Posts in the ‘shows’ category


Erin Davie and Emily Padgett Will Star in Re-Imagined Side Show at La Jolla and Kennedy Center

By Adam Hetrick
August 2, 2013 

Description: Emily Padgett


Emily Padgett

Photo by Dirty Sugar

Erin Davie and Emily Padgett will co-star as conjoined twins Violet and Daisy Hilton in the La Jolla Playhouse-Kennedy Center production of Side Show, the Tony Award-nominated musical by Henry Kriegerand Bill Russell, which will return to the stage in a new incarnation directed by Academy Award winner Bill Condon this fall.

Condon ("Dreamgirls") has given new dramatic shape to the dark, pop-driven musical that has a score by Krieger (Dreamgirls) and Russell (Elegies for Angels…), who also wrote the book, and contains numerous stand-out songs, including "Who Will Love Me As I Am?"

A source close to the production told that the creative team is hopeful for a Broadway run following Side Show's engagements at the La Jolla Playhouse (Nov. 5-Dec. 15) and The Kennedy Center(June 14-July 13, 2014).

Davie (Grey GardensA Little Night Music) and Padgett (Rock of Ages, Flashdance) will co-star as Violet and Daisy, respectively, in a cast that will also feature Manoel Felciano (Sweeney Todd, Cabaret) as Terry Connor, Matthew Hydzik (West Side Story, Grease) as Buddy and David St. Louis (Jesus Christ Superstar, The Scarlet Pimpernel) as Jake.

The cast will also boast 2013 Tony Award nominee Keala Settle (Hands on a Hardbody) as the Fortune Teller, with Brandon Bieber (Follies) as Freak, Lauren Elder (Hair) as a member of the ensemble, Javier Ignacio (Forever Plaid) as Houdini, Robert Joy ("CSI: NY") as Sir, Kelvin Moon Loh (Here Lies Love) as Freak, Zonya Love (The Color Purple) as Hottentot, Barrett Martin(Nice Work if You Can Get It) as Ray/Freak, Don Richard (Wicked) as Martin Arnold/Freak, Blair Ross (Jekyll and Hyde) as Bearded Lady/Auntie, Matthew Patrick Davis (A Midsummer Night's Dream) as Freak, Nicholas Mongiardo-Cooper as Freak/Dr. Weldon, Hannah Shankman (Hair) as a member of the ensemble, as well as David Kirk Grant and Michelle London (Wicked) as swings.

The creative team features choreographer Anthony Van Laast, scenic designer David Rockwell, costume designer Paul Tazewell, lighting designers Jules Fisher and Peggy Eisenhauer and sound designer Kai Harada.




Erin Davie

"Bill Condon is coming to the Playhouse to develop and stage a re-imagined script and score for Side Show with this hugely talented cast and creative team. We can't wait to work with them as they breathe bewitching new life into this favorite of the American Musical Theatre," La Jolla artistic directorChristopher Ashley said in a statement.

Among the new characters revealed for this production of Side Show are Harry Houdini; Texas lawyer Martin Arnold; Loretta, a Hedda Hopper-like gossip columnist; as well as the characters of Auntie and Sir, based on the twins' real life caretakers Mary Hilton and her husband, who helped birth the U.K.-born twins and originally exploited them for monetary gain.

"Henry and I are thrilled to be doing more work with Bill Condon on this piece," book writer and lyricist Russell previously told "We've already done quite a bit of rethinking, re-examining and revising of it together and his brilliance and passion for the show are inspiring. Long-time fans of the original should not be alarmed. Though we're excited by this opportunity to take another look at the material, the essence of the show is still intact."

Krieger and Russell's score propels the mostly sung-through musical that traces the lives of the Hilton twins from their rough upbringing in a traveling freak show, to their turn as celebrated Vaudeville stars, who were never able to live a life apart from the curious eyes of the public. A cast album preserves many of the songs from the production, but large sections of Krieger and Russell's recitative that link the action were unrecorded.

Side Show debuted on Broadway Sept. 19, 1997, at the Richard Rodgers Theatre. Though its Broadway run was brief, at only 91 performances, Side Show has garnered a legion of fans. Robert Longbottom directed the original production that starred Tony nomineeEmily Skinner and Tony Award winner Alice Ripley as Daisy and Violet Hilton, respectively. The actresses shared a Tony Award nomination for their work. The original cast also included Norm LewisHugh Panaro and Jeff McCarthy.

Tickets to the La Jolla engagement go on sale Sept. 8 at or by calling (858) 550-1010.

* * *–Full-Cast-Announced-20130802

Emily Padgett & Erin Davie to Play Daisy and Violet Hilton in La Jolla Playhouse and Kennedy Center's SIDE SHOW- Full Cast Announced!

By BWW News Desk

August 2, 2013


Description: Description:

La Jolla Playhouse, in association with The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, has announced casting for its re-imagining ofHenry Krieger (music) and Bill Russell's (book and lyrics) Side Show, produced in association with the Kennedy Center. Helmed by Academy Award-winning director Bill Condon and choreographed by Anthony Van Laast, the production will run in The Playhouse's Mandell Weiss Theatre November 5 – December 15, 2013 and will run in the Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater June 14 – July 13, 2014. Tickets for The Playhouse run go on sale September 8 and are available or by calling Patron Services at (858) 550-1010.

