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Bradley Cooper to reprise 'The Elephant Man' role this summer

UPI News Service, 04/16/2012 

Bradley Cooper is to star in the play "The Elephant Man" at New York's Williamstown Theatre Festival, Artistic Director Jenny Gersten said Monday.

The show, which also stars Patricia Clarkson, will be the final production of the festival's 2012 Nikos Stage Season. Written by Bernard Pomerance and directed by Scott Ellis, it is to run from July 25 through Aug. 5.

"From a desperate existence in a Victorian freak show to his days as the toast of London high society, the life of John Merrick, the Elephant Man, has fascinated the world for well over a century," a synopsis said. "Though his disfigurement brought notoriety, it was his unblemished inner humanity that most astonished those around him, compelling examinations of their own prejudices and beliefs."

Clarkson made her festival debut as a member of the 1984 Non-Equity company and last appeared at the festival in 1996 in Arthur Miller's "The Ride Down Mount Morgan." Her film credits include "Shutter Island," "The Station Agent" and "Pieces of April."

Cooper last appeared at the festival in 2008 in Theresa Rebeck's "The Understudy;" he played Merrick in "The Elephant Man" as part of his senior thesis in the Actor's Studio Drama School. He is best-known for his work in "The Hangover" and its sequel.

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