Bradley Cooper's Broadway Return in 'The Elephant Man' Delayed

9:50 AM PST 07/09/2014 by David Rooney
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Bradley Cooper, Patricia Clarkson and Alessandro Nivola

Dates of the highly anticipated revival, which also stars Patricia Clarkson and Alessandro Nivola, have been pushed back a month due to scheduling conflicts.

NEW YORK — The starry Broadway revival of Bernard Pomerance's Tony-winning play The Elephant Man has been delayed due to scheduling conflicts.

Bradley Cooper, Patricia Clarkson and Alessandro Nivola headline the production, which is one of the most eagerly anticipated entries of Broadway's fall season. Directed by Scott Ellis, it now begins previews Nov. 7 at the Booth Theatre, with official opening night moved to Sunday, Dec. 7, almost a month after its originally announced date.

The limited engagement had initially been scheduled to run through Jan. 18 but will now close on Feb. 15 to accommodate the date change. No specific reason was given for the delay.

The Elephant Man is based on the life of John Merrick, a 19th century British man whose severe deformities landed him on the traveling freak-show circuit until a London doctor discovered the brilliant mind hidden beneath his grotesque appearance. But his subsequent welcome into Victorian society brought a new set of complex problems.

Pomerance's play won three Tony Awards in its original 1979 Broadway production, for best play, direction and lead actress, Carole Shelley. Merrick's tragic life story was also adapted into a 1980 David Lynch film that starred John Hurt, Anthony Hopkins and Anne Bancroft.

The revival marks Cooper's return to Broadway for the first time since making his debut in 2006 in Richard Greenberg's Three Days of Rain, opposite Julia Roberts and Paul Rudd.

Originally staged at the 2012 Williamstown Theatre Festival, the new production also features Anthony Heald, Scott Lowell, Kathryn Meisle and Henry Stram. James L. Nederlander is producing.

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