As BroadwayWorld first reported in March, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts will produce, in association with La Jolla Playhouse, a re-imagining of Henry Krieger and Bill Russell's Side Show. Directed by Academy Award® winning director Bill Condon, the musical will premiere at La Jolla Playhouse in the fall of 2013 and will play the Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater beginning June 2014. In a recent interview with creator Bill Russell chatted with the Sioux City Journal about the revival.
Russell revealed: 'There's been a lot of interest over the years in doing a revival of 'Side Show. A major regional theater was exploring a production five or six years ago, but we didn't know who would direct. The composer, Henry Krieger, had just done the movie, 'Dreamgirls,' directed by Bill Condon who won an Oscar for his screenplay for 'Gods and Monsters.' Henry asked Bill if he might be interested in directing a 'Side Show' revival and he said yes. I was over the moon at that news. Working with Henry and Bill on the revised version of the show has been the most exciting creative experience of my career."
He added: "We've done quite a bit of work on it and I'm sure will do more. Bill Condon has been totally immersed in directing the final two 'Twilight' films for the past two years. When people ask, I tell them that although almost all of the big numbers that people know and love are still in the show, there's a substantial amount of new material -- both music and book wise."
Russell also told SCJ that the show transferring to Broadway is 'not out of the realm of possibility.'
Based on the true story of conjoined twins Violet and Daisy Hilton who became stars during the Depression, Side Show is a moving portrait of two women joined at the hip whose extraordinary bondage brings them fame but denies them love. The original 1997 Broadway production of Side Show was directed by Robert Longbottom and received four Tony® nominations, including a shared nomination for co-stars Alice Ripley and Emily Skinner, the only time in Tony history where two people were co-nominated for the Best Actress award.
Bill Russell wrote the book and lyrics for Side Show, receiving a Tony Award® nomination for book and sharing a nomination with composer Henry Krieger for score. Mr. Russell co-wrote the book and lyrics for Off-Broadway's long-running musical Pageant (with collaborators Frank Kelly, Albert Evans, and Robert Longbottom), and directed it at the King's Head Theatre in London. The production transferred to the West End, received two Olivier Award nominations, and won that prestigious prize for "Best Supporting Performance in a Musical" for Miles Western's portrayal of Miss West Coast. He authored the book and lyrics for Elegies for Angels, Punks, and Raging Queens (music by Janet Hood), directing it in New York and in London's Fringe and West End, among many others, including a celebrity benefit in New York which was recorded by Fynsworth Alley. Other credits as bookwriter/lyricist include: Off-Broadway's Fourtune and The Texas Chainsaw Musical (co-author), Family Style (Minneapolis), Everything's Ducky and Lucky Duck (with Henry Krieger and Jeffrey Hatcher), and Kept with Henry Krieger and Steven Chbosky. He adapted the book of Call Me Madam for City Center Encores! The Last Smoker in America, for which he wrote the book and lyrics with composer Peter Melnick, will open off-Broadway this summer.