Bradley Cooper Will Return to Broadway in The Elephant Man This Fall; Patricia Clarkson, Alessandro Nivola to Co-Star

By Adam Hetrick
23 Jan 2014

Bradley Cooper in The Elephant Man
Bradley Cooper in The Elephant Man
Photo by T. Charles Erickson

A Broadway revival of The Elephant Man, starring two-time Academy Award nominee Bradley Cooper, will bow on Broadway this fall at a Shubert theatre to-be-announced, producer James L. Nederlander confirmed Jan. 23.

Cooper ("Silver Linings Playbook, "American Hustle") previously appeared as John Merrick (the titular Elephant Man) in the Bernard Pomerance drama at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in 2012. Scott Ellis, who directed the Williamstown production, will also stage the Broadway return of the 1979 play.

The Broadway revival will also feature original Williamstown stars Patricia Clarkson ("Pieces of April," "Far from Heaven") as Mrs. Kendal and Alessandro Nivola (The Winslow Boy, A Month in the Country) as Dr. Fredrik Treves. 

Cooper made his Broadway debut in the 2006 production of Three Days of Rain.



Here's how the classic is billed: "From a desperate existence in a Victorian freak show to his days as the toast of London high society, the life of John Merrick, the Elephant Man, has fascinated the world for well over a century. Though his disfigurement brought notoriety, it was his unblemished inner humanity that most astonished those around him, compelling examinations of their own prejudices and beliefs. Shattering our illusions of normalcy, The Elephant Man by Bernard Pomerance weaves Merrick's tale into a parable on beauty, innocence, and human dignity."

The Elephant Man premiered on Broadway in 1979 with Philip Anglim in the title role. Anglim earned a Best Actor Tony Award nomination, and the play was awarded the Tony for Best Play that season. A 2002 revival starred Billy Crudup, who was also Tony-nominated for his work.