Reimagined and significantly rewritten by a creative team led by director Bill Condon making his Broadway debut, “Side Show” came in to Broadway with high hopes of carving out a place for the cult musical that the 1997 tuner never found in its first go on the Main Stem. Like the current production, that initial staging was largely well-reviewed, but couldn’t attract enough business to sustain it for more than a few months.
That first production lasted about three and a half months; the current one will have an even shorter lifespan, closing after a run of a bit more than two months.
Twice now, the subject matter of “Side Show” seems to have proven a difficult one for audiences to embrace. The musical is based on the true story of Violet and Daisy Hilton, conjoined twins who rose to fame and fortune in the 1920s and 30s. The current revival tried to hook audiences by playing up the Cinderella story in its marketing campaign.
Since beginning performances in late October, weekly B.O. at “Side Show” hasn’t cracked the $500,000 mark. The production is poised to close at a loss of its entire capitalization cost of about $8 million.
Producers and investors can hope to recoup some of that loss with a potential staging on the West End, with talks underway to the get the production to London for its U.K. premiere.