Remember the movie "The Tall Guy," with Jeff Goldblum as an American musical theatre performer sucked into a cheesy British megamusical based on - of all things - the story of the Elephant Man?
Possibly not. But the same subject matter, created in the similar musical theatre world of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Cameron Mackintosh, feeds The Elephant Man - The Musical, running Fridays from May 5 at Rose's Turn's upstairs space. Previously, the musical filled the theatre's Monday night slot.
A camp fest, Elephant Man pictures John Merrick (as the Elephant Man was really named), who, although hideously deformed, dreams of one thing -- musical comedy stardom. He is rescued from his freak show home by Dr. Lipscomb and his sexy assistant, Jessica Curvey. Lipscomb, a closet playwright, supplementing his income by penning medical romances, finds his true calling by creating a theatre piece for Merrick entitled Pakky Derm, Superstar. Curvey, on the hand, long a victim of an aversion to a certain piece of male anatomy, learns to love -- or at least have sex -- from Merrick.
Songs in the score include "(Don't Be Scared of) Moby," "Il Pepe Rivoltante (The Penis Aria)," "Paleface Must Die," "The Scene That's A Song," and the "Pakky Medley," which features performances by a mock Nathan Lane and Mandy Patinkin.
Kenneth Dine stars as Lipscomb with D.P. Duffy III as the Elephant Man and Jennifer Morris as Curvey. Elephant Man co-writer Jeff Hylton is Horace and the Mackintosh take-off, Presby Raincoat. James Riggs directed and designed the show. Music is by Hylton and Paul Jones with lyrics by Hylton and a book by Hylton and Tim Werenko. Anne Holland is the musical director and show accompanist.
Tickets are $5 with a two drink minimum. Upstair's at Rose's Turn is located at 55 Grove Street. For reservations, call (212) 388-2826. The Elephant Man is on the web at http://www.elephantmansings.com.
-- By Christine Ehren