Harvey, better known as the film version starring James Stewart, is the story of an alcoholic who’s best friend is an invisible six foot three and a half inch tall rabbit. The simple minded but kind hearted Elwood P. Dowd, played in the current revival by Jim Parsons, stumbles through life dispensing mayhem and wisdom in equal measure. Elwood’s insistence on politely introducing anyone and everyone to Harvey and then suggesting they go for a drink causes nothing but embarrassment for his sister and niece who only want to fit in with polite society. So they do what any loving family would do under the circumstances, they attempt to have him committed to an insane asylum, but locking away the lovable looser proves trickier than expected.
Elwood’s actions illuminate the arrogance, selfishness, and small-mindedness that surround us everyday simply by being nicer than anyone else in the room. He’s the blue print for all the truth telling fools to follow in his footsteps; Tom Hanks in forest Forrest Gump, Peter Sellers in Being There, and the most recent incarnation of the archetype: the fool who is too-smart-for-his-own-good Jim Parson’s own Sheldon in The Big Bang Theory.
Written in the early 1940‘s the script does an excellent job of satirizing it’s own time but it moves at a pace far to slow for an audience reared on sitcoms. So while Sheldon fans may thrill at seeing him on stage they may loose interest and leave before the second act. Which is a shame because that’s when things really get crazy.