'Side Show' the Musical: How the Hilton twins' story is relevant to today's generation
MANILA, Philippines – The musical Side Show is set to open on August 31 at the Carlos P Romulo Auditorium at the RCBC Plaza on Friday, August 31.
Based on a book by Bill Russell and music by Henry Krieger, Side Show is based on the lives of conjoined twins Daisy and Violet Hilton. It tells the story of the sisters who try to find their place in the world as stage performers in the 1920s. Along the way, they endure the cruelty of people, find love, and learn how to embrace their uniqueness and individuality, in a judgemental world.
But even before comparing it to movie The Greatest Showman, Side Show is totally different despite some similarities to it.
"We can say it's actually similar in a way because it's about acceptance, about freaks being outcast. But it revolved around the story of the Hilton twins," says Gab Pangilinan, who plays Violet, during an interview with Rappler on August 14.
"But ultimately, the twins, they really just wanted to be like everyone else. They wanted to be treated normally and they just felt like outcast most of their lives."
As for the values and lessons, Kayla Rivera (who plays Daisy) believes there are situations still relevant to what's happening today, particularly when it comes to how people judge others based on looks.
"I think it's probably something general that all of us feel different right in a way that we're not like everyone else and that we want to be accepted, even if there's a different thing about ourselves right? But the freak show, it's just all about their physicality. Until now, it's still relevant [such as] issues of bullying, fast-shaming, social media," Kayla said.
Kayla said that despite the success and fame the Hilton sisters got, they were always ridculed for being different. "I feel that it's why Side Show is relevant because when people watch it, they'll be able to see themselves in us," she said of the characters.
But it's not only about the struggles and ridicule the sisters will face. They will also go through their separate emotional moments, testing their bond.
"At the end of the day, even if they have separate dreams... we're not going to give any spoilers but those close relationships at the end of the day are the most important thing," Kayla said.
"It's really about the sisterhood," Gab added.
What makes the show a must-watch, said Kayla, is that it has a lot of heart.
"It makes you realize in your own life, what is the most important thing because sometimes, we loose touch of that. We get so farfetched into the future, what our goals are, what you want to work on to, that we start to lose what's in front of your eyes and what you really should value and put time for it."
Joining the cast is former After Image singer Wency Cