Printer Friendly - SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by mjohnson2 2014-04-23 12:56:54

Looks like they have found a cast and are moving foreword with it. God help us all.

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by perfectlymarvelous 2014-04-23 13:07:43

This production was always going to play the Kennedy Center after it was at La Jolla, it's a joint production.

I'm excited for it, I've loved the cast recording since high school and it's one of those shows I've always wanted to see live and never thought I would get to. I'm considering making a trip down to DC for it.

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by mjohnson2 2014-04-23 13:09:32

Oops, my mistake. I'll edit the original post now.

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by morosco 2014-04-23 13:12:31

So happy you posted this today. I didn't realize tickets had gone onsale already.

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by Brian07663NJ 2014-04-23 13:40:49

Saw the original. Loved it then. Have enjoyed the CD for years.
Purchased my tickets to attend July 12th matinee. Looking forward to it!

Will get back to you once I return to see if my opinion has changed.

BTW I accidentally noticed when trying to figure out which day I would travel from NYC to Washington DC to see Side Show that Wolf Trap (in Virginia) on Saturday evening July 12th has an 8:30pm performance of Disney Fantasia Live in Concert with the National Symphony Orchestra. So I will see the matinee performance of Side Show at the Kennedy Center and then this concert. Two shows for the time/money on one trip!

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by doodlenyc 2014-04-23 14:42:09

We've had tickets for months, though we are subscribers. Looking forward to it!

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by ggersten 2014-04-23 15:05:48

Looks like there has been one major cast change since La Jolla with Ryan Silverman stepping in for Terry. I haven't otherwise compared the two casts. And based on the show I saw (and others), this may have been a needed change.

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by Wicked Fanatic 2014-04-23 15:08:45

Looks like there are 3 new ensemble members along with a recast for a principal. Manoel Feliciano who played Terry Connor is being replaced with Ryan Silverman. For me his character or Manoel was a weak link in the La Jolla Playhouse production so not surprised that he didn't transfer. Looking forward to hearing the thoughts of those that see it in DC; enjoy!

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by DottieD'Luscia 2014-04-23 15:19:52

Performances for the first week are listed on Goldstar. For some reason, I can't muster up any desire to buy a ticket for this.

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by brotherhoodofman 2014-04-23 15:43:53

Hey Brian07663NJ, I don't know if you've been to Wolf Trap before, but it's a pain to get there unless you're driving. Here's the link to using Metro and bus to get there (you have to buy a SmarTrip card and check the weekend track work schedule at to make sure you won't miss your bus).

Since I've been to Wolf Trap before, I wanted to make sure you knew how it worked so you can budget enough time to get there from downtown!

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by Brian07663NJ 2014-04-23 15:51:41

Much appreciation Brotherhoodofman for the heads up on transportation.

I'm driving to Washington DC from NJ with my car so I will be able to get there without public transportation. However, in the event I had thought to use mass transit from the hotel - thanks for your information!

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by brotherhoodofman 2014-04-23 15:54:00

You shouldn't have any problems then, Brian. Glad it will work for you -- it took me nearly two hours to get there from downtown on transit in rush hour (and that was without the 15-minute headways we have on weekend Metro trains here!)

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by Brian07663NJ 2014-04-23 15:56:11

How about a hotel recommendation? hahaha

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by brotherhoodofman 2014-04-23 16:01:07

Honestly -- just Hotwire. That's what we tell all of our out-of-town guests. You should be able to get something just fine for $90-110 a night. Weekends are often more expensive than weekdays in the summer, just FYI. Anything in the Metro Center-Dupont-White House/downtown-Crystal City labels should be just fine. Just look at the map to make sure the area they're labeling isn't too far from transit, if you want to use that to get around some. Parking downtown will be significantly more expensive overnight ($45-50) as opposed to something like $25-30 overnight in Arlington/Crystal City.

Curious to hear how SIDE SHOW is. I've been dragging my feet on buying even though it's on Goldstar.

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by Brian07663NJ 2014-04-23 16:09:52

My opinion about you dragging your feet on Side Show...

It is on Goldstar for a discount.
You love theater.
It is known to historically be a flop but cult-ish hit.
It is in your neighborhood.

What's the reason to drag your feet?
If funds are tight - I understand.

If you go and don't like it - walk out.
If you go and love it - you will be thrilled you went.

If you don't go and it transfers to Broadway, becomes a hit - you will say - WHY did I drag my feet and not go?

You are on Broadway World talking about theater...LOL
Need I say more?

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by grumpyoptimist 2014-04-23 20:46:43

I LOVED the LJ Playhouse production, and think a new Terry can only improve an excellent show. Silverman looks like he can carry a romantic lead, which this show screamed for. As for the ensemble replacements, one person they had to replace was Keala Settle (her casting in Les Mis was announced during the La Jolla run). Half expected that David St. Louis might be replaced as well, although I suspect he may have been fighting a respiratory virus in La Jolla as his voice did get stronger as the production went on (saw it four times, paying myself twice)

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by DottieD'Luscia 2014-04-23 20:59:29

Well I just bought a discount on Goldstar with a Goldstar gift certificate I had, so technically I didn't pay anything!

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by morosco 2014-04-23 22:49:26

Will this production have a full orchestra in the pit? Anyone know how many musicians?

