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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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From One Side Show To The Next! Bill Condon Leaves Breaking Dawn Behind To Go Back To The Stage!

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Well, this will be certainly be a departure from Breaking Dawn!

Director Bill Condon has been tapped to helm a production of Side Show next year, which will take place at the Kennedy Center and at San Diego’s La Jolla Playhouse!

And that's not all! He's getting some old friends from his adaptation of Dreamgirls to help out!

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JHud Pays Tribute To The Big O!

Amazing, as always!

Check out Jennifer Hudson singing I'm Here from The Color Purple as a tribute to Oprah Winfrey on last night's broadcast of the Kennedy Center Honors. (above)

The Big O specifically requested JHud for the tribute - and what Oprah wants, Oprah always gets!

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Well, Hello Oprah's Boobs!

Filed under: Oops!Oprah WinfreyAwardz

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She's the richest woman on the planet and even she can manage to have a wardrobe malfunction!

Last night, Oprah Winfrey was given a Kennedy Center Honor along with Paul McCartney, Merle Haggard, Jerry Herman and Bill T. Jones.

Instead of bringing brand new cars for everyone in the audience, she brought in the big guns…or should we say jugs!

There's no containing those babies! Those tittays are just running free! Thank heavens her award is strategically placed!

At least Stedman looks like he is enjoying the show.

[Image via AP Images.]

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Oprah Winfrey To Receive Kennedy Honor (And Is A Little Indulgent About It!)

Filed under: Oprah WinfreyPaul McCartneyAwardz

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This morning, this year's list of Kennedy Honor recipients was announced. Leading the pack is Oprah Winfrey, whose billionaire status is only surpassed by what she has given back to others, on an off her talk show.

That might sound a little bit like brown-nosing, but don't worry, we haven't said anything about her Oprah wouldn't say about herself!

When asked how she felt about the extreme honor, Oprah didn't seem that surprised to be getting it. She told sources:

"When I've done them in the past for people, it has always felt a little bit like being bombarded with a love festival that is about you, and you know that's gotta feel good…I love surprising people, I don't like being surprised. Releasing any kind of control over a show and allowing myself to sit there and be surprised is not going to be easy but I'm willing to do that."

Humble as always, BB!

The other esteemed honorees this year include dancer, choreographer and director Bill T. Jones, country singer-songwriter Merle Haggard, Broadway composer and lyricist Jerry Herman and legendary former Beatles member, Paul McCartney.

Congrats to all!

[Image via WENN.]

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Kim Cattrall And Bernadette Peters To Star In Follies in D.C.!

Filed under: Broadway BabiesKim Cattrall

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Yikes! We hope Kim can keep up!

Sex and the City's Kim Cattrall and Tony Award winner Bernadette Peters will star in the Kennedy Center production of Follies from May 7th to June 5, 2011.

Kim will play Phyllis and Bernadette will take the role of Sally Durant Plummer.

Bet it's gonna be innneresting.

[Image via WENN.]

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