Evening dispatch from HE’s “Actionman”: “Just got back from seeing The Elephant Man at the Booth Theater with Bradley Cooper as John Merrick. AMAZING. I have a newfound respect for the guy. NO MAKE-UP OR PROSTHETICS. He makes you believe he’s disfigured just by the way he bends and contorts his body. His voice is a dead ringer for John Hurt‘s. If you’re in NYC between now and February 15th, I highly recommend it. It’s obviously a bit of a downer and it’s very spare but all of the performances are excellent, and Cooper is just fucking sensational.” Last night (11.7) was the first preview performance apparently. The show will formally “open” on Sunday, 12.7 and run through 2.15.15. What does this mean Oscar-race-wise? I’ll tell you what it means Oscar-race-wise. It means that if Cooper is really good in Clint Eastwood‘s American Sniper, that plus Merrick means he’s all but a shoo-in for that fifth Best Actor slot.