But, what happens if the best friend is a human-sized, imaginary rabbit named Harvey?
The University of Mary brings all these scenarios and more to life in Mary Chase's play "Harvey." This is the 1945 Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy that was made into a movie in 1950, with James Stewart giving what TV Guide regards as one of his finest performances as Elwood Dowd. The stage version of this hilarious story is no different, as Dowd deals with his sister and niece who all live together and are socially embarrassed by his 6-foot-3-inch "friend." They decide on a course of action for Dowd that they think will solve the problem. And of course, that is where the fun begins.
"This play, which was written during World War II, has a lot to say to us today about friendship, civility and laughter," notes director Bev Huschka, associate professor, communications. "Harvey is the best kind of friend, one who supports you, enjoys what you enjoy and encourages you to be your best; the friend many of us had as children. He doesn't need to be real, he ‘just is.'
"Mary Chase, the author of ‘Harvey,' believed in writing for the human spirit, she wanted her audiences to laugh. Hoping to bring laughter and respite to war-torn America, she set to work on the play and accomplished this, not only for her contemporaries, but for generations to come. Harvey opened on Broadway in 1944 to rave reviews and ran for four-and-a-half years with 1,755 performances, making it one of the longest-running shows in Broadway history. Chase received the Pulitzer Prize for ‘Harvey' as the best drama of the 1944-‘45 season. And the 1950 film version was also a great success. ‘Harvey' continues to ‘speak' to us.
"The cast of this production is full of talent and energy. They have worked hard to bring ‘Harvey' to life, and we hope the community turns out in force to get to know him, because, as Chase says, ‘You can never have too many friends.'"
Show dates and times are Thursday through Saturday, Nov. 11 through Nov. 13 at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday Nov. 14, at 2 p.m., in Arno Gustin Hall on the campus of the University of Mary.
Reserve your tickets now by calling (701) 355-8146. Tickets are $8 for adults, $4 for students and seniors.