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by breathyfemalevocal 2014-04-23 23:45:02

Does Goldstar allow you to pick specific seats other than orch vs balcony? If not, do you find your seat number after payment or only once at the perfornance? Thanks. If you know, mind giving your seat info purchased thru Goldstar as an example of what they have?

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by DottieD'Luscia 2014-04-24 07:08:25

You are not given your choice of seats through Goldstar. I will say in the several years I've been using them, my seats have been quite good.

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by Brian07663NJ 2014-04-24 08:37:47

I hope you enjoy it Dottie!

I've honestly seen MUCH worse. I don't know why this was so terribly received when it originally premiered on Broadway.

Time will tell for me. I'm actually interested in finding out if after seeing SO many more shows over the years if this will still stand strong for me.

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by DottieD'Luscia 2014-04-24 09:29:51

Brian, a friend of mine saw it at La Jolla and enjoyed it a lot, so I'm not afraid about quality. There are some shows I'm just not in the mood (for lack of a better word) to see. I did see the original production on Broadway. From what I recall there weren't more than 100 people in the audience that night (seriously). I had a great orchestra seat from TKTS. Emily Skinner was out the night I saw it.

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by ggersten 2014-06-11 14:35:29

Sounds like some major changes since San Diego in the book and score.

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by Demitri2 2014-06-11 14:59:42

The costumes and makeup look fantastic. I loved the original but this production looks even grittier and truer to the period. Love the twins sausage curls:

I thought I had waited too long to purchase tickets but noticed there were a lot of excellent seats available throughout July. I was able to get two seats in the center orchestra, second row. Here's a recent special sale reduction on ticket prices on certain dates coming up in the next three weeks ($98 orchestra seats for only $59). Just scroll down.

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by Susanswerphone 2014-06-12 23:29:40

Very excited to see this! Spending almost the entire weekend at KC. Saturday matinee "An American Soldier" (Washington National Opera), Saturday evening, Bruckner's Symphony No. 8 (Nat'l Symphony Orch.) and then Side Show on Sunday night. I loooved the original production and a subsequent phenomenal production at Emerson College. Very much looking forward again! Have to second earlier post about Goldstar tix. I've purchased many and have never been disappointed. Sometimes, very much surprised at just how good the seat really was!

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by Mr. Nowack 2014-06-13 01:12:16

Wow, I love the look of the costumes & makeup! I love the period this show is set in, though I'm not crazy about the show itself.

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by Younger Brother 2014-06-13 05:32:28

The costumes really are something else. The Geeks costume took my breath away the first time I saw it.

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by JRybka 2014-06-13 13:26:24

I have been waiting to see this again since I saw it on Broadway. I have heard they cut "Tunnel of Love which devistates me but I am sure it will be a great production non the less. I have tickets for the 3rd of July (matinee) cause I wanted front row balcony seats to get the full effect. (Plus they were less expensive)

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by doodlenyc 2014-06-13 14:25:52

We are seeing this next week with friends and am looking forward to it. I love DC and seeing shows at TKC. I'm not thrilled with the casting of the two leads, but will try not to prejudge. Ryan should make a great Terry...but there's always trouble with the male leads...they are very hard to like.

For the previous poster who mentioned how poorly it was received, it actually was received pretty well as far as the critics are concerned, but no one wanted to see it. We saw it and had to go right back as it was closing...and loved it both times.

Sad about losing "Tunnel of Love", as it was a great number and it gave the girls a way to speak about their sexuality. Perhaps it's done in a different way, but that number was great in the original.

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by ggersten 2014-06-14 18:39:34

bump as there is more information in this older thread than the one which was just started.

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Posted by RW3 2014-06-14 21:17:03

Is it intermission yet? How is it going?

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Posted by Famebroadway2 2014-06-15 10:20:05

Any updates from last night? ;o)

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Posted by Menken Fan 2014-06-15 18:43:37

I got to see the first DC performance last night and enjoyed it very much. I did not see the La Jolla production, so cannot tell what has changed since then. But, I had seen the original Broadway production, which I'm a huge fan of. As noted previously, the "freaks" in this production have much more elaborate costuming and make-up. The chorus needs to change into and out of the freak costumes a few times, which is impressive. It was great to see Charity Dawson, who was great in Disaster earlier this year, as the Fortune Teller.

The biggest changes to the story are the addition of a montage related to Daisy and Violet's backstory - their birth, their abusive Auntie, consideration of having the doctors "Cut Them Apart", the assignment of their legal guardianship to Sir, one of Auntie's suitors, their move to the U.S., an attempted escape from Sir, and an encounter with Houdini (who has an unnecessary solo ballad). There is also a focus on the legal proceedings that freed the girls from Sir and allowed them to leave the side show. Other than that, there are fewer production numbers, which allows for the expansion of the story. Less emphasis is placed on the racial storyline with Jake - some of the lyrics in You Should Be Loved have been changed to make Violet less racist. Many of the best songs are still intact, with minor lyric changes. A number of new songs have been added, but I don't think any of them are better than what was already there. I was somewhat unhappy that Tunnel of Love was no longer in the show, but pleased to hear the melody relatively intact in the song Coming Apart at the Seams, which comes at essentially the same part in the show. 1+1=3 has been expanded to a big production number with cupids and cherubs.

The actors playing Terry and Buddy sound incredibly like Jeff and Hugh from Broadway and were both really good. This production makes it much clearer that Buddy is gay, with Terry at one point calling him a "pansy ass." All of the "Say Goodbye to the Freak Show" lyrics have been changed to "Say Goodbye to the Side Show." I guess it is the title of the show after all. I also enjoyed the recreating of Tod Browning's Freaks, which bookends the show.

