The Elephant Man
“The Elephant Man” is based on the life of John Merrick, who lived in London during the late 19th century. Horribly deformed and a freak attraction in traveling sideshows, he is found abandoned and helpless and is admitted for observation to Whitechapel, a prestigious London hospital. Under the care of a famous young doctor, who educates him and introduces him to London society, Merrick changes from a sensational object of pity to the urbane and witty favorite of the aristocracy and literati. But his belief that he can become a man like any other is a dream never to be realized.
“Cabaret” features some of the most memorable songs in musical theater history, including “Cabaret,” “Willkommen” and “Maybe This Time.” Framed by the decadently dilapidated Kit Kat Klub, it’s an escape from reality presided over by The Emcee.
The musical sets a complicated love story between struggling novelist Cliff Bradshaw and nightclub singer Sally Bowles against the rise of the Nazi Party in 1930s Berlin. The affair between Cliff and Sally is doomed from the beginning, but equally if not more heartbreaking is the romance that develops between landlord Fraulein Schneider and boarder Herr Schultz. It’s a quietly devastating example of the anti-Semitic hate that ruined so many innocent lives.
The House of Blue Leaves
Set in Sunnyside, Queens on the day Pope Paul VI visited New York in 1965, “The House of Blue Leaves” centers on zookeeper and would-be songwriter Artie Shaughnessy. Desperate to escape life with his schizophrenic wife, Bananas, Artie is having an affair with his flamboyant neighbor, Bunny Flingus. The ambitious Bunny hatches a plan to commit Bananas and move to Hollywood so that Artie can collaborate with his childhood friend Billy Einhorn, who grew up to be a famous film director. Also on the scene are Artie and Bananas’ troubled son, a deaf movie actress and a trio of excitable nuns. By the end of this historic day, whose dreams will come true?