Jim Parsons to Star in the New Broadway Production of ‘Harvey’

How cool is this? Jim Parsons will star as Elwood P. Dowd in the Roundabout Theatre Company’s production of Harvey.

Here’s the synopsis: “Elwood P. Dowd, Charming and kind, Elwood has only one character flaw:  an unwavering friendship with a 6-foot-tall, invisible white rabbit named Harvey.  In order to save the family’s social reputation, Elwood’s sister Veta (Jessica Hecht) takes Elwood to the local sanatorium. But when the doctors mistakenly commit his anxiety-ridden sister, Elwood — and Harvey—slip out of the hospital unbothered, setting off a hilarious whirlwind of confusion and chaos as everyone in town tries to catch a man and his invisible rabbit.”

The show, directed by Scott Ellis, will also star Jessica Hecht and Charles Kimbrough.

I remember when I was in 9th grade, our school did a production of Harvey and I played Wilson. From what I remember, he was some sort of handyman. No word on who is playing this pivotal role.

Performances of will begin on May 18th, 2012 with the official opening set for June 14th, 2012.  The limited engagement is scheduled to run through August 5th, 2012 to accommodate Parsons’ Big Bang Theory schedule.

Harveywas first on Broadway stage in 1944 and was directed by Antoinette Perry – who the Tony Award is named after. The play won the Pulitzer Prize for drama in 1944, and its initial run lasted for four years—1,775 performances.  James Stewart assumed the role of “Elwood” from Frank Fay in the 1944 production and originated the role in the 1970 production as well as the film adaptation in 1950.  Helen Hayes played “Veta” opposite Mr. Stewart in the 1970 production.

The cast and director biographies are below. 

JIM PARSONS (Elwood P. Dowd).  Two-time Emmy winner and Golden Globe® Award winner Jim Parsons continues to bring a winning combination of indelible charm, charisma and comedic timing to his roles on screen and on stage, establishing himself as one of Hollywood’s leading men.  In 2011 and in 2010, Parsons won an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series and in 2011 he won the Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Comedy or Musical for his hilarious work as Sheldon Cooper on CBS’s hit comedy “The Big Bang Theory.” He also received a People’s Choice nomination for Favorite TV Comedy Actor in 2011 and was recently nominated again in 2012. He also received the NAB Television Chairman’s Award, which honors significant breakthroughs in television, during the 2010 conference in Las Vegas. In addition, Parsons recently won the award for Best Actor in a Comedy Series by the Broadcast Television Journalists Association for its very first Critics’ Choice Television Awards.  Parsons received a Theatre World Award for his debut Broadway performance as Tommy Boatwright in The Normal Heart, starring opposite Ellen Barkin, John Benjamin Hickey, and Joe Mantello. The Normal Heart won a Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play and was presented with the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Revival of a Play and Outstanding Ensemble Performance.  The Normal Heart also received nominations from the Outer Critics Circle for Outstanding Revival of a Play, as well as five Tony Award nominations.  Parsons also guest starred in an episode of the hit Nickelodeon sitcom “iCarly” starring Miranda Cosgrove, during its fourth season.  He can also be seen in the critically acclaimed and box office hit film The Muppets currently in theaters.  In 2009, “The Big Bang Theory” won Best Television Comedy at the People’s Choice Award, was selected as an AFI nominee and also won the TCA award for Outstanding Achievement in Comedy.  Parsons has been nominated two years in a row (2009 and 2010) for the TCA Award for Individual Achievement in Comedy, in addition to winning the award in 2009.  TV GUIDE calls Parsons “a marvelous discovery, creating the most hysterical misfit since Monk.” “The Big Bang Theory” has helped CBS launch their Thursday night comedy line-up, regularly winning the night across all networks.  Additional film credits include David Frankel’s The Big Year, opposite Owen Wilson and Steve Martin, Todd Phillips School for Scoundrels opposite Billy Bob Thorton and Jon Heder as well as Chris Terrio’s Heights opposite Glenn Close and James Marsden for Merchant/Ivory. He has also created scene stealing roles in several independent films such as Zach Braff’s Garden State, Kevin Connolly’s Gardner of Eden and Danny Leiner’s The Great New Wonderful.  Parsons has performed in many stage productions including The Castle for the Manhattan Ensemble Theater, The Countess for the Globe Theater as well as The Tempest and As You Like It for the Houston Shakespeare Festival.  Parsons has earned a Masters in Fine Arts degree from the Old Globe Theater/University of San Diego and a BA from the University of Houston. He currently resides in Los Angeles.

