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Broadway Rumor Report

Thu 17 Nov 2011 return to previous page

Harvey: will Jim Parsons star in Broadway revival?

Jim Parsons'
Jim Parsons

The New York Times reports that Emmy Award-winning actor Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory) is in talks with the Roundabout Theatre Company about returning to Broadway to star as 'Elwood P. Dowd' in a revival of Mary Chase's Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy Harvey.

Parsons made his Broadway debut in the Spring of 2011 starring as young gay activist 'Tommy Boatwright' in the Tony Award winning production of Larry Kramer's 'The Normal Heart.'

According to the report the revival of Harvey will go ahead contingent upon Parsons' film schedule in the TV series "The Big Bang Theory," in which he plays the socially awkward theoretical physicist 'Sheldon Cooper.'

Representatives for Jim Parsons and the Roundabout Theatre Company declined to comment to the NY Times when asked to confirm the story.

The comedy is about the amiable, but eccentric, Elwood P. Dowd whose best friend is an invisible six-foot-tall rabbit named Harvey, whom only Elwood can see. Elwood lives with his sister (Veta) and niece (Myrtle) and drives them to distraction as he insists on introducing Harvey to all and sundry. A comedy of errors ensues when Veta decides to have Elwood committed to a sanatorium.

Harvey premiered on Broadway in 1949, where it played for over four years and for 1775 performances. Directed by Antoinette Perry, it starred Frank Fay as 'Elwood P. Dowd' and Josephine Hull as 'Veta.'

A movie of the play was made in 1950, the screenplay written by Mary Chase and Oscar Brodney. Diretced by Henry Koster, the movie starred James Stewart as 'Elwood P. Dowd' and saw Josephine Hull reprise the role of 'Vera' for which she won both an Oscar and Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role.

Harvey was revived on Broadway in 1970. Directed by Stephen Porter, it starred James Stewart as 'Elwood P. Dowd' and Helen Hayes in a Tony nominated performance as 'Vera.'

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