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Perez Reviews: 'Side Show' on Broadway!

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It did it!

The little show that could, one of our top 3 musicals of all time, is back on Broadway!

It warmed our heart to see Side Show on the Great White Way again and playing to a nearly capacity Sunday matinee audience!

We saw it in this incarnation back in July at the Kennedy Center and we saw the original production back in the '90s - twice!

If you have never seen Side Show, then you MUST! It is essential!

Henry Krieger and Bill Russell have crafted one of the truly most timeless and special scores in all of musical theater history!

This production has a phenomenal staging by Bill Condon and everyone in the cast does a fine job. However, because we like to keep it real….

Since our excitement for seeing it on stage again was already satisfied this summer in D.C., this time we were left wanting a bit more power singing. We were distracted by the newness of it all at the Kennedy Center. And we were so enamored with this production that we then went back and listened to the original Broadway cast recording over and over and over again.

The two lead who play Violet and Daisy this time around, Emily Padgett and Erin Davie are both great and more than capable, but….

Alice Ripley and Emily Skinner, who originated the role of the Hilton sisters on Broadway in the show's first incarnation, sang that score to high heavens!

They belted like Idina Menzel times ten!

It was as if they were trying to outsing each other on that original cast recording, and it was exhilarating and glorious!

It probably isn't very sustainable for a (hopefully) long run, though, to belt that much every night, 8 shows a week.

But if we stop comparing these new girls vs the original girls, they are simply wonderful!

Go! Go! Go!

Side Show is THE new show of the winter!

P.S. CLICK HERE to read our initial review of Side Show from when we saw it at the Kennedy Center this past summer.

P.P.S. It would be EVERYTHING and we would see the show at least 5 more times if they brought in Alice and Emily to replace Emily and Erin after their contracts are up!!!! This must happen!!!!!!!!

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Perez Reviews: Side Show

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What a treat!

More than 16 years after we saw Side Show on Broadway - twice! - we got to see a brand new and reimagined production at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

The show, by Henry Krieger and Bill Russell, has one of the best scores of all time! And it truly is one of our favorite musicals!

Not only are the songs stunning but the story speaks to our soul! It's a tale of outsiders and love!

Based on the life of the original Hilton sisters, long before there was a Paris and Nicky, Daisy and Violet were conjoined twins who lived a difficult life - unwanted, unloved, "freaks" in the side show. Eventually they found fame in vaudeville and the movies before dying poor and barely remembered.

This new production, directed by Bill Condon, is VERY different from the original production. And it still has a little work to be done before being Broadway-ready.

And this MUST play a triumphant return on Broadway!

The new Side Show is darker and more lifelike. They've basically done to it what Christopher Nolan did to Batman, which was AWESOME!

Much of that credit goes to the direction and the visionary and brilliant new costumes from Paul Tazewell and the special makeup and effects design of Dave Elsey and Lou Elsey.

Inspired!!

There are a few new songs, and thankfully none of the iconic original ones are gone. There are a few more characters. Some, like the introduction of Houdini, are unnecessary. However, learning more about Daisy and Violet's backstory and their wicked caretakers is quite illuminating.

Act 1 felt a bit bloated and could use from some slight trimming, as well as a bit more razzle dazzle and bang for Broadway. Bigger sets! Moving pieces. Etc.

But, overall, this new production is dazzling!

And there are some thrilling performances!

Emily Padgett's voice is UNREAL and she gets to show that off so beautifully as Daisy! And playing the sister with a bit more heart, Erin Davie brings so much emotion and superb acting to the show, as well as a great voice of her own.

Alice Ripley and Emily Skinner, who first played Daisy and Violet, would be proud!

And the breakout star of the show is David St. Louis as Jake, Daisy's jilted wannabe lover, in a role originated by the phenomenal Norm Lewis! Tony Award-worthy!!!

Big kudos to everyone involved!

Can't wait to see it on Broadway and the final tweaks and improvements they make!!!

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