When a Grown Man Has an Invisible Friend
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Published in: March-April 2013 issue.


THE QUEEREST SHOW on Broadway in the summer of 2012 didn’t feature drag queens, buff chorus boys, or lesbian love songs. Instead, audiences attuned to the codes of same-sex relationships may have been surprised to find the delightful zing of transgression in an old-fashioned chestnut about the love between an amiable alcoholic and a six-foot-tall invisible rabbit.

Mary Chase’s Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy Harvey was one of the biggest stage hits of the 1940s, and its popularity endures thanks to the much-beloved 1950 film version starring Jimmy Stewart as the main character, a lovable lush named Elwood P. Dowd whose best friend is an enormous rabbit named Harvey. While Harvey has always been a delightful ode to the virtues of nonconformity, audiences at the recent revival by the Roundabout Theatre Company might have experienced the play as the story a male couple who triumph over the family and society that disapprove of their relationship.

At the center of this queer tale was a winning performance by Jim Parsons, best known to television audiences as the brilliant and arrogant physicist Dr. Sheldon Cooper on the hit sit-com The Big Bang Theory.

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