Film director Bill Condon brings 'Side Show' back to Broadway

Fri Oct 17, 2014 5:06pm EDT
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By Elly Park

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Hollywood film director Bill Condon is making his Broadway debut next month with a revival of the 1997 musical "Side Show" about British conjoined twins, Daisy and Violet Hilton, who toured the vaudeville circuit in the United States in the 1930s.

Condon, the director of "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn" films and "Dreamgirls" and an Oscar winner for his screenplay for "Gods and Monsters," has reworked the play that premiered in 1997 and is based on the book of the same name by Bill Russell.

Previews begin on Oct. 28 with the opening night on Nov. 17.

"We started having these discussions about 'Side Show' which had been so beloved when it was originally here but never really got the audience it deserved," Condon told Reuters after a press preview of the show on Friday.

"And I had some ideas about ways in which it might shift and we started a long conversation that included Bill Russell."

The original 1997 musical earned mixed reviews and ran for just three months but it developed cult status. Condon's revised version premiered last year at the LaJolla Playhouse in California and had a run at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

The revival will have significant changes. Several songs have been added, while other were cut and substantial rewrites were made.

But Condon said the biggest challenge for the new production was finding the right actresses to play the conjoined twins, who lead a cast of misfits and freaks in the show.   Continued...

Director Bill Condon attends a news conference for the film "The Fifth Estate" at the 38th Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in Toronto September 6, 2013. REUTERS/Fred Thornhill