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Imagination and reality blur at New Dawn

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Veta Simmons (played by Marty Snowden), Elwood Dowd (Steven Miller) and Duane Wilson (Jay Croft) perform during New Dawn Theater’s production of “Harvey.” (Photo: Martin Gravely)

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From left to right, Cabbie E.J. Lofgren (played by Steve Werner), Elwood Dowd (Steven Miller) and Judge Omar Gafney (Chuck Mason) talk in Dr. Chumley’s institution during New Dawn Theater’s production of “Harvey.” (Special Photo: Martin Gravely)

IF YOU GO

• What: “Harvey”

• When: 8 p.m. today, runs through Oct. 27; dates and times vary

• Where: New Dawn Theater, 3087 Main St., Duluth

• Cost: $12 to $15

• For more information: Visit newdawntheatercompany.com

DULUTH — Harvey. How does one describe Harvey? Well, he’s 6 foot 3 and one half inches. He’s white. And he’s a rabbit.

During New Dawn Theater’s production of “Harvey,” only a few people see this seemingly invisible pooka, including Elwood Dowd (played by Steven Miller). The show hits the stage tonight.

Elwood introduces Harvey to everyone he meets. His social-climbing sister, Veta (Marty Snowden) and his niece Myrtle Mae (Brandy Garrow) find his behavior embarrassing. They don’t want to have friends over in case he makes an appearance.

After the two women have had enough of Elwood’s antics, they decided to have him committed to a sanitarium. That’s where things get really out of hand.

“I love this show,” said New Dawn’s Sherry Ingbritsen, who is on stage instead of in the director’s seat. “I did it years ago and Steve (Miller) played Elwood. I played Veta. It was so much fun to play Nurse Kelly because it was so different. It’s fun to play type — fun, sexy. It’s so much fun to get back on stage again because it’s been so many years.

“The show is a laugh riot. Most people know what ‘Harvey’ is, if they do, they’ll love what this is.”

With Ingbritsen in the show, actor-turned-director Marla Krohn has taken the helm. She is eager for audiences to see the production.

“It’s scary (to direct),” Krohn said. “But a director has a dream and a vision, then it’s the actors’ responsibility to do what the director brings forth. So, it’s exciting to see them bring it out.”

“Harvey” was written by Mary Chase and released in 1944. In 1945, she received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for the work. Since then, it has been adapted for film and television, including in 1950.

“I wanted to do this play because it’s so endearing and I love Jimmy Stewart, when I saw the movie (from ’50),” Krohn said. “It’s a small, intimate cast, which I like to work with and it’s got a very heart-warming story. It’s very clean with family and to the heart.”

The play is suitable for all ages and has a light-hearted message.

“I think it’s like a live your life now, quit worrying about what’s going to happen down the road or what has happened and enjoy what you have now,” Krohn said. “That’s what I wanted it to say. That’s what Elwood was trying to say.”

“Harvey” runs through Oct. 27.