No return skedded for ‘Side Show’

Musical bucks rumors, will not reopen in summer

NEW YORK — Despite rumors and news reports to the contrary, the recently closed Broadway musical “Side Show” will not reopen in the spring. The tuner’s creative team had hoped to recruit new investors for the return visit, but have opted not to proceed.

Siamese Tale

“Side Show,” which opened at the Richard Rodgers Theater Oct. 16, told the musical tale of the real-life Hilton sisters, Siamese twins and vaudeville stars of the 1920s and ’30s. Despite many favorable reviews, the show never found its audience, at least in part because producers were unable to combat the perception that the musical was dour and depressing. The show closed Jan. 3 after only 91 performances and 31 previews.

Cash Shortage

The musical, directed and choreographed by Robert Longbottom, was capitalized at $5 million, but required a cash infusion of an additional $2 million last fall to keep going. Another $2 million would have been needed to remount the show.

Producers Emanuel Azenberg, Joseph Nederlander, Herschel Waxman and Janice McKenna had already passed on the remounting, but a creative team led by Longbottom had lined up other investors, including one of the original producers, Scott Nederlander. In a statement released Jan. 23, the producers said they “look forward” to the show’s “next incarnation,” but indicated only that such an incarnation would not be a spring re-opening on Broadway.

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