Monday, February 16, 2015

Bradley cooper - A stint at Broadway

Every actor dreams of a golden run like what Bradley cooper has been having since 2011. Three successive academy award nominations for three brilliant movies - American Hustle, Silver linings Playbook and now American sniper. From a small guest role in a poplar television soap "Sex and the city" in 1999 to the Hangover trilogy in mid 2000's and now this incredibly mature and confident actor that Cooper epitomizes -his journey to this pinnacle has been one of rigorous commitment, extraordinary passion and hard work. It has always been my firm belief ( which I am sure many of my readers will readily agree to) that great actors always have a firm grounding in Drama, especially the classical ones. And Cooper is no exception to that.
I was In New York city this week and Booth's theatre at Broadway was playing "The Elephant man" , a deeply moving drama by the renowned playwright Bernard Pomerance. It is based upon the tragic life of Joseph Merrick, who lived in 19th century. Merrick was considered a Human curiosity, and often displayed in public as a specimen of utmost deformity. His disproportionate head size, shriveled skin , grotesque physical shape was an anathema to public. Rejected by his parents, shunned by every one around him, gifted with a good intellect - Merrick wandered from city to city as a caged animal, drawing crowds who paid to see a horrific form in human disguise. After being robbed, battered, and humiliated for many years, he found himself miraculously in the arms of wonderful Doctor Treves, who gave him life long asylum in his Hospital, instilled dignity and in many ways became a very close confidante of Merrick. For a life that has seen so much pain, embarrassment, affliction and grief ; his end was peaceful and he died in the very same Hospital that had provided him sanctuary for so long. Bernard's play penned in 1977 was a tribute to the life of joseph Merrick and has been continuously performed across Europe for the last thirty years.
In 2014, the play was revived with Bradley cooper playing the role of Joseph merrick (Can you believe this?). For a man who was voted to be "Sexiest Man alive" in 2010 to slip into a role that would be the very antitheses of what he is - truly a mark of a mature actor at the height of his prowess. Yesterday evening, after my class, I went over and watched the play in Broadway. What an experience ? Two hours of mesmerizing acting. One would hardly believe that this is the same blue eyed cooper whose charming smile, charismatic swagger could help skip a heart beat in many a young girl's heart; and yet here he was - on stage, becoming the deformed Joseph Merrick. His immaculate English diction, the raised pitch of his voice, the resonance at Booth's, the enthralled audience, the simplicity of its setting - all of it raised my artistic involvement to a pitch that I have not known in a long time.
It was an extremely satisfying experience. As I walked back to the train station in the chilly sub zero temperature of Manhattan, I had this tremendous feeling of having participated in pure, unadulterated artistic production. It left me refreshed and alive, which I think, is what every art form must aim to achieve.
Wonderful Bradley Cooper..
God bless..

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