JESSICA HECHT (Veta Louise Simmons) just completed filming The English Teacher, a comedy with Julianne Moore, Greg Kinnear, and Nathan Lane.  She portrays the famous anarchist “Emma Goldman” in J. Edgar with Leonardo DiCaprio for director Clint Eastwood for Warner Brothers.  She will be seen in 2012 with Morgan Freeman in The Summer of Monte Wildhorn directed by Rob Reiner and as Jonah Hill’s mother in The Sitter for 20th Century Fox.  Her other films include Helena From the Wedding an ensemble drama from Beech Hill Films and appeared in Fair Game with Naomi Watts and Sean Penn, The Winning Season opposite Sam Rockwell, My Soul to Take directed by horror master Wes Craven.  She also appeared with Larry David in Woody Allen’s Whatever Works, Dan in Real Life with Steve Carrell, Starting out in the Evening with Frank Langella, Sideways with Paul Giamatti, The Forgotten with Julianne Moore, and The Grey Zone directed by Tim Blake Nelson.  Ms. Hecht’s television work is extensive and most recently includes the HBO pilot “Spring/Fall”; a recurring role opposite Ted Danson on “Bored to Death” as well as a recurring role on the Emmy nominated cable hit “Breaking Bad”(AMC) opposite Bryan Cranston.  Well known for her 5 season recur as “Susan” on “Friends” (NBC), she starred with Jonathan Silverman in “The Single Guy” (NBC) and with Joan Cusack in “What about Joan?” (ABC) created by James Brooks.  Equally adept in drama or comedy, her many memorable performances include appearances on “The Good Wife”, “Nurse Jackie”, “CSI”, “Medium”, “ER”, “Law & Order”, “Law & Order” SVU”, “Homicide: Life on the Street”, “Seinfeld” and “Jesse Stone: Thin Ice” with Tom Selleck.  Ms. Hecht completed her eighth season at the world famous Williamstown Theatre Festival where she performed as “Blanche” opposite Sam Rockwell’s “Stanley” in Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire, directed by David Cromer.  One of New York’s most respected stage actors, Jessica is proud to have been nominated for the 2010 Tony Award for her performance as “Beatrice” in Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge in which she starred with fellow nominees Liev Schreiber and Scarlett Johanssen.  She recently appeared in the revival of Neil Simon’s award winning play Brighton Beach Memoirs.  Her other Broadway credits include Arthur Miller’s After the Fall (Roundabout Theatre Company), Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar opposite Denzel Washington and the world premiere of the Tony Award winning The Last Night of Ballyhoo.  Her many Off-Broadway starring roles include Three Sisters with Maggie Gyllenhaal (Classic Stage Co.), Make Me (Atlantic Theater), The House in Town (Lincoln Center) Stop, Kiss (The Public), Lobster Alice and Plunge (Playwrights Horizons), Flesh and Blood (N.Y. Theater Workshop) and The Fourth Sister (Vineyard Theatre).   Jessica lives in New York with her husband, Adam Bernstein, and two wonderful children, Stella and Carlo.

CHARLES KIMBROUGH (William R. Chumley, M.D.) NY Philharmonic: My Fair Lady. Encores: No, No Nanette.  Select Broadway: The Merchant of Venice, Accent on Youth, HayFever, Sunday in the Park…, Company (Tony Nomination), Cop-Out, Candide, Same Time, Next Year; The Water Engine. Off-Broadway: The Fourth Wall, Tartuffe, Sylvia, Later Life, Drinks Before Dinner, All in Love. TV: “Murphy Brown” (Emmy Nomination), “Ally McBeal,” “The Nanny,” “Family Guy,” “The Love Boat – The Next Wave,” “The Recovery Room,” “Concealed Enemies,” “Kojak.”  Film: Marci X, The Wedding Planner, The Good Mother, Switching Channels.

SCOTT ELLIS (Director).Broadway: Curtains (Tony nom.), The Little Dog Laughed (Drama League nom.), Steel Pier (Tony nom.; DD, OCC awards).  For Roundabout Theatre Company: Twelve Angry Men (Tony, DD noms., OCC and DD awards, Best Revival), The Man Who Had All the Luck, The Boys From Syracuse, The Rainmaker, 1776 (Drama Desk, Tony nom., Best Director), She Loves Me (Tony nom.; DD, OCC awards), Picnic (OCC nom.), Company, A Month in the Country.  London: She Loves Me (Olivier Award). Off-Broadway: Gruesome Playground Injuries, The Understudy, Streamers; Good Boys and True; Entertaining Mr. Sloane; The Waverly Gallery; The Dog Problem; That Championship Season; Dark Rapture; And the World Goes ’Round: The Songs of Kander and Ebb (DD, OCC awards); and Flora, the Red Menace (DD nom). NYC Opera: 110 in the Shade, A Little Night Music (also L.A. Opera). TV: “Modern Family,” “Two Broke Girls,” “Frasier,” “30 Rock” (Emmy nom., Best Director), “Weeds” (Executive Producer), “The Good Wife,” “Hung,” “The Closer.” Mr. Ellis is the Associate Artistic Director of Roundabout Theatre Company.

2 Comments

  1. Bill McDonough via Facebook

    November 29, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    Hmmmmm………… When I hear ‘New’ I get nervous…..

  2. Daily Actor via Facebook

    November 29, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    Yeah, I thought it would be a revival. I hope by ‘new’ they don’t set it in the present.

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