Cult Musical Hit Side Show at Theatre Building Chicago
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The last date listed for Side Show was Friday June 23, 2006 / 8:00pm.
Produced by Bohemian Ensemble Theatre, Side Show has reached the status of a cult musical. During its Broadway run it was either critically acclaimed (most notably by The New York Times) or assailed, and it suffered an unfortunate early demise. The fact that the show has been seen by so few and is rarely performed made it logical choice for BoHo to produce as the follow-up musical to their smash 2005 musical, The Wild Party. Regardless of its NYC longevity, the greatest asset to Side Show is its first-rate, tuneful score. The music by Henry Krieger (Dreamgirls) is filled with passion and contains wonderful melodies. The strong lyrics by Bill Russell are both thought provoking and soul searching. Character songs, such as the rousing “The Devil You Know,” in which the “freaks” argue about the merits of the twins leaving for vaudeville, and the gut wrenching “You Should Be Loved,” in which Jake communicates a previously unspoken love, provide some powerfully emotional moments. This coupled with powerhouse duets sung by the twins make Side Show the one that serious fans of the genre will not want to miss. The show begins in the 1930s at a second-rate sideshow where “Siamese” twins Daisy and Violet Hilton are the main attraction. With the assistance of a handsome talent scout named Terry and his assistant Buddy, the twins leave the sideshow (and their mean handler) and try their luck on the vaudeville circuit. With their sideshow friend Jake along to help, the ladies set out in search of fame, acceptance and love. However, the conjoined twins find that their unique physical limitations, as well as some personal biases, present obstacles in their pursuit of attaining their dreams. The amazing final duet “I Will Never Leave You” provides the girls an opportunity to look to the future, as they come to the realization that they are as strong as they allow themselves to be, both as individuals and as a pair.