Broadway’s “Side Show” Shares Opening Night Act One Finale With Time Square

How cool is this?

On the evening of November 17th, theater fans were treated to a live viewing of the Act One finale of the Opening Night of Side Show in Times Square.

Well, almost.

It seems that since the opening night performance went up a bit late, Time Square fans got to see a back-up video of “Who Will Love Me As I Am” even before the opening night attendees enjoyed the song. From Playbill:

According to a representative for the production, a specific slot time was permitted for Clear Channel to broadcast the finale with sound in Times Square. As is typical with many Broadway opening nights, Side Show got off to a late start. The performance, which was to begin at 7 PM, didn’t raise its curtain until about 7:25 PM, meaning that the act one finale “Who Will Love Me As I Am?” would not occur until after 8 PM. Technically, the song would not make its 7:45 PM live call.

Days before opening, a back-up tape of the rousing power ballad had been prepared by the show’s producers in the event of such circumstances or other technical snares. That previously-taped performance is what ultimately aired at 7:45 PM in Times Square.

“There was no mechanism in place with which to deliver fans the message that the performance was pre-recorded, nor did the production deem it necessary as it still delivered an exciting moment with footage of a live performance,” a spokesman for the production said in a statement.

The revival of Side Show enjoyed excellent reviews. Read the notices here.

And you can watch a video of the “live” broadcast in Times Square below.

Rave review for Kennedy Center’s “Side Show”

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.

[snip]

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.