A Mesmerizing Transformation
By Community Reviewer Allan Okubo
Deformity is in the eye of the beholder…but beauty is in the beholder of the eye!
The Elephant Man, now playing at Manoa Valley Theatre, is an insight into humanity and the greatness that can be overcome by compassion. John Merrick (Paul Mitri) is the titular Elephant Man, born with an affliction that rendered his body into a misshaped, twisted entity greatly affecting his limbs, body, speech and, life. Discovered by Dr. Frederick Treves (Rob Duval) in a carnival sideshow, he eventually finds his way to his hospital where he gains entry into high society through the benevolence of Mrs. Kendal (Therese Olival). There, his intelligence blooms and he gains respect from the staff and society. Yet more than that, he shows the world he is… human!
Mitri uses no makeup to create the character, instead relies on body gestures and contortions to become John Merrick. Reminiscent of The Lion King where you initially see people holding puppets, then see only puppets, so too does this occur. Through only his acting he creates John Merrick and makes you see his suffering, his maturation, his decline, and eventually his end.
Assisted by a stellar supporting cast of twelve, an incredible set design by DeAnne Kennedy, and put together by co-directors Mitri and Alex Munro!
So take the time to see this mesmerizing play that will make you laugh and cry, and best of all, make you think! Call MVT at 988-6131 for tickets now.