Van Pattens Join Durning in Cast of Broadway-Bound Harvey at Laguna Playhouse

News   Van Pattens Join Durning in Cast of Broadway-Bound Harvey at Laguna Playhouse
Joyce and Dick Van Patten join the cast of the Broadway-bound production of Mary Chase's Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy Harvey at California's Laguna Playhouse. The Van Pattens join the previously announced Charles Durning in the production directed by Charles Nelson Reilly.

Harvey will play at California's Laguna Playhouse, July 8-Aug. 31, prior to its pre-Broadway engagement at Boston's Wang Center, Sept. 9-23. The show is expected to reach Broadway sometime in the fall, according to production spokespersons. Don Gregory produces.

Chase's comedy follows the story of a man who befriends a 6-foot-3-inch rabbit that only he can see. Harvey originally played on Broadway at the 48th Street Theatre, opening Nov. 1, 1944. The production, helmed by Tony Awards namesake Antoinette Perry, played 1,775 performances before closing Jan. 15, 1949. The Pulitzer winner was adapted for the screen in 1950 and starred James Stewart.

Reilly (of "Match Game" fame) has directed Broadway productions of The Belle of Amherst, Paul Robeson, Break a Leg, The Nerd and most recently The Gin Game with Harvey star Durning. (Dick Cavett, who had been previously announced to star opposite Durning, is no longer with the project.)

Durning will star in the lead role of Elwood P. Dowd. The actor won a Tony Award for his portrayal inCat on a Hot Tin Roof. Among his other numerous Broadway credits include Gore Vidal's The Best Man, Inherit the Wind and That Championship Season.

Joyce Van Patten — who will play Dowd's aunt — made her Broadway debut in Love’s Old Sweet Song at the age of five with her older brother Dick. The actress has also starred on Broadway in Same Time, Next Year, I Ought to Be in Pictures, Brighton Beach Memoirs, Jake's Women and Taller Than A Dwarf. Other credits include "The Danny Kaye Show," "The Mary Tyler Moore Hour," "I Love You Alice B. Toklas," "St. Elmo's Fire" and "The Bad News Bears." Dick Van Patten — who will take on sanitarium director Dr. Chumley — is perhaps best known for his role as the father on television's "Eight is Enough." The actor has appeared on Broadway in The Skin of Our Teeth, Decision, The Wind Is Ninety, A Very Rich and Thieves.

A third Van Patten family member, James — Dick's son — also plays in the cast that includes William H. Bassett, Jack Betts, Leslie Easterbrook, Pamela Gordon, Stephen O'Mahoney, Erica Shaffer and Jill Van Velzer.

Tickets to the Laguna run of Harvey will be available for individual sales, June 15. Subscribers can currently purchase their seats. For more information, call (949) 497-2787 or visit

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