Erin Davie and Emily Padgett were lovely as Daisy and Violet. David St. Louis handled the demanding role of Jake very well, although it would be tough to be inevitably compared to Norm Lewis, who was flawless.

Henry Krieger was in attendance a couple of rows behind me and was noticeably excited by the standing ovation at the end. All in all, I don't know if it is an overall improvement from the original. The missing production numbers were a lot of fun, but didn't advance the story. The added backstory is interesting and gives it a little more of a documentary feel. If there are Broadway aspirations, its success will really depends on whether audiences will be more likely to attend than they were for the original run.

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by Menken Fan 2014-06-15 18:44:19

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by Menken Fan 2014-06-15 18:47:40

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by Menken Fan 2014-06-15 19:35:34

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by Younger Brother 2014-06-15 19:49:46

I noticed the addition of the Russian duo. Do Jordanna James and Josh Walker have roles outside of the Side Show? I'm making the assumption that they don't, as they are less likely to blend into other roles in the ensemble.

Can you just mention "Coming Apart At The Seams"? Is it still the same idea as Tunnel Of Love?

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by Menken Fan 2014-06-15 20:32:19

Coming Apart at the Seams is very similar in idea and tone to Tunnel of Love. It is the part of the show where Violet recognizes she is making a mistake with Buddy, and things start to fall apart. They are also considering whether to go through an operation to separate them. They are struggling with leading separate lives vs. giving up the one thing that makes them unique and famous. Where Tunnel of Love built to the big "Where is mine?" moment, that line is now "We might die!" (from the operation).

Jordanna and Josh do appear in other scenes as party guests, ensemble, and as a cherub and cupid in 1+1=3.

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by jacobsnchz14 2014-06-15 21:20:47

Another great review from last night!

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by Younger Brother 2014-06-16 05:34:09

Thanks! Once last question.. is the set the same as it is in La Jolla based on photos from the production?

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by Menken Fan 2014-06-16 07:22:30

Based on the La Jolla photos I have seen, the sets look identical.

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by bryan2 2014-06-16 09:04:33

They cut We Share Everything??? wow that was one of the best songs...very surprised...

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by Wicked Fanatic 2014-06-16 14:06:08

That review by the Kid was really good. I didn't even know what the word "Powerful" meant at his age. I love that he adored Jake (David St. Louis) whose voice was powerful and for me the best in the cast at the La Jolla Playhouse.

Thanks to Menken Fan for posting the music list and more from the Kennedy Center!

Looks like there were musical number changes from the La Jolla Playhouse production most in the 2nd act which was where it was needed most as pointed out by the critics.

Act 1 has all the same songs except for one by the Brothers--"Brother! Brother!" which I didn't particularly like so no loss.

Act 2 has 3 songs deleted from La Jolla that were before "Coming Apart at the Seams" which as I see is sung by Daisy, Violet, Terry, Buddy & Texans. Have a feeling that this integrates storyline quicker from the 3 deleted songs: "Sideshow" sung by Daisy & Violet; "Almost as Famous as Them" sung by Sir (Robert Joy) & Texans and "Our New Beginning" which was sung by Daisy & Violet.

Looking forward to hearing more thoughts from people during the run in DC.

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by ggersten 2014-06-17 05:55:22


SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by DottieD'Luscia 2014-06-19 09:27:56

I originally didn't have any desire to see this, but since most performances were listed on Goldstar, I purchased a ticket. Unfortunately a very large school group came in 10-15 minutes into the first act. They happened to be in the first three rows of the section I was seated in (including my row). As a result, waiting for them to get settled really took me out of the show.

I had seen the original production (sans Emily Skinner). I was in the 6th row center orchestra and what amazed me from that production was that Daisy (Lauren Kennedy) and Violet (Alice Ripley) really seemed conjoined. The two actresses were truly in sync. Although Erin Davie and Emily Padgett were quite good, I just didn't have the same connection to them as I had to their Broadway predecessors.

I liked the set and costume design. Some of the Side Show freaks were truly creepy.

The show ran smoothly. The one song I felt could be cut is the one Houdini sings (All in the Mind). It makes a point, but did nothing to further the storyline.

David St. Louis gave a very strong and emotional performance as Jake.

I think this production is very well done, and although the performances were good, I came away realizing I just don't care for this particular show.

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by trentsketch 2014-06-19 09:43:19

An oddly specific question. Can anyone explain why some of the musicians in the Playbill have an asterisk next to their names?

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Posted by Brian07663NJ 2014-06-19 09:49:28

* Denotes Guest Musician

Same section at the top of the page on right

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by trentsketch 2014-06-19 10:31:02

Thank you.

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by Phillytheatreguy10 2014-06-19 12:01:12

I'm wondering with the lackluster "Bullets" if this hits Broadway if Betsy Wolfe would replace Padgett as originally planned? Or what, if any, other casting changes may occur.

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by RaisedOnMusicals 2014-06-19 13:31:59

There is a long, LONG way before Side Show hits Broadway. And the creatives are very realistic. First, it will need rave reviews at the Kennedy Center, and even then, a Broadway transfer is no sure thing. This might be a good piece for a Lincoln Center production, and then, if successful, possibly a Broadway transfer, but raising the necessary capital will be difficult, as investors will be asked to invest in a show with an unsuccessful history and no stars. Wait, I've got it. Cast Idina Menzel and Lea Michele as the twins. Oy.

