Second Street Players will perform “The Elephant Man” Friday to Sunday, April 13 to 15, and April 20 to 22, at The Riverfront Theater, 2 South Walnut St., Milford. Curtain is at 7 p.m. for the Friday and Saturday shows and 2 p.m. for the Sunday shows.
“The Elephant Man” is based on the life of John Merrick, who lived in London during the latter part of the 19th century. As a horribly deformed young man – victim of rare skin and bone diseases – he becomes the star freak attraction in traveling sideshows. Found abandoned and helpless, he is admitted to London’s prestigious Whitechapel Hospital. Under the care of celebrated young physician Frederick Treves, Merrick is introduced to London society and slowly evolves from an object of pity to an urbane and witty favorite of the aristocracy and literati, only to be denied his ultimate dream – to become a man like any other.
Directors are Joshua Gross and Lorraine Steinhoff. The cast includes some veteran local actors and some newcomers to the Riverfront stage, bringing to life this beautiful story of man who just wants to be accepted like everyone else. This true story is heartwarming and tragic at the same time. There has been no story other than John Merrick’s that better expresses the sentiment not to judge a book by its cover.