THE PHAMILY PERFORMS THE "ELEPHANT MAN"
The Elephant Man, a Tony award winning play by Bernard Pomerance, was first performed in London in 1977, and the same historical episode became the basis of a successful 1980 film starring John Hurt. It's the true story of Joseph Merrick, a terribly disfigured yet sensitive and intelligent man who is displayed as a carnival freak, and then rescued by a doctor --only to be more subtly exploited by Victorian society.
Both the cast and the subject of the play make us question our own assumptions about the limitations of the differently abled. PHAMALY is known for declaring in the program the disability of each cast member -- and then defying our expectations (or lack of same) as we settle into the world of the play. In this case, the themes that emerge concerning our ability to see past appearances, to find beauty in difference and move past pity and condescension toward the Other, resonate strongly. The performances are quite strong and even fearless, particularly those of Daniel Traylor in the title role, Mark Drissette as Dr.Treves and Lucy Roucis as socialite Mrs. Kendal, who elicits much of what is graceful and stunning in Merrick.
The show is playing at the Aurora Fox Arts Center through Saturday, February 4, and then moves to the Arvada Center. This Sunday's performance will be followed by a Q&A session with the actors, so get your tickets early for the best seats.
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