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by playbill-love 2014-06-19 13:47:30

As much as I would love to see Betsy Wolfe in a future transfer or iteration of this, I doubt she will be attached in the future. I can't find the link now, but she recently gave an interview where she said her experience doing the workshops was very difficult and somewhat negative because of a personal history with the subject matter, and she didn't sound too keen on ever returning to the piece. I hope we get to see her in something better than Bullets soon, though.

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by morosco 2014-06-19 14:17:08

Looking at the abundance of tickets available on the Kennedy Center website makes me think that the show is still an incredibly difficult show to market to the general public. People just don't warm up to the title of the show or the subject matter. (I however love the show and look forward to seeing it on Saturday.)

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by DottieD'Luscia 2014-06-19 14:57:13

The current advertising for this show throughout the Kennedy Center has posters with individual acts from the side show. They're very well done, although not sure how effective they'll be in getting people to see the show.

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by Wickedmonkey332 2014-06-19 22:46:51

Saw it tonight for the first time ever. I really enjoyed some parts, but found the entire show just a bit lacking. The costumes were incredible, the set and lighting were beautiful if not a bit tacky. I found the direction to be really well-done. The set and fly-in panels were used really well. The book and music have its flaws (lyrics), but I don't want to get into all that.

Emily and Erin were fantastic and their blending was heavenly. I really enjoyed the characters and voices of 95% of the cast. The exception was David St. Louis as Jake. I found his higher register quite annoying and his acting was mediocre and bland. The rest of the cast was really enjoyable (especially when singing together).

The standout moments were: The Devil You Know, The entire flashback sequence minus the awkward Houdini ballad, say goodbye to the sideshow, who will love me as i am, 1+1=3, I will never leave you, finale.

An overall enjoyable production of a flawed musical.

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by Scarywarhol 2014-06-19 23:37:23

Has this near-rave from Variety been posted?

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by jacobsnchz14 2014-06-20 09:54:29

The Washington Post is a rave, as well.

Also, Betsy Wolfe did a questionnaire with BroadwayBox and one of the questions and answers was...

4. Character that I’ve played in New York that I most relate to:

"Daisy in Side Show. I don't get into this too often, but I was born with a conjoined twin. Working on that role really brought up a lot of those memories. I've said too much."

I had no idea...

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by mschwager 2014-06-20 09:56:41

I'm really excited to see this next week after these reviews. I'm guessing it is looking to go to NY next season with reviews like this.

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by dreaming 2014-06-20 10:13:24

They should put it at Roundabout, MTC or Lincoln Center for the 2015-16 season. There are already a ton of commercial revivals coming this season. (See article on why waiting is sometimes better-and in this case waiting one season is not going to do anyone any harm-especially given how crowded a field revival is for the 2014-15 season. You already have: On the Town, On the Twentieth Century, The King and I, possibly Forum, and some other revivals have been rumored as well.)

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by jacobsnchz14 2014-06-20 10:14:58

@Dreaming Off Topic (kinda), but did Dames At Sea ever announce an opening for this season?

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by dreaming 2014-06-20 10:16:18

They are rumored-what theater and when I have no clue.
As I said, sometimes you can't hurry the transfer. There are other shows looking for houses. (Some seem to have them...)

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by morosco 2014-06-20 14:45:36

I had forgotten how unimaginative the window card was for the original production.

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by DottieD'Luscia 2014-06-20 14:47:48

I wonder if ticket sales have increased with the good notices.

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by Mr Roxy 2014-06-20 15:14:00

I think the problem with the initial production was not the reviews . I believe they were respectable enough. I think the problem than as well as now is the subject matter, Ask tourists if they would rather see a musical like Mama Mia or a new musical about Siamese twins and a circus freak show. There lies the root of the problem that has to be overcome no matter how good the show is

I saw the original and really enjoyed it . Do tourists really want to spend $ 200 or more a seat to see this subject matter? I hope they find a way around the problem this time.

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by FindingNamo 2014-06-20 15:17:46

Which the Washington Post reviewer says they have.

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by morosco 2014-06-20 17:10:18

New York Times review by Charles Isherwood.

Of course, in some sense, we all know what it’s like to feel self-divided, or alienated from the world, which is what makes “Side Show” emotionally stirring. When Daisy and Violet raise their voices in urgent harmony, they radiate a strength that’s powerfully affecting, because we know that even in their loneliness, unlike the rest of us, they will never be alone.

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by gcal 2014-06-20 17:37:57

Am I the only one who thinks Betsy might be... joking... about being born with a conjoined twin?

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by lull89 2014-06-20 18:00:05

Does anyone know if there is a rush or student ticket option for cheaper tickets? I'm new to the area and haven't done discounts at the Kennedy Center before.

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by morosco 2014-06-20 18:23:58

They do have a program that offers "a limited number of tickets at 50% off the full Box Office price. These Specially Priced Tickets (SPTs) are offered and sold on a first-come, first-served basis, subject to availability, to eligible patrons:

-Persons with permanent disabilities
-Full-time students (grade school through graduate school)*
-Seniors ages 65 and over.
-Enlisted military personnel (grades E1-E4)
-Persons with fixed low incomes."

