Because it was opening on a Friday night, Halloween weekend and after a long day of work, I was afraid it would be hard to try to grant the cast and crew of Pierce College’s latest theater production, “The Elephant Man” my fullest attention and objectivity.
But, I didn’t have to try hard.
The Elephant Man is a classic tale based on a true story and the Pierce theater arts department effectively conveyed the intensity and emotions of the once real life drama.
The cast of eight, who had to split over a dozen roles, and director RoZsa Horvath had a lot to accomplish.
Perhaps the biggest acting challenge was the role of the deformed John Merrick, played by Fernando Navales.
Although Navales himself was not disfigured like his character, his physical gesturing and flawless acting helped to connect the pieces in the audience’s imagination.
Angel Joseph Acosta’s portrayal of Dr. Frederick Treves was immaculate.
His emotional range championed the essence of each scene, from humor to hysterics.
Another stand-out performance can be seen by Kabrina Lee Feickert, as Pinhead 2 and more notably Mrs. Kendal.
Her acting experience showed in her confidence and commitment to character, as she seemed to be the most at home on the stage.
Because the story is set in London all Valley accents were transformed into British for the production.
While the effort was noted, at times it was hard to decipher certain words or phrases as the accents occasionally overshadowed enunciation.
Despite the small stage, the set design was visually and aesthetically well done.
A two-story section, complete with spiral staircase created a versatile way to fill in scenery gaps as the same set remained fairly constant throughout.
The furniture and costumes were fitting and period appropriate.
The basics were well thought-out and never distracting.
An excellent touch was created in the background where a screen was set up quoting the themes of each scene and serving as a visual cue for John’s actual condition in the late 1800s.
The Elephant Man will continue its run through the weekend, showing on Thursday at 7:30 p.m, Friday at 8 p.m, Saturday at 8 p.m. and closes on Sunday at 2 p.m.
Tickets are $10 for students and seniors and $12 for general admission.
Reserve tickets are available in advance at (818) 719-6488.
Final Grade: B+/A-