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Side Show – Original Cast Recording 1997

Side Show – Original Cast Recording 1997

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Synopsis

Side Show was inspired by the lives of Daisy and Violet Hilton, stars of vaudeville during the Depression, who also appeared in the films Freaks and Chained For Life. The Boss (Ken Jennings) introduces the exhibits in his sideshow, including his star attraction, the Siamese Twins – Come Look At The Freaks. Buddy Foster (Hugh Panaro), an aspiring musician, brings Terry Connor (Jeff McCarthy), a talent scout for the Orpheum Circuit, to see the Siamese Twins. Buddy thinks he could help them create an act and convinces Terry to meet them. The two men interrupt a party for the girls – Happy Birthday To You And To You. Terry asks their names and they respond, “I’m Daisy” (Emily Skinner), “I’m Violet” (Alice Ripley). He then asks them their dreams – Like Everyone Else. After the Boss rudely refuses Terry’s offer to be cut in on the twins’ potential vaudeville career, Terry devises a scheme whereby Buddy will teach the girls a song. Jake (Norm Lewis), an African-American who plays the Cannibal King in the sideshow and is the twins’ friend and protector, begs them to consider what they’re getting into and the whole sideshow family adds its opinion – The Devil You Know. Two weeks later, Terry returns to see the twins perform and Buddy tells him how the personal dynamics with the girls are getting sticky – More Than We Bargained For. Before their secret late-night performance, the twins confess to each other how infatuated they are with the two men who’ve come into their lives – Feelings You’ve Got to Hide. The Hilton Sisters’ secret debut is a great success – When I’m By Your Side. But the Boss discovers the subterfuge and physically threatens the twins when they tell him they’re leaving the sideshow. Jake comes to their rescue and the other attractions threaten to leave also, causing the Boss to back down. Daisy, Violet and Jake, whom Terry has invited to help backstage on the twins’ tour, bid farewell to their sideshow family – Say Goodbye To The Freak Show. Before their vaudeville debut, the twins argue about their different ways of expressing interest in men – Leave Me Alone. Onstage they sing We Share Everything in a production number featuring them as queens of ancient Egypt. After the twins’ performing triumph, Terry and Buddy shower them with kisses. Hostile reporters ask tough questions about the girls’ love life. Terry and Buddy deny any romantic inclinations, leaving the twins to wonder if they will ever find romantic fulfillment – Who Will Love Me as I Am? Act II opens with the Hilton Sisters at the height of their success – a Follies-style production number – Rare Songbirds On Display. Daisy’s dream of stardom has come true but Violet seems no closer to her dream of finding a husband. New Year’s Eve party, Buddy tries to cheer up Violet and ends up proposing marriage – New Year’s Day. Afterwards, Terry imagines what it would be like to be alone with Daisy – Private Conversation. In an onstage number (One Plus One Equals Three), Buddy, Violet and Daisy issue an upbeat invitation to their wedding. But backstage both Daisy and Buddy separately express doubts as to how the arrangement will work. Jake overhears Buddy and, in an effort to save Violet from seemingly imminent heartbreak, confesses that he has loved her for years – You Should Be Loved. The night before Violet and Buddy’s wedding as the grand finale of the Texas Centennial, Daisy is feeling left out. To appease her, Terry suggests going where they could be more-or-less alone together – Tunnel Of Love. The big day arrives. Hawkers sell tickets and souvenirs – Beautiful Day For A Wedding. But in the dressing area, complications arise. Jake announces he is leaving. Buddy confesses he’s not strong enough to marry Violet. Daisy offers a solution which will ensure a movie contract dependent on the wedding publicity – Marry Me, Terry. Terry cannot bring himself to publicly acknowledge what he feels for Daisy. She dismisses him and insists that Violet and Buddy go through with the ceremony, which will at least benefit everyone’s career. Left alone, the twins find solace in each other – I Will Never Leave You. As the wedding proceeds, they reprise Come Look At The Freaks with full understanding and acceptance of who they are and what they are doing.

Credits

Reptile Man: Barry Finkel Bearded Lady: Andy Gale Roustabout: Billy Hartung Snake Girl: Emily Hsu Fortune Teller: Alicia Irving Fakir: Devanand N. Janki The Boss; Ken Jennings Jake: Norm Lewis 6th Exhibit: Judy Malloy Sheik: David Masenheimer Terry Connor: Jeff McCarthy Roustabout: David McDonald Geek: Phillip Officer Buddy Foster: Hugh Panaro Dolly Dimples: Verna Pierce Violet Hilton: Alice Ripley Roustabout: Jim T. Rullman Daisy Hilton: Emily Skinner Harem Girl: Jenny-Lynn Suckling Harem Girl; Susan Taylor Roustabout: Timothy Warmen Harem Girl: Darlene Wilson Standbys: Kristen Behrendt, Lauren Kennedy, Todd Hunter. Understudies: David McDonald, David Masenheimer, John Frenzer. Swings: John Paul Almon, Kelly Cole, John Frenzer, Michelle Millerick, J. Robert Spencer. ORCHESTRA Music Direction: David Chase Music Coordinator: Seymour Red Press Associate Conductor: Lawrence Yunnan Woodwinds: Lawrence Feldman, Edward Salkin, Dennis Anderson, Roger Rosenberg Trumpets: Robert Millikan, Glenn Drewes, Earl Gardner Trombones: Larry Farrell, Jack Schatz French Horn: Roger Wendt Violins: Mary Rowell, Paul Woodiel, Jonathan Kass, Nancy Reed Cellos: Clay Ruede, Eileen Folson Bass: Robert Renino Keyboards: Philip Fortenberry Harp: Susan Jolles Guitar: Gregory Utzig Drums: Raymond Grappone Percussion: Eric Kivnick