Give them a call and ask if SIDE SHOW is participating in the program. I would bet that it is. 1-800-444-1324

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by LikeLikingThings 2014-06-20 18:49:41

@lull89 - If you're between 18-30 or in the military, there's also MyTix - You sign up and can enter ticket giveaways and buy discounted tickets. It's kind of like their student program, but usually I get pretty good seats. It looks like they're out of Side Shoe at the moment, but I'll bet they'll add more (they usually do when there's lots of availability...)

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by CoreyRyan3 2014-06-20 20:11:03

So happy about the great reviews! I am really hoping this transfers.

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by morosco 2014-06-20 21:42:43

Sadly many of the performances look like they are only at around 50% sold. Most every performance is marked "best availability". I hope business picks up.

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Posted by GreatWhiteGay 2014-06-20 22:58:03

They weren't selling window cards, but I did buy a magnet. Not thrilled with the new design either, especially considering how good the advertising posters have been.

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Posted by iflip4musicals 2014-06-21 00:00:08

When I went on Wednesday night the balcony was packed, as was what I could see of the orchestra. I thought it was an absolutely beautiful production.

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Posted by RippedMan 2014-06-21 00:45:46

Oof. That's one ugly logo. Makes it seem like a zany circus comedy.

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Posted by Visceral_Fella 2014-06-21 02:10:57

Is Michelle London no longer covering Violet and Daisy?

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Posted by best12bars 2014-06-21 07:43:19

That logo looks like "The Drowsy Siamese Twin."

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Posted by Auggie27 2014-06-21 12:42:52

I'm in the minority; I loved the original poster art. "The Drowsy" seems spot-on.

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Posted by hockeynut2 2014-06-21 13:11:00

Here is David Friscic's review on DCMetroTheaterArts. You can read all the reviews in one place in Other Reviews.

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Posted by jacobsnchz14 2014-06-22 15:44:31

Side Show Trading Cards available at the show:

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by DCS 2014-06-23 10:45:14

Wow, love those trading cards....were they for sale at the theatre?

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Posted by doodlenyc 2014-06-24 11:23:36

I was there Saturday night and had a great time. The musical has been improved with the shifts they've made to the book. The score remains terrific, even if it is less well sung than the original.

Davie and Padgett are lovely as the Hilton sisters. Padgett really impressed me with her timing and her voice is beautiful, with a high enough belt/mix to put over the powerful numbers for the girls. Davie, while a good Violet, doesn't have the belt to give the chills that Ripley did. It's just not the same in a head voice...and Padgett couldn't help but drown her out. That said, they both acted the roles beautifully.

Hydzik and Silverman were both great. Hydzik was helped tremendously by the changes in the book, and Buddy is less of a jerk...just a misguided man with a not-so-secret secret. Silverman was perfect. I did love his Giorgio and he was just as impressive here, likeable and smarmy. Both men have amazing voices as well.

My only problem with the cast was with David St. Louis as Jake. His performance was both overacted and oversung. He is clearly having vocal problems at this point from all of the aggressive pushing he is doing. His Jake was so protective of the girls that he just came across angry all the time. There was no sweetness that Norm Lewis conveyed. That said, he got the biggest applause, so I must be in the minority.

Robert Joy was good as Sir, but his british accent was hard to understand some of the time.

The rest of the cast was great, and they work their asses off backstage, getting in and out of costumes and characters! The design was very good, especially the costumes. The "freaks" were, well, freaky, especially the "geek" and "three legged man". The moving scaffold was efficient, if not completely original.

I recall the original staging to be constricted by the girls' inability to move efficiently, so much of the action was directed at them, rather than them feeling a part of the action. I didn't feel that with Condon's direction at all. He did a fine job keeping the sister's moving.

I did miss "Tunnel of Love", even if the song is still there in a different form.

Go see it if you can. We had box seats and there were many empty chairs, unfortunately. I can't imagine how they will get investors to mount this on Broadway...but fingers crossed!

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by DottieD'Luscia 2014-06-24 13:54:43

Doodle, David St. Louis sound rough when I saw the show last Wednesday.

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by doodlenyc 2014-06-24 14:13:28

I definitely think was possibly sick, or had allergies which is giving him vocal problems, but he shouldn't be pushing so hard. It's not going to help. He was trying to milk "You Should Be Loved" so much, it was painful...and SLOW!

What did you think, Dottie? If I remember, you weren't too excited to see it.

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by DottieD'Luscia 2014-06-24 15:18:31

Doodle, as much as I wanted to like it, I didn't. Also, 10 or so minutes into the performance, I large school group was seated in the first three rows of the balcony (which included my row). I then had an usher insist I was in the wrong seat (which I wasn't-even after she checked my ticket). So that really put me off. The Kennedy Center got a very pointed email the following day about such incident.

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by musicaltheatreman2 2014-06-24 18:47:58

Nice video footage of sideshow!

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by musicaltheatreman2 2014-06-24 20:45:37

I am not impressed with their vocals not very strong

I am so used to Alice and Emily's strong power house passionate voices!

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by brotherhoodofman 2014-06-25 10:37:37

If you are 30 or younger, the Kennedy Center has added a ton of $30 tickets to their MyTix program.

This show is really not selling. I'm seeing it tomorrow, and here are the seats available:

Orchestra -- 31% available
Box -- 54% available
Balcony -- 66% available

Word of mouth has been outstanding, so I am looking forward to seeing this!

