|T. Charles Erickson|
Originally scheduled to begin Broadway previews Oct. 18 towards a Nov. 13 opening night, producers cited a scheduling conflict as the cause for the production delay. The Elephant Man will now officially open Dec. 7. The limited run will continue through Feb. 15, 2015.
Cooper ("Silver Linings Playbook, "American Hustle") previously appeared as John Merrick (the titular Elephant Man) in the Tony-winning 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 Academy Award nominee 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. Both Clarkson and Nivola appeared with Cooper in the Williamstown staging.
Here's how the production is billed: "The Elephant Man tells the story of a 19th-century British man (Cooper) whose severe disfigurement made him a star of the traveling freak show circuit. When the renowned Dr. Treves (Nivola) takes Merrick under his care at the London Hospital, he discovers that beneath this shocking exterior lies a brilliant mind and an unshakable faith. Soon all of Victorian high society becomes fascinated by Merrick, especially the beautiful actress Mrs. Kendal (Clarkson). But with his new life comes new complexity… and as Merrick's condition grows more severe, a 'normal' life begins to seem all but impossible."
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.
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