It also doesn't help that Emily Padgett and Erin Davie, playing Daisy and Violet, respectively, are as charisma-free a pair of headliners as I've ever seen in a major musical production. In the original production, Skinner was a strong alto capable of riffing her face off, while Ripley employed both an angelic soprano and a fearlessly high belt. Padgett and Davie both sing like church sopranos, dull as dishwater. It's smart singing, perhaps, but never exciting. Their voices and physical presentation (both done up in mousy brown wigs) are so similar that it's often hard to tell them apart, much less care about their hopes and dreams, which they enumerate in "Like Everyone Else," a merciful holdover from the original production. The rest of the cast--which includes Ryan Silverman, Matthew Hydzik, David St. Louis, and Robert Joy in principal roles--is serviceable, if hardly captivating.
|photo: Drew Angerer|
Side Show will shutter on January 4, 2015, seventeen years and one day from the original production's closing date. It will have played even fewer performances than its predecessor. Perhaps, as was the case then, the closing notice will bring renewed interest to this struggling revisal. I'd say that you'd do just as well to stay home and listen to the vastly superior original cast recording.
[Last row orchestra, all the way to the side, TDF]