Re-Imagined SIDE SHOW Opens at La Jolla Playhouse, Tonight
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts will produce, in association with La Jolla Playhouse, a re-imagining of Henry Krieger and Bill Russell's Side Show. Directed by Academy Award winning director Bill Condon, the musical will play at La Jolla Playhouse tonight, November 5 through December 17 and will open at the Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater in spring 2014. The musical features book and lyrics by Bill Russell and music by Henry Krieger who will revise the show before its debut at La Jolla.
Based on the true story of conjoined twins Violet and Daisy Hilton who became stars during the Depression, Side Show is a moving portrait of two women joined at the hip whose extraordinary bondage brings them fame but denies them love. The original 1997 Broadway production of Side Show was directed by Robert Longbottom and received four Tony nominations, including a shared nomination for co-stars Alice Ripley and Emily Skinner, the only time in Tony history where two people were co-nominated for the Best Actress award.
The show's leading ladies - conjoined twins "Violet Hilton" and "Daisy Hilton" - will be played by Broadway favorites Erin Davie (Grey Gardens) and Emily Padgett (Rock of Ages) respectively; Manoel Felciano (Broadway revival of Sweeney Todd) as "Terry Connor"; Matthew Hydzik (Broadway revival of West Side Story) as "Buddy"; David St. Louis (Broadway's Harlem Song) as "Jake."
Henry Krieger began composing for Off-Off Broadway in his twenties, a venue that led to his meeting with playwright-lyricist Tom Eyen. Together with director-choreographer Michael Bennett, they created the long running Broadway hit musical, Dreamgirls, which opened at the Imperial Theatre on December 20, 1981. Dreamgirls won six Tony Awards and Mr. Krieger was nominated for his now legendary score for which he won the Grammy Award for Best Original Cast Album. Dreamgirls generated new success with new audiences as a Dreamworks film written and directed by Bill Condon. The film was nominated for eight Academy Awards including three nominations for Mr. Krieger for "Love You, I Do," "Listen," and "Patience." He received a Grammy Award for, "Love You, I Do." Side Show, his most recent Broadway musical, was directed and choreographed by Robert Longbottom with book and lyrics by Bill Russell. The musical received four Tony nominations, including Best Score. His last collaboration with Bill Russell resulted in Up in the Air, which made its world premiere at the Kennedy Center in 2008 under the direction of Amon Miyamoto.
Bill Russell wrote the book and lyrics for Side Show, receiving a Tony Award nomination for book and sharing a nomination with composer Henry Krieger for score. Mr. Russell co-wrote the book and lyrics for Off-Broadway's long-running musical Pageant (with collaborators Frank Kelly, Albert Evans, and Robert Longbottom), and directed it at the King's Head Theatre in London. The production transferred to the West End, received two Olivier Award nominations, and won that prestigious prize for "Best Supporting Performance in a Musical" for Miles Western's portrayal of Miss West Coast. He authored the book and lyrics for Elegies for Angels, Punks, and Raging Queens (music by Janet Hood), directing it in New York and in London's Fringe and West End, among many others, including a celebrity benefit in New York which was recorded by Fynsworth Alley. Other credits as bookwriter/lyricist include: Off-Broadway's Fourtune and The Texas Chainsaw Musical (co-author), Family Style (Minneapolis), Everything's Ducky and Lucky Duck (with Henry Krieger and Jeffrey Hatcher), and Kept with Henry Krieger and Steven Chbosky. He adapted the book of Call Me Madam for City Center Encores! The Last Smoker in America, for which he wrote the book and lyrics with composer Peter Melnick, will open off-Broadway this summer.