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by DottieD'Luscia 2014-06-25 11:07:50

Even with good reviews, this show is a tough sell. I don't think their current TV ad airing in the DC metro region is helping matters. It's kind of creepy with the music they chose.

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by morosco 2014-06-25 16:45:20

Watching clips from this production it appears that the twins costumes are physically connected at the hip. If I remember correctly in the original production the twins just held their bodies hip to hip. Am I right? (Looking forward to seeing this on Sunday.)

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by promisespromises2 2014-06-27 16:05:06

Finally able to see it! Going to tonight and will be in the balcony so I hope it's a decent enough view. I've only ever sat in the orchestra in the Eisenhower. Super exited for this, it will be my first time hearing the music and seeing the show!

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by mschwager 2014-06-27 16:13:32

I saw this last night and overall really enjoyed it, but would echo the sentiment that vocally, David St. Louis was struggling and just sounded totally off.

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by grumpyoptimist 2014-06-28 07:24:24

Really sorry to hear those comments about St. Louis. For those who say he's sick/has allergies, the scary thing is I said the exact same thing about him in the La Jolla production in Dec. I saw it three times there, and while he seemed to improve over the 3 week span between shows 1 and 3 for me, I thought he might be changed out between La Jolla and Kennedy. Thought: how about Joshua Henry for the role?

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by mschwager 2014-06-28 08:07:07

I was thinking the same thing about Joshua Henry. I just wondered because they kept the entire cast for DC, if this transfers will they be willing to let some people go?

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by promisespromises2 2014-06-28 09:01:06

I saw it last night AND LOVED every second of it!!

First, I'm an idiot and completely forgot that Erin Davie was in it, so you can imagine how excited I was while going through the program.

Second, holy cow costumes and set. The way they did the "Cut Them Apart"/"I Will Never Leave You" number was AMAZING. Even the first number, "Come Look at the Freaks" gave me chills.

I thought David St. Louis sounded great. A little rough at times, but I thought it added to his character rather than taking it away. But again, I have never seen the show/heard of the music before so this is coming from a first timer!

I was so impressed with this show and REALLY really enjoyed myself!

Edit: forgot to add some stuff!

I sat at the balcony on the right (row ) and there were only two people behind us. I couldn't see if the orchestra or mezzanine were full but the applause sounded like it was a full house. The thing I've noticed while comparing my experiences with Broadway shows and regional shows are that the audience in regional shows are so much more receptive to everything that's going on. I'm not sure if it's because of all of the tourists in the city and that I've only seen shows during the weekends in NY, but it's definitely why I love regional theatre.

One thing I found weird about the show was (spoiler?) the gay undertones of Buddy. I see what they were trying to do but it felt really misplaced to me. Just a few random insinuations about his sexuality in random places it seemed.

Oh, and I thought the lighting was FANTISTIC! I've never been in a show so I usually don't really notice those kinds of things (I played an instrument for years so I'm more inclined to pay attention to that then technical stuff) but for some reason that really stood out to me last night. It created a really, really neat atmosphere on the stage.

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by grumpyoptimist 2014-06-29 00:08:50

mschwager "I was thinking the same thing about Joshua Henry. I just wondered because they kept the entire cast for DC, if this transfers will they be willing to let some people go?" Definitely. They replaced what is arguably the male romantic lead (now the Ryan Silverman part) after La Jolla--haven't seen DC version, but Manoel Felciano just didn't work and they jettisoned him. At the end of the day, it's show BUSINESS :)

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by RippedMan 2014-06-29 01:44:48

Well, and I'd think for NYC they at least need some sort of DRAW. Follies had its divas. This show...not sure what the draw would be for the everyday tourist. It would def. be a tough sell for a commercial run.

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by Auggie27 2014-06-29 07:50:31

"I did miss "Tunnel of Love", even if the song is still there in a different form..."

They've kept the melody and reconfigured the purpose/lyrics? I'd love to know more. I always thought the number among the most ambitious, but given a slightly too heavy-handed treatment in the original (locking everyone on the ride, etc.). If memory serves, they performed it in Times Square at the annual B'way season preview concert, so clearly the creators at one time thought it was representative of the show as a whole. It was one often mentioned in reviews as a problem. It always felt it was fixable. But then, I liked its feverishness.

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by morosco 2014-06-29 20:32:54

Those trading cards posted above are NOT being sold at the show. I asked them at all the gift shops and show merchandise stands and no one knew what I was talking about. Finally I talked to a manager and she knew what I was talking about (a couple other people had asked her) and she said that they never sold them. She speculated that they were posted on a website.

The show was extremely well done and the orchestra sounded fantastic. The standouts for me were Ryan Silverman as Terry and Matthew Hydzik as Buddy. Both had great voices and acting skills. Erin Davie and Emily Padgett were both very good. David St. Louis as Jake sounded much better than I expected based on earlier comments posted here. Maybe he had a few performances where his voice was tired? His "You Should Be Loved" brought down the house. The ensemble work their asses off throughout the show as freaks and multiple other roles. Many quick changes and they sound great especially with the choral stuff. The Houdini number didn't bother me at all as his song set the notion of the girls compartmentalizing their separate emotions and finding "hiding places" within themselves to escape one anothers feelings. The best moment for me was "Private Conversation". I was a little bored with the flashback to the twin's birth and childhood. The gay twist on Buddy's character worked for me (during that time period society would have considered him a "freak" too).

