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Classic Play 'Harvey' Kicks Off Saturday

The production will run Aug. 4-5 and Aug. 11-12 in Tampa Palms.

New Tampa isn’t exactly the Bay Area’s mecca for entertainment options, obviously.

Yet the Collective Soles Arts Group is kicking off what it says is a high-quality arts production this weekend right here in Tampa Palms. “Harvey,” the 1945 Pulitzer Prize-winning work by Mary Chase, will kick of a four-show run at the on Saturday.

“The play is hilarious,” said Tracy L. Crews, a director who oversees musical theater at Jansen. “It’s definitely family friendly.”

Collective Soles is the nonprofit arm of Jansen, which is at 5330 Primrose Lake Circle. Harvey marks the first official performance at the Black Box Theater.

Crews said she hopes such performances at the theater will help fill a void for New Tampa residents.

“Maybe they don’t want to go far but they still want to be entertained,” she said. “It’s so nice to go around the corner as opposed to driving 35 to 40 minutes.”

“Harvey” tells the story of Elwood P. Dowd, a well-known fellow in his town whose best friend is a 6-foot-tall pooka rabbit named Harvey. “A hilarious comedy of errors ensues when Elwood’s sister played by local comic Carmen Lusignan, decides to have Elwood committed to the local sanitarium,” according to the Collective Sales marketing material.

Area actor Andrew Blizzard plays Elwood in the play. He discusses the most difficult aspects of his role in a promotional video for the production.

“I have had to tap into my inner child and have that innocence and naivete but still be able to have the awareness of everything that’s going on and the knowledge,” he said. “It’s been very trying but it’s going really well.” 

Blizzard also said he is excited about JDP Black Box.

“It’s a new theater and I fully support the arts,” he said. “It’s very brave (of them) to do this now but I think it will succeed.”

SHOW INFORMATION

Where: JDP Black Box Theater, 5330 Primrose Lake Circle

When: Saturday, Aug. 4 at 7 p.m.; Sunday, Aug. 5 at 2 p.m.; Saturday, Aug. 11 at 7 p.m.; Sunday, Aug. 12 at 2 p.m.

Price: $18 for adults; $15 for students and seniors

Ticket information: Call 813-787-4902 to reserve your tickets.

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