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      The Elephant Man: The Musical
    I am not a musical, I am a human being

    The tragically stricken John Merrick, whose unfortunate illness and desperate quest for acceptance captured the sympathy of the world, gets no respect in the gleefully silly musical "The Elephant Man: The Musical."


    No we're not kidding: the story of famed and deformed Englishman John Merrick has been set to music.

    Instead of being, say, a somber meditation on Merrick's quest for acceptance in the face of his disfigurement, "The Elelphant Man: The Musical" opts for humor and puts an unabashedly goofy spin on Merrick's tale, portraying him as a misunderstood chap who longs to be a star on the Broadway stage.

    Written by: Jeff Hylton, Tim Werenko.
    Directed by: James Riggs.
    Cast: Kenneth Dine, D.P. Duffy III, Jeff Hylton, Jenna Morris.
    Music by: Paul Jones, Jeff Hylton, Jeff Hylton.
    Fringe Festival 2001

    • Overview
    • Show listings

    • 21 Dog Years
    • Debbie Does Dallas
    • Doing Justice
    • Einstein's Dreams
    • The Elephant Man: The Musical
    • Equal Protection
    • Fifty Minutes
    • Fuck You or Dead Pee Holes
    • Gene de Tueur
    • L'Hiver Sous la Table
    • Imperative Flight
    • Jim Carroll's The Basketball Diaries
    • Loader #26
    • A Piece of My Heart
    • Sic
    • Snapshot
    • Take
    • Two Girls from Vermont
    • Woosh
    • Zoo

    • Absolutely Abreast
    • Break the Floor
    • I Dance

    • Studio

    Other Fringe Festivals
    • Fringe 2000
    There's a cartoony flavor running through the show as Merrick's disfigurement is represented by what looks like a mutated day-glo pink plastic helmet that sports a slinky and plunger among its overgrown brain shape. Everything gets played for laughs: the proprietor of the freak show Merrick is trapped in is a sex maniac and Dr. James Lipscomb, the doctor who "rescues" him from said show writes medical-themed romance novels on the side as his prudish assistant goes on a funny quest to find herself.

    This is a madcap musical within a musical as Merrick's wish to star on Broadway (after studying books by Charles Nelson Reilly and William Shatner) comes true courtesy of Lipscomb. The songs in this show seem to celebrate and make fun of the Broadway genre at the same time, and it works because the actors seem to be having so much fun on stage. "The Elephant Man: The Musical" is ribald (there are a lot of sex references), gleefully silly, and would be enjoyed by anyone who thinks musical theater takes itself too seriously.

    AUGUST 19, 2001

    Reader comments on The Elephant Man: The Musical:

  • [no subject]   from , Mar 4, 2002
  • Re: [no subject]   from , Feb 21, 2004
  • Jeff Hylton's Elephant Man Musical   from M. Turner, Apr 14, 2002
  • Elephan Man   from Colleen Baines, May 13, 2002
  • re the Musical   from Dan, Sep 25, 2002
  • Re: re the Musical   from Alicia, Feb 21, 2012
  • Elephant--Tall Guy??   from Lisa, Oct 29, 2002
  • Theatrical Enquiry   from Jai Sepple, Oct 5, 2004
  • DP DUFFY III   from Gary, Feb 7, 2006
  • [no subject]   from Kelly, Feb 24, 2008
  • Re: [no subject]   from RG, Apr 4, 2008
  • Re: [no subject]   from Alicia, Feb 21, 2012

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