The sets were nice, the lighting was SUPERB, and the sound was very good. I had forgotten how relatively intimate the Eisenhower Theatre was! (It appears that any seat in that venue is an excellent seat.)

Highly recommended. Go!

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by greensgreens 2014-06-30 10:36:40

I'm thinking that business for this will pickup substantially with American Horror Story: Freak Show and I'm guessing the powers that be are counting on this, don't you think? Assuming that AHS doesn't bomb out the concept and ruin it completely, it should enter the zeitgeist for a brief stay at least. Producers could run ads keyed to that demographic on FX this fall/winter and I believe they might hit a sweet spot for marketing this. It sounds like the DC ads may be trying to get at this with creepy music. Then again, if AHS bombs, the whole freak show thing could be over for a long time and it could take the show down with it. I can just imagine tourists dismissing it... "Ethel, I HATE that Freak Show show. Why on earth would we want to see it as a musical?"

The only thing that gets me upset with this AHS/SS marketing bounce potential, is why did no one do this with Witches of Eastwick/AHS: Coven? I'm still waiting for that to materialize on B'way!!!

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by Mr. Nowack 2014-06-30 15:02:52

Fascinating notion about them banking on the success of AHS. A group of AHS: Coven fans I know actually went to see a production of THE CRUCIBLE because it was about witches last fall, so it could happen with SIDE SHOW.

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by GlindatheGood22 2014-06-30 15:39:15

I was enamored of the show when I first heard about it back in 2008 but I've gone off it a bit since the lyrics can be so idiotic. Seems like the ones for this production are bit stronger, but not strong. "Spread the word/Tell the world what you've seen and heard."

I love that this seems to be rooted more firmly in the lives of the real Daisy and Violet - the man Violet married for a few days was indeed gay, they had the abusive Sir and Auntie. Does this production get into what happened to them after they peaked? After Freaks and vaudeville they fell into complete obscurity and died in their fifties. Really sad.

Edit: Just realized that the decision has been held over from the original production to keep Daisy on the left and Violet right (from the audience's POV.) In real life Daisy was right and Violet left. I have a Playbill from the original production and Emily Skinner talks about the director deciding to switch the twins because stage right is the stronger side of the stage and Daisy is the stronger personality.

Here's the real twins, slightly past their prime. Daisy's on the left with the lighter hair. I recall from their biography that she actually had a baby at one point. I doubt that's in the show but what a fascinating angle to explore! This picture always makes me wonder how their clothes were constructed. Their bathing suit bottoms appear to be just two regular pairs, but that can't be possible considering they would have to cover their connection. Obviously Emily and Erin don't have this problem but it's interesting is this production indeed has their costumes connected.

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by MartyO49 2014-07-01 13:16:09

Totally agree with Morosco...Saw it on Saturday night and loved every minute. I have seen this show on Broadway and number of smaller productions and the changes worked for me. I thought the Jake played the character too angrily and had none of Norm Lewis's warmth. His performance was too contemporary.

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by JRybka 2014-07-04 19:55:26

I saw the matinee on teh 3rd of July. The theater was not full but let me tell you that the audience went with them the entire ride. It was brilliant. I have not been moved like that during a show since Ragtime (ironically a revivial from Kennedy Center). This production was just everything the show should have been to begin with. While I did miss Emily and Alice vocal power and I thought Norm Lewis was a better Jake. This production was hands down the best one I have seen (and I have seen abnout four different versions) I only wish more people could see the brilliance of Side Show.

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by Wickedlover56 2014-07-04 22:28:23

Well, a transfer is possible.

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by RaisedOnMusicals 2014-07-04 23:07:28

WickedLover, that article is a year old. I think, given it's history as a commercial failure, it's going to be very hard to raise the money to get the show to Broadway --investors will think it too risky.

I am seeing the show a week from tomorrow night and am looking forward to it very much, but I suggest that anyone who wants to see it see it before it closes in DC.

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by broadwayguy2 2014-07-05 01:09:38

Ragtime.. history as a commercial failure.
Follies.. history as a commercial failure.
Somehow I doubt the Kennedy Center is panicking at the prospect.

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by fashionguru_23 2014-07-05 01:16:57

broadwayguy2, according to those I spoke with last weekend at the Kennedy Centre, they are hoping they can move it to Broadway for thos 2014-2015 season, and that it will be the third Kennedy Centre production on Broadway after Ragtime and Follies.

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by morosco 2014-07-07 19:47:44

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by promisespromises2 2014-07-07 20:10:07

JRybka I experienced the same effect. The theatre was by NO means full when I went, but you couldn't tell that from the applause and the engagement of the audience. I have not seen ONE D.C./NOVA theatre show in which the audience was not fully engaged, and that makes me love regional theatre SO much.

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by musicaltheatreman2 2014-07-07 20:41:50

just found this on youtube! The Tunnel of love with emily and alice! beautifully sung and acted!!!

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by Esther2 2014-07-07 20:41:50

Saw the show yesterday afternoon. I knew nothing about it (other than knowing what it was based on) and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I was engaged throughout. The cast is wonderful, the sets work for the mood, the lighting was amazing. Even the young-ish children a few rows in front of me didn't act up...or I was so engaged I didn't notice if they did!

The orchestra was a bit more than half full. During intermission I glanced upstairs and there were people on each level, but not enough.

Hope there's a way this transfers to NY.