"Bill Condon is coming to The Playhouse to develop and stage a re-imagined script and score for Side Show with this hugely talented cast and creative team. We can't wait to work with them as they breathe bewitching new life into this favorite of the American Musical Theatre," said Playhouse Artistic Director Christopher Ashley.

The show's leading ladies – conjoined twins "Violet Hilton" and "Daisy Hilton" – will be played by Broadway favorites Erin Davie (Grey Gardens) and Emily Padgett (Rock of Ages) respectively; Manoel Felciano (Broadway revival of Sweeney Todd) as "Terry Connor"; Matthew Hydzik(Broadway revival of West Side Story) as "Buddy"; David St. Louis (Broadway's Harlem Song) as "Jake."

Returning to The Playhouse following her stunning, Tony Award-nominated performance as "Norma Valverde" in the hit musical Hands on a Hardbody is Keala Settleas "Fortune Teller."

The company also boasts the talents of Brandon Bieber (Broadway's Follies) as "Freak," Lauren Elder (Broadway revival of Hair) as a member of the ensemble,Javier Ignacio (Forever Plaid) as "Houdini," Robert Joy (Dr. Sid Hammerback on CSI: NY) as "Sir," Kelvin Moon Loh (off-Broadway's Here Lies Love) as "Freak,"Zonya Love

(Broadway's The Color Purple) as "Hottentot," Barrett Martin (Broadway's Nice Work if You Can Get It) as "Ray/Freak," Don Richard (Wicked national tour) as "Martin Arnold/Freak" and Blair Ross (Broadway's Jekyll and Hyde) as "Bearded Lady/Auntie."

Additionally, several local actors will join the cast, including Matthew Patrick Davis (Playhouse's A Midsummer Night's Dream) as "Freak,"Nicholas Mongiardo-Cooper as "Freak/Dr. Weldon," Hannah Shankman as a member of the ensemble, as well as and David Kirk Grant andMichelle London as swings.

The creative team features David Rockwell (2011 and 2010 Academy Awards; Broadway's Kinky Boots), scenic design; Paul Tazewell(Sideways, His Girl Friday, Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots), costume design; Jules Fisher and Peggy Eisenhauer (2013 Tony Award winners for Broadway's Lucky Guy), lighting design and Kai Harada (Broadway's Million Dollar Quartet), sound design.




posted by bill on August 18, 2013, at 7:16 am | filed under news, productions, shows, side show | no comments »

posted by bill on May 16, 2013, at 7:30 am | filed under news, shows, side show | no comments »


The Miss Glamouresse contestants will once again compete for New York audiences this summer when the Bill Russell-Frank Kelly-Albert Evans musical Pageant returns for an Off-Broadway run at New World Stages.

The musical, which features an all-male cast playing the beauty queens, premiered Off-Broadway in 1991 at the Blue Angel, with subsequent productions in London and Australia. Pageant continues to be a popular regional title across the U.S. The original New York cast featured David Drake and Tony Award winner Dick Scanlan.

The new production, staged by Matt Lenz and choreographed by Shea Sullivan, will begin performances Aug. 9 at New World Stages, according to an Equity casting notice.

Details of the Off-Broadway run have not been officially announced; however, casting notices indicate that Pageant will play select performances at New World Stages each week. The creative team held an industry reading of the musical last spring.

Pageant has book and lyrics by Tony nominee Russell (Side Show, Elegies…) and Kelly, and music by Evans. It was originally conceived by Robert Longbottom (Side Show).

"We authors are thrilled that Pageant is coming back to parade its special kind of beauty Off-Broadway," Russell told "In the years since the original production, the heels of Misses Deep South, West Coast, Great Plains, Bible Belt, Industrial Northeast and Texas have been filled by many fine actors around the world. But of course we expect to find the most talented and beautiful contestants in NYC. We're especially excited to be working with Shea Sullivan (choreography) and Stephen Yearick (costumes) – both of whom have extensive experience in the world of pageants. Let the beauty begin!"

"It is like no beauty pageant you’ve seen before," according to press notes. "Six contestants vying for the title of Miss Glamouresse compete in swimsuit, talent, evening gown and spokesmodel. You even get to choose the winner."

Casting is underway for the production. Mark Hartman will musical direct.

A reading last spring featured Tom Deckman (Spamalot), Jeff Hiller (Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, Silence!), Michael James Scott (Book of Mormon), Tyler Maynard (Altar Boyz, Little Mermaid), Constantine Rousouli (Ghost), Tony Sheldon (Priscilla Queen of the Desert) and David Turner (On a Clear Day, Arcadia, The Ritz).

posted by bill on May 3, 2013, at 7:15 am | filed under news, pageant | no comments »

this is so exciting!

posted by bill on January 23, 2013, at 10:37 am | filed under news, side show | no comments »

posted by bill on March 7, 2012, at 11:25 am | filed under news, shows, unexpected joy | no comments »