ON THIS DAY: 20 years ago, one of Broadway’s most beloved shows that initially didn’t run that long but had a huge cult following opened today. That musical was Side Show on Broadway.
The show is based on the real true story of conjoined Hilton twins who became famous in Vaudville in the 1930’s.
The shows features music by Henry Kreiger and lyrics and a book by Bill Russell.
SIDE SHOW originally played the Richard Rodgers Theatre earning rave reviews but failed to reach high ticket sales running for only a total of 122 performances. The original production was directed by Robert Longbottom. The original cast featured a lineup of some of Broadway’s most popular stars today including…
Tony nominee Emily Skinner as “Daisy Hilton”
future Tony winner Alice Ripley as “Violet Hilton”
future Tony nominee Norm Lewis as “Jake”
Jeff McCarthy as “Terry Connor”,
future long running masked man Hugh Panaro as “Buddy Foster”,
and Ken Jennings as “The Boss”.
Despite having an early close, the show went on to receive 5 Tony nominations in 1998 including Best Musical but lost all of it’s categories. It later went on to become a hit Regionally and around the world.
SIDE SHOW was later recently revived in 2014 following the triumph of an acclaimed production that played La Jolla Playhouse in La Jolla, California and later the The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C. This revival was well known for being more of a darker version of the musical incorporating new music and facts about the Hilton twins. This revival was directed by acclaimed stage and film director Bill Condon. It played Broadway’s St. James Theatre. Like it’s original Broadway run, the production received positive reviews but didn’t catch on with the audience closing after 77 performances. This revival cast starred…
Emily Padgett as “Daisy Hilton”,
Erin Davie as “Violet HIlton”,
David St. Louis as “Jake”,
Acclaimed vocalist Ryan Silverman as “Terry Connor”,
Matthew Hydzik as “Buddy Foster”,
and TV’s Robert Joy as “The Boss”.
The short lived revival did not receive any Tony nominations.
Coincidentally, both the original and the revival productions closed on the same exact date of January 4th (both in 1998 and 2015).
Check out Emily Skinner and Alice Ripley performing the show’s signature song that has become a hit everywhere I WILL NEVER LEAVE YOU from the 1998 Tony Awards.
Who loves this original freak show?!