our family grew up in Edson, a small town in west-central Alberta,” she explains. “When I was a child, my father built a pen and filled it with rabbits for my sister and me to enjoy as playmates. It was a joyous time in my life.”

Karrie’s first encounter with Harvey was through a college production during her freshman year. “I was involved as costume manager,” she recalls. “I knew then I would be involved in theatre for the rest of my life.” Since then, she’s had the opportunity to direct the play on several occasions and is now excited to bring it to The Boutique stage. “I haven’t had the experience to collaborate with most of the cast, so this has been a wonderful journey of bringing out the best from each and every one of them. They have to know who they are and why they are choosing to do what they are doing.” 

Harvey opens Friday, April 5 at 6 pm, with additional performances on April 6, 12, 13, 19 & 20 at 6 pm, and on April 7, 14 & 21 at 2 pm. Evening performances include a dinner option at 5 pm. Cast members include Stan Allen, Alice Averett, Thomas Carroll, Lydia Damato, Carlo Gagliano, Cat Meders, Miana Melendez, Brandon Miller, Jon Scott and Frank Harrison as Elwood P. Dowd.

Paco Ojeda is The Boutique Community Theatre’s Publicity Manager. A Puerto Vallarta-based freelance communicator, he writes news and stories for Puerto Vallarta’s English-speaking community at his blog, paco-ojeda.com.

Odds and Ends at The Boutique

Due to an unexpected scheduling change, we are able to present two additional performances of Sol Rose’s Sol 60s style variety show paying homage to the musical legacy of American singer, musician, dancer, actor, vaudevillian and comedian Sammy Davis, Jr. Using videos, storytelling and 14 classic songs from Davis’ repertoire, Sol covers important aspects of his life, from racism and related controversies to his conversion to Judaism. Songs included in the show include What Kind of Fool Am I, I Gotta Be Me, Mr. Bojangles and many more. March 29 & 30. Sol Rose’s other show, Stop The World, I Want To Get Off has its final performance on March 28.

As a special invitation for students to discover the music of Andrew Lloyd Webber, our Sunday, March 24 matinee performance of Love Changes Everything, featuring some of the composer’s most popular songs, will be free of charge to students presenting a valid school ID.

This coming week’s performance of I’m Playing Me! A Modern ‘Broad-ville’ Cabaret, starring Kami Desilets, will take place on Monday, March 25 at 9 pm, instead of 6 pm. Meet Kami up close and personal while she performs some of your favourite broadway characters; some characters you forgot about, and some characters you’ll meet for the first time. With the help of costume additions, wardrobe changes, and a voice that can blow your eardrums or sing you to sleep, each song will introduce you to a completely different personality.

Dinner and a Movie takes a break this weekend, returning Sunday, March 31 with a screening of Mary and Max, an award-winning 2009 Australian stop motion animated comedy-drama film written and directed by Adam Elliot in which an 8 year-old Australian girl develops a decades-long pen pal relationship with a cantankerous 40-something New Yorker in his 40s.

Dinner and a Movie continues during the month of April with the following screenings:

  • Sunday, April 7: The Stepford Wives (2004)
  • Sunday, April 14: Victoria & Abdul (2017)
  • Tuesday, April 23: Koyaanisqatsi (1982), with music by Philip Glass
  • Tuesday, April 30: The Hours (2002), with music by Philip Glass

The last two film screenings in April are a complement to Paco Ojeda’s Music Appreciation Presentation, The Music of Philip Glass, to take place on April 18 at 6 pm.

Paco Ojeda is The Boutique Community Theatre’s Publicity Manager. A Puerto Vallarta-based freelance communicator, he writes news and stories for Puerto Vallarta’s English-speaking community at his blog, paco-ojeda.com.