The Elephant Man
by Bernard Pomerance
directed by Lisa Mallette
March 17-April 17, 2016. Winner of the 1979 Tony Award for Best Play.
See photos from the show. Scroll down for performance details and special events.
Why you should see The Elephant Man
Because it’s a timeless drama about how society treats people seen as “other.”
Because the cast is a Who’s Who of luminaries in the South Bay theater community.
Because costume designer Pat Tyler won a Theatre Bay Area award for Amadeus, and she’s only gotten better.
Because Merrick is one of the most physically and emotionally demanding roles around. And George Psarras still has the bandwidth left over to compose original music for the show.
Based on the true story of John Merrick, a young man in Victorian England afflicted with a disfiguring neurological disease, The Elephant Man is a glorious testament to the human spirit. Trapped within his body, a scorned and helpless Merrick is taken in by celebrated young physician Frederick Treves, who gives him medical care and introduces him to the pleasures of London society. As he becomes a favorite of the intelligentsia and aristocracy, Merrick’s triumphant redemption teaches that beauty lies within. But is that enough for a man who longs more than anything to be “normal”?
What people are saying about our production
“Within minutes of the play’s beginning, it is clear to the hushed audience that City Lights Theater Company has cast a John Merrick who can stand up to the best of those who have won accolades and awards in the past 25+ years for this most difficult stage role. … George Psarras commands the stage and the awed attention of all.” –Eddie Reynolds, Talkin’ Broadway
“Max Tachis fascinatingly captures the contradictions and inner conflicts of the self-satisfied and successful young doctor who’s too besotted with his own benevolence to see how patronizing and controlling he is. George Psarras is terribly touching as the lonely and suffering Merrick, who soon displays a philosophical bent that often cuts through the Victorian propriety of caretakers who insist on treating him like a child.” –Sam Hurwitt, The Mercury News
John Merrick: George Psarras*
Frederick Treves: Max Tachis
Mrs. Kendal: Kristin Brownstone
Ross/Bishop Walsham How: Tom Gough
Carr Gomm/Conductor: Jay Steele
Lord John/Will Porter/Pinhead Manager: Brandon Blum
Snork/Belgian Policeman: Nick Mandracchia
Miss Sandwich/Princess: Karen DeHart
Ensemble/Pinhead/Countess: Mary Lou Torre
Ensemble/Pinhead/Duchess: Ivette Deltoro
Ensemble/Policeman: Keenan Flagg
*Member, Actors’ Equity Association
Learn more about the world of The Elephant Man in our Highlights dramaturgy guide. Who were the real Dr. Treves and Mrs. Kendal? Would you want to walk alone late at night in Whitechapel? And what’s life like as a costume designer? Read on, friends.
More information and special events
The Elephant Man runs March 17-April 17, 2016: Thurs.-Sat. at 8 p.m. and Sun. at 2 p.m. One Wed. performance, at 7:30 p.m. April 13. (No shows on March 20 & 27.) This production is about two hours long, with a 15-minute intermission.
Tickets: $17-$32. Discounts for seniors, students, educators and groups of 10+. ($2 surcharge for phone and in-person purchases; closing weekend is also subject to a $2 increase.)
We are currently adding a $2 facility fee to non-student tickets to help cover maintenance and upgrade costs on our aging building. Thank you for your support!
Parking and seating:
Parking is provided for $5 on most dates across the street at Notre Dame High School (call for availability for your performance). View an interactive parking map of downtown San Jose. Seating is general admission, and the theater is wheelchair-accessible.
Thursday, March 17: Pay-What-You-Can-Night. Friday, March 18: Preview Night ($17).
Saturday, March 19: Opening Night celebration: $35 general, $30 seniors/educators, $17 students.
Sunday, April 10: A talkback with the director and cast following the 2 p.m. matinee.
Saturday, April 2: Support the College of Adaptive Arts, our nonprofit partner for this production, by attending the 8 p.m. April 2 performance of The Elephant Man. We’ll donate 25% of the proceeds from this performance’s regular-priced single tickets to the organization. Come up on stage afterward to meet the cast and students from CAA!