November 26, 2014
Modern television has dynasties made of waterfowl (or something like that) and affluent women attempting to live simple lives like everyone else (while camera crews follow them around). The early part of last century, however, had elephant men and bearded ladies. Carnival freak shows were arguably the forerunners of today’s reality TV, with all the drama one might expect to find. Catch a glimpse inside the world of the carnival’s darker side at “Side Show”, a play that’s recently re-opened on Broadway! It’s playing at the St. James Theater (246 W. 44th Street).
A Cult Classic Returns to the Stage
“Side Show” has a fascinating past that’s almost as strange as the story it tells. It originally opened in 1997, wherein it promptly flopped like ice cream on the boardwalk. After 91 painful performances, the show closed its doors, and instantly became a cult classic in the theater world. This time, it’s gotten a full revision, with new costumes, new writing, and a new lease on its somewhat freakish life.
“Side Show” tells the tale of Violet and Daisy Hilton, conjoined twins who made their name as vaudeville sensations. They got their start in the darker side of show business as sideshow freaks, put on display by an exploitive carnival ringmaster. It doesn’t seem like life will ever get much better for the sisters. Not until they’re discovered by a talent scout for more reputable entertainment venues. Will the twins, who want radically different things in life, find happiness at last?
A Freakishly Good Time
The show has glorious musical numbers, and lavish costuming that brings the worlds of the carnival and the vaudevillian era to life. Though it touches on serious issues, it’s not a serious production. Instead, it’s fun, and filled with musical numbers that will stick in your head.
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Sea you soon!
The Seastreak Family
Filed Under: Side Show
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