Booth Theatre, Home to The Elephant Man Starring Bradley Cooper, Receives 19th-Century Makeover | Playbill

News Booth Theatre, Home to The Elephant Man Starring Bradley Cooper, Receives 19th-Century Makeover
The Booth Theatre, which will be home to the Broadway revival of The Elephant Man, has been decorated to resemble a Victorian-era circus sideshow, the Daily News reports.

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

The production, which stars Academy Award nominee Bradley Cooper as Joseph Merrick, will begin performances Nov. 7 prior to an official opening Dec. 7. The revival of Bernard Pomerance's Tony Award-winning 1979 play will continue through Feb. 15, 2015.

The idea to decorate the theatre came from Cooper, the Daily News reports. Drew Hodges, president of SpotCo, the advertising agency handling the show, told the Daily News, "Bradley called me and said, 'I have this idea of making the world of the theater the way it would have been in Merrick’s time.' He wanted to make (the Booth) feel like one of the attractions of that time."

The Daily News reports that the theatre will feature artwork reminiscent of a 19th-century circus sideshow, with movable period lamp posts on the sidewalk and vintage light bulbs featured on the marquees.

Cooper, an Academy Award nominee for "Silver Linings Playbook" and who previously appeared on Broadway in Three Days of Rain, did not want photos of himself on the theatre to advertise the play, Ellis told The Daily News.

Starring alongside Cooper, who previously appeared as the titular Elephant Man at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in 2012, are 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. They will be joined by Anthony Heald (Ross/Bishop Walsham How), Scott Lowell (Snork/Pinhead Manager/Lord John), Kathryn Meisle (Miss Sandwich/Princess) and Henry Stram (Carr Gomm/Conductor). Chris Bannow, Peter Bradbury, Lucas Calhoun, Eric Clem, Amanda Lea Mason, Marguerite Stimpson and Emma Thorne complete the cast.

Scott Ellis, who directed the Williamstown production, will direct.

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.

The Elephant Man will have scenic and projection design by Timothy R. Mackabee, costume design by Clint Ramos, lighting design by Philip S. Rosenberg and original music and sound design by John Gromada.

The Elephant Man will be produced on Broadway by James L. Nederlander, Terry Allen Kramer, Catherine Adler, Roger Berlind, Caiola Productions, Patrick Catullo, Roy Furman, Larry Hirschhorn, Jeffrey Finn Productions, Van Kaplan, Edward M. Kaufmann, Hal Luftig, Arielle Tepper Madover, Peter May, Stephanie P. McClelland, The Shubert Organization, Douglas Smith, Jonathan M. Tisch, Harvey Weinstein, Scott & Brian Zeilinger.

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