The Making of Side Show

Jacob Kriss, Accountability and Accuracy Manager

Upper School students have already begun rehearsals in preparation for the fast-approaching debut of the winter musical Side Show. The musical, which was first performed on Broadway in 1997, is based on the true story of conjoined twins Daisy and Violet Hiltons, who meet two men that promise to make them Vaudeville stars; it develops into a love story and eventually, the girls contemplate separating from each other. The narrative is expressed through twenty musical numbers. 

 Senior Zack Barnet, who will be playing Buddy Foster, Violet’s lover, is excited for the upcoming performance. He said, “Compared to last year’s winter play Fiddler on the Roof, I am more excited for this one. It is more of a challenge and has a stronger message of accepting yourself for who you are.”

Director of the Production Jason Reiff believes that everyone will be able to resonate with the musical’s  depiction of the lives of the twins and their unique struggle. “They were considered freaks during their time, and I think all of us can relate to those feelings of being an outsider, being ostracized and being judged,” Reiff said. The lives of the girls and their perseverance through being forced into indentured servitude as a result of their appearance is something that Reiff feels anyone can gain inspiration from. 

With opening night set for February 28, the cast and crew rehearse every day after school from 3:45 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. These practices, focused on choreography and perfecting the musical numbers, there is still a lot of work for everyone participating. Despite the challenges that come with such a unique performance, senior Ariana Copland said “Personally playing Daisy Hilton, one of the conjoined girls, presents a physical challenge which me and Annie Rubinson [playing the other twin] have overcome through consistent practice. ” Despite the apparent intricacies of the musical, Copland said she feels the cast and crew are well equipped to handle it. She said,  “It’s not really a challenge with all of our varying levels of experience existing among the performers, as well as the director’s and leader’s assistance.”