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SUU’S `ELEPHANT MAN’ WILL PARTICIPATE IN ARTS TOUR

SHARE SUU’S `ELEPHANT MAN’ WILL PARTICIPATE IN ARTS TOUR

Southern Utah University's 1990 production of Bernard Pomerance's "The Elephant Man" has been selected to participate in the Utah Arts Council Performing Arts Tour, with four performances throughout the region during the next few days.

The tour itself runs Jan. 9-14, but one final "home town" performance is scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 8, at 8 p.m. in the Randall L. Jones Theatre in Cedar City."The Elephant Man" is based on the true story of John Merrick, a British man born with neurofibromatosis, a rare disease that resulted in an enlarged, misshapen head and a trunk-like appearance. He was 21 when William Treves, a distinguished British surgeon, first saw him being exhibited in a side show as "The Elephant Man." Treves befriended the handicapped man and worked to keep him from being exploited. Merrick died in 1890 at the age of 27. (The 1980 screen version of Merrick's life was not based on the play.)

Directed by Roger Bean, the SUU production features Brian Vaughn as John Merrick, Richard Bugg as Frederick Treves, R. Matthew Benton as Carr Gomm and Holly Bradford as Mrs. Kendal.

Others in the cast are Brett "O.T." Bassett, Ryan Farley, Jenny Fogleson, Stacey R. Pomeroy, Morgan J. Anderson and Anthony B. Backham.

The Cedar City performance is a fund-raiser for SUU theater scholarships. All seats are $5. Call 586-7878 for reservations.

Performing dates for the Arts Council tour are:

- Thursday, Jan. 9, Gunnison High School, 7:30 p.m.; $4 for adults and $2 for students.

- Friday, Jan. 10, Park City High School, 7:30 p.m.

- Monday, Jan. 13, Monticello High School, 7:30 p.m., $4 for adults and $2.50 for students (part of the community's Blue Mountain Entertainment series).

- Tuesday, Jan. 14, at Wasatch Academy, Mount Pleasant.

Tickets for all four of the touring stops should be available at the door.

Arts writer Phil Chidester, in his review of SUU's "The Elephant Man" last year in The Daily Spectrum, wrote: "If you are looking for a play with majestic sets, brilliant costumes and a heady dose of stageside action, you may be wise to look elsewhere. But if you are ready for a thinking man's darma, if you are ready to be moved to the core by a stunning performance, the SUU theater deaprtment production of `The Elephant Man' is a must-see opportunity.

"It isn't often that a local production with a carnival side-show title can move an audience to thoughtful tears; but it isn't often that a college production the caliber of SUU's `The Elephant Man' is seen at all."