CHS performers shine at Harvey and Coffeehouse



Freshman Izzy San Filippo (left), playing Nurse Ruth Kelly, sits and talks with junior Justin Longo’s Elwood P. Dowd at a Drama Club dress rehearsal of Harvey.

Kaitlyn Gallagher and Gracyn Austin

The CHS Drama Club took to the stage on Dec. 3-4, 2022 to perform Harvey, a play following the antics of a man and a 6-foot-tall rabbit. Taking place in the 1940s, the stage was set with vintage furniture and a flowery wallpaper backdrop.

Student actors portrayed eccentric characters that experience wild goose chases, unexpected romances and family drama.

Junior Justin Longo of Middletown played the lead role of Elwood P. Dowd, whose amiable and nonchalant personality contrasted with –– yet often caused –– the stress of other characters.

“I really liked the play selection this year,” Longo said. “I thought that it was a really interesting role to get to delve into.”

Sophomore Christie DeNicola of Tinton Falls, who played leading lady Veta Louise Simmons, enjoyed performing on stage opening night.

“I was a little nervous, but then I got up there and had so much fun with all the castmates,” DeNicola said. “It was honestly just a great experience.”

The play used humor while speaking on serious topics such as mental health and personal identity. It was received well by the audience, who appreciated the comedy of errors as well as more heartfelt performances.

Sophomore Abigail Davie of Howell attended the opening night and felt the delivery of the message was successful.

“It was talking a lot about embracing your true self,” Davie said. “It was a really good message.” Senior Lucy Battista of Tinton Falls directed the play with senior Delia Mullen of Wall as producer.

The two worked alongside 11 cast members (the invisible rabbit not included). As a first-time director, Battista was nervous about the outcome of the play. However, she was proud of the final product and credited its success to the hard work of the cast and crew.

“It felt scary because it was my first time ever doing something like this, but definitely very rewarding,” Battista said.