The Valley Playhouse is proud to present Harvey, classic comedy that has been delighting audiences for sixty-eight years. Harvey opened on November 1, 1944 at the 48th Street Theater on Broadway and closed 5 years later. Since 1750, Harvey is the sixth longest running play on Broadway, and remains one of the most popular and successful plays produced by professional and nonprofessional theaters. Mary Coyle Chase received the Pulitzer Prize in Drama for Harvey in 1945.
Mary Coyle Chase was the only individual from Colorado to win a Pulitzer Prize and she was the fourth woman to receive this prestigious award. She was born Mary Coyle in Denver, Colorado in 1906, the youngest of four children. She spent two years studying at the University of Colorado at Boulder and University of Denver without getting a degree before she started a career in journalism in 1923 at the Denver Times and the Rocky Mountain News. She initially covered the society pages for the Rocky Mountain News, and then became a feature editor. She married fellow journalist Robert Chase in 1928 and left the RMN in 1931 to raise a family and began writing plays.
Mary’s first play Me Third was produced by the Depression-era Works Progress Administration (WPA) and was performed in Denver, Los Angelos, San Francisco, and San Berandino. It was renamed Now You’ve Done It and ran three weeks on Broadway. Her second play Chi House was renamed Sorority House and turned into a film by RKO Pictures in 1939. Her third play was the now-classic Harvey. Mary wrote 14 plays, two children’s novels, and one screen play in addition to working on the Rocky Mountain Times for seven years.
In 1950, Harvey was made into a film starring Jimmy Stewart as Elwood P. Dowd by Universal Studios, and Jimmy Stewart’s performance is considered one of his best. Mary Chase collaborated on the screen play and was paid $1,000,000 for the film rights, a vast sum at the time. Josephine Hull won the Oscar and Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress for the role of Veta Louse Simmons, the role she originated on Broadway. Harvey been ranked 35 out of 100 on the American Film Institutes 100 Years … 100 Laughs. It is ranked in the top 10 of AFI’s film classics and #7 out of 10 among fantasy films.
Harvey the rabbit has become part of cinema and theater lore. Harvey has been referenced in Two and A Half Men: Sleep Tight Puddin’ Pop, The Simpsons: Beyond Blusterdome, The Shawshank Redemption, Field of Dreams, Desk Set, A Beautiful Mind, and Bedtimes for Bongo.
Harvey will run Thursdays – Saturdays, June 7 – 9 and June 14 – 16 at 8 pm and Sundays June 10 and 17 at 3 pm at Court Square Theater. Tickets are $12, $10 for seniors and groups of 10 or more. Thursday, June 14 is “Pay What You Will Night”. On Sunday, June 17 bring your father for free in honor of Father’s Day.
For more information on Harvey and Mary Chase, please see the website There’s Something About Mary.