It looks like the Kennedy Center may have one of it’s biggest successes with the reworking of the Broadway cult hit “Side Show.”
Capped by two climactic, heartbreaking songs and two tender, epic performances, the “Side Show” that has been given a new life by the Kennedy Center is an intoxicating experience — a poignant statement about the brutal rite of achieving self-acceptance and a glorious comeback for an important American musical.
Erin Davie and Emily Padgett portray Violet and Daisy Hilton, Siamese twins who go from being a tawdry carnival act to celebrated vaudeville stars but never what they truly desire: people seen as separate from their abnormal condition.
In this new version of the 1997 musical, reworked by composer Henry Krieger, book writer and lyricist Bill Russell and director Bill Condon, the distance the sisters travel from a cruel childhood of exploitation has been clarified. The mystical nature of their connection has been deepened, too, via a more concerted consideration of loneliness and freedom, themes that envelop them and many of the other hauntingly conceived “freaks” who fill the Eisenhower Theater stage.
Read the entire review at the Washington Post.