Side Show review Kennedy Center Bill

The freaks will invade Broadway this fall, with the high-profile regional revival of cult 1997 musical “Side Show,” directed by Bill Condon, booking the St. James Theater for a run that begins performances in October.

Erin Davie and Emily Padgett, who starred in the production’s prior two engagements as the conjoined twins at the center of the story, will reprise their roles in New York.

The retooled version of “Side Show,” with a significant chunk of new material including new songs and a rewritten book, earned strong reviews in its recent run at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. The summer stint there had followed an earlier run at the La Jolla Playhouse, which co-produced the revival with the Kennedy Center.

The 1997 premiere of “Side Show,” with music by Henry Krieger and book and lyrics by Bill Russell, proved short lived but went on to earn a cult following. The storyline traces the showbiz rise of Daisy and Violet Hilton, real-life conjoined twins who became big stars on the vaudeville circuit.

“Side Show” marks the Broadway debut of Condon, who also helmed the film version of Krieger’s “Dreamgirls.” Hollywood talent also was enlisted to create the makeup and costume elements for the host of side show freaks who populate the musical.

Producer Darren Bagert, the producer of Off Broadway’s “Buyer and Cellar” who was also on board Broadway shows including “Of Mice and Men” and “Picnic,” leads a bevy of producers on “Side Show” that also includes Martin Massman, Jayne Baron Sherman, Joan Raffe & Jhett Tolentino, Kevin Niu, ShadowCatcher Entertainment, Catherine & Fred Adler, Jim Kierstead, Seaview Prods., Matthew Masten, and Jujamcyn Theaters in association with the Kennedy Center and the La Jolla Playhouse.

“Side Show” kicks off Broadway previews Oct. 28 prior to a Nov. 17 opening. The current occupant of the St. James, “Bullets Over Broadway,” shutters Aug. 24.

 

 

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