Twin Beach Players pull a rabbit out of their hat

The timeless classic comedy in three acts, Harvey, written by Mary Chase, was produced on Broadway in November of 1944, directed by Antoinette Perry (of the “Tony” awards fame). The 1950 Hollywood movie starred Jimmy Stewart. Harvey received a successful run with Twin Beach Players (TBP) all-youth cast at the North Beach Community Center from June 20-29.

Making her directorial debut was Annie Gorenflo, an accomplished actress in her own right, having recently been seen as Molly in the TBP production of Agatha Christie’s Mousetrap. She assembled a talented ensemble of young actors for this production, presented by special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc. NY. She greeted the Sunday matinee audience on June 29 with welcoming remarks, stating that this was the biggest audience of the run for this, the final performance.

Familiar to many audiences is the story of Elwood P. Dowd who has an imaginary friend named Harvey – a 6’ tall white rabbit (or is it 6 and ½’?) invisible to all but Elwood. When Elwood starts introducing Harvey to his social-climbing sister Veta’s friends during an afternoon party designed to marry off her daughter Myrtle Mae, Veta finally decides that the time has come to have Elwood committed to the insane asylum.

Hilarity ensues.

The youthful exuberance and enthusiasm of the cast were the driving forces of the production through spot-on characterizations. Most all of the speaking voices projected well, aided by walking mikes.

The play opens in the library of the Dowd family mansion in a city in the Far West, in the present. Playing the role of Veta was Marina Beeson who displayed a bubbly, musically expressive speaking voice quality with ringing tones that “pinged” throughout the hall. She brought this character to life through her animated and vivacious stage presence and fluttery mannerisms.  Miss Beeson is a veteran performer with TBP and was recently seen as Fruma Sarah in Northern High School’s production of Fiddler on the Roof.

Portraying her daughter Myrtle Mae was appealing ingénue Abby Petersen, remembered for her role as Alice in TBP’s The Best Christmas Pageant Ever in December of 2013. She is a veteran of 10 TBP productions.

And here we met Cameron Walker as the quirky, sincere, and ultra-polite Elwood, who convincingly “sees” Harvey. Cameron has been

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