Josie Lawrence is an absolute triumph, embracing the audience on her journey from cocky tradeswoman to a woman that Mother Courage would be ashamed of, so downtrodden is her outlook and situation.
Daisy and Violet’s true confessions make more shocking reading than anything covered in the musical: they each married a gay man – one for ten years, one for ten days – and were allegedly nymphomaniacs entertaining two or three gentleman callers a night. No wonder the book writer and lyricist skipped that part.
Through their fascinating and unconventional lives, Side Show succeeds in engaging the audience with an open question about individuality and identity; the two girls’ struggle to just be themselves (or “Like Everyone Else” as they sing) is a never-ending controversial and painful process of auto-definition.
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