Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Harvey Project published

Hey so I heard from playwright Dave Ulrich the other day. He's the guy who penned 'The Harvey Project,' a play in which I originated the title role a few years back. He's gotten around to publishing some older titles of his on Amazon, and asked me to write a review, so here it is. You can purchase the play for a mere $5 on Kindle!

The Harvey Project - Amazon review

I love this play, and not only because I had the privilege of appearing in the first-ever production of it. But, as such I had a lot of opportunity to think about Mr. Ulrich’s ideas and words, and the way he presented them, and I found as we went on that the piece reveals itself to be deeper over time, that you can peel back layer after layer of meaning if you pay attention.

When you are learning lines for a play, believe me, you read those pages over and over until you see them in your sleep. You give whatever play you’re working on--the characters, the story, the underlying meanings--a lot of thought, sometimes against your will. :-)

And what I found was that, especially for a young writer with not a tremendous amount of experience, Ulrich keeps the reader/audience engaged, and carries the weirdly intertwining stories along very gracefully.

I love the overlapping worlds he has created here--no spoilers, just read the damn thing; it’s only five bucks--and the philosophical questions he raises almost casually, almost elegantly, offhandedly.

But far from being some coldly tricksy, intellectual exercise, some smug treatise on existence and the absurdity of life, Ulrich has penned characters with heart and with emotion and with places they want to be, stories they want to tell. He has created real people that step up from the page. There is love here, and not of the schlocky, Hollywood-ized kind either, but rather that of real people with real conflicts and real problems.

While, to be honest there are a couple of transitions that are a bit awkward, and there are moments when the language gets a little clunky (hey, new playwright, remember?) overall it is a fun, and thoughtful ride with true depth and a solid if weird through-line.

I think ‘The Harvey Project’ is not only a great read, I would recommend it to schools and theatre companies as a show that will challenge actors, directors and audiences alike in terms of the material as well as the nuts and bolts of putting on a show set in a multi-verse.

Damn! There go the spoilers!

p.s. here's another piece by Dave which I haven't read yet, but which looks interesting.

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