First Nighter: Bradley Cooper in Bernard Pomerance's "The Elephant Man"

December 11, 2014 7:42 PM

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While reading this generally favorable review of The Elephant Man, the revival of Bernard Pomerance's 1979 play--at the Booth (where it first played) and brought in from the 2012 Williamstown Theatre Festival--bear in mind that the title character (played extremely well by Bradley Cooper) isn't seen until after Frederick Treves (Alessandro Nivola, also extremely strong in his part) is introduced.

Treves is the surgeon who rescued the actual malformed Merrick from his dismal existence as a carnival attraction and gave the abused man a home at London Hospital for the last years of his short life (1862-1890). In Pomerance's script, the good doctor--eventually accorded the title of baronet for h...

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