Shows S

SIDE SHOW Musical in 2 Acts. Music by Henry Krieger; Book and Lyrics by Bill Russell based on the the lives of the Siamese twins, Daisy and Violet Hilton Richard Rodgers Theatre, Broadway - Opened 16th October 16th October, 1997. Closed 4th January, 1998 ( 91 perfs. 31 Previews) SYNOPSIS The musical is about Daisy and Violet Hilton, conjoined twins who make a change from being a circus act to becoming famous stage performers in the mid 1920s. The action takes place on the Midway, in Vaudeville, at the Follies, on the road and at the Texas Centennial. STORY Act I The Boss, the ringmaster of a sideshow, introduces the exhibits: the bearded lady, a geek, the Cannibal King, the seraglio of a Hashemite sheik, and, lastly, his star attraction, the Siamese twins. Buddy Foster, an aspiring musician, brings Terry Connor, a talent scout for the Orpheum Circuit, to see the Siamese twins, persuading him to enter the show all the way. Coerced ominously in by the Boss, Buddy thinks he could help them create an act and convinces Terry to meet them. The two men interrupt a birthday party for the girls. Terry asks their names and they respond, "I'm Daisy" and "I'm Violet". He then asks them their dreams ("Like Everyone Else"); Violet, the gentler of the two, wants a normal life of a husband and home; Daisy, on the other hand, seeks fame and fortune. Terry tells them he wants to help their dreams come true. After the Boss rudely refuses Terry's offer to be cut in on the twins' potential vaudeville career, Terry devises a scheme whereby Buddy will teach the girls a song. Jake, an African-American who plays the Cannibal King in the sideshow and is the twins' friend and protector, begs them to consider what they're getting into and the whole sideshow family adds its opinion. Two weeks later, Terry refuses to see the twins perform and Buddy tells him how the personal dynamics with the girls are getting sticky. Before their secret late-night performance, the twins confess to each other how infatuated they are with the two men who've come into their lives. The Hilton Sisters' secret debut is a great success. But the Boss discovers the subterfuge and physically threatens the twins when they tell him they're leaving the sideshow. Jake comes to their rescue and the other attractions threaten to leave also, causing the Boss to back down. Daisy, Violet and Jake, whom Terry has invited to help backstage on the twins' tour, bid farewell to their sideshow family. It's time for the twins' first public performance, and Terry invites a group of reporters together before the show. Before their vaudeville debut, the twins argue about their different ways of expressing interest in men. Onstage they sing "We Share Everything" in a production number featuring them as queens of ancient Egypt. After the twins' performing triumph, Terry and Buddy shower them with kisses. Hostile reporters asks tough questions about the girls' love life. Terry and Buddy deny any romantic inclinations, leaving the twins to wonder if they will ever find romantic fulfillment. Act II The second act opens with the Hilton Sisters at the height of their success - a Follies-style production number. Daisy's dream of stardom has come true but Violet seems no closer to her dream of finding a husband. At a fancy New Year's Eve party, Buddy tries to cheer up Violet and ends up proposing marriage. Afterwards, Terry imagines what it would be like to be alone with Daisy. In an onstage number, Buddy, Violet and Daisy issue an upbeat invitation to their wedding. But backstage both Daisy and Buddy separately express doubts as to how the arrangement will work. Jake overhears Buddy