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by Mike3 2014-07-11 10:47:14

I found last evening's performance very moving. I love the new music. Unlike some (most?), I found the entire interaction with Houdini engaging and relevant. I heard echoes of his song and its themes throughout the rest of the show.

I was disappointed with the sound, although I'm not sure if this is a design issue or if something was just amiss last night. I suspect the latter. Individual ballads and duets were fine; ensemble pieces were more problematic. Several people around me were commenting at intermission that certain people were difficult to hear, especially Sir.

The orchestra, on the other hand, sounded lush and beautiful. Such a beautiful score...

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by morosco 2014-07-11 10:58:48

The new song for the new character of Houdini is really lovely and the actor performing it does an awesome job with it.

As for the orchestra/sound design I don't recall hearing the strings at any point during the show. Cut the strings and add at least another brass player. The trumpet sounded a little anemic at times.


Back to Houdini, I was fascinated with his entrance. He first appears behind a white drop and he is backlit so you can only see his shadow. He comes in from the flies on a rope and performs an escape. At the end when he reaches the stage floor the drop flies out and he enters to applause. It was until later when I was talking with a friend that I realized that the escape illusion was all a projection. Makes me wonder if projections were also used during the moments when the doctors discuss separating the twins. The projections were very well done and smoothly integrated and never looked like projections.

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by Wilmingtom 2014-07-11 13:08:27

I can't imagine this transferring. It got rave reviews, has over-the-top word of mouth, and is still only doing middling business. That combination will not encourage producers to throw money at it.

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by grumpyoptimist 2014-07-12 01:35:49

Mike3, I experienced the same issue with sound on Weds night, but I thought I might be in a sound gap because I was far stage right in the last seat in the row. There is was like certain performers (Robert Joy being the worst) had a little echo thing going or something. And it's kinda critical to be able to understand him to get the full effect of the show.

I liked it a lot in La Jolla, and think the changes improve it immensely. Ryan Silverman is a much more believable Terry. I think they shortened 1+1 again, or at least it seemed tighter. "Coming apart at the seams" helps bring everything together. And the final scene works much better now for me. Still not sure if it would find an audience on Broadway...

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by Mike3 2014-07-12 19:53:18

Grumpy: I was tenth row center, so I suspect this is a larger problem.

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by Alix 2014-07-12 21:48:29

Saw this this afternoon and really enjoyed it. I knew pretty much nothing about it other than the basic premise and having heard a bit of "I Will Never Leave You." I thought the cast was excellent, and the costumes really are crazy good. One weak point: Houdini's scene really took me out of the show (and his song was definitely unnecessary). It seemed like an afterthought.

I'd estimate that the theater was about 90 percent full, and the audience seemed to really enjoy it. Hope it's able to transfer!

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by RaisedOnMusicals 2014-07-12 23:29:21

Just got back to my hotel room after seeing it tonight. I thought that this was an excellent production though I agree with Alix that the Houdini number was unnecessary and shoukd be cut.

I had not seen the show before but the two power ballads sung by the twins, "Who Will Love Me As I Am?" and "I Will Never Leave You" as sung by Ripley and Skinner are of my most played iTunes tracks. I was concerned going in that Davie and Padgett would not be quite as capable of putting those two huge duets over but have no fear--they were brilliant. And David St. Louis was magnificent as Jake.

I was able to visit briefly with one of the featured performers after the show, and with two performances left to go, it seems like the cast is hopeful for a NY transfer. BUT, I have significant doubts that it's a commercially viable Broadway venture, unless it's produced by a non profit. Even tonight (the last Saturday night performance) there were plenty of empty seats, and the show got deservedly rave reviews.

SIDE SHOW at Kennedy Center
Posted by Brian07663NJ 2014-07-14 08:43:18

I attended the matinee performance on Saturday, July 12. The orchestra was not full. I was center and two rows behind the break. Right before the curtain went up I noticed composer Henry Krieger quickly seating himself in what would be a box on the left side of the house. Right before intermission he quickly jumped up and ran through the side door most likely backstage. He was back again after intermission and again quickly departed midway through the second act not to be seen again.

I am a fan of the original production on Broadway. I was very eager to see what they changed to possibly make this more commercially successful. Unfortunately, though I did like some of the changes and accept that requires some familiar songs to be cut...not enough was done in my opinion to make this any more of a success if it were to transfer to Broadway. The additional back story/history of Auntie and Sir being after the Houdini song (agree beautiful but unnecessary though it was interesting the lesson he was giving to them in that song) rather than when Terry/Buddy meet them for the first time felt out of sequence.

I loved the set and costumes. Really liked how they modified the lyrics to "Say goodbye to the Side Show" to increase the impact at the end of Act 2 when the movie producer told them the title of the movie they would star in. When that title was announced it was clear that the audience was invested in the characters by the audible gasp and air being sucked out of the room. Unfortunately for me it was only at that moment that I really cared about Daisy and Violet. By that time is was only a few minutes before the curtain came down on the second act. It was too late.

There was only one flashy dance number. Not sure where, or if it would even be possible, to insert another.

As much as I would wish this to transfer to would most likely meet the same fate as the original.

Edit: The enunciation of the lyrics by Sir were really difficult to understand and I know the lyrics fairly well from listening to the soundtrack too! That in itself is problematic because he opens the show. Without him grabbing the audience (as a carnival barker should) then the audience is left to digress and not enter the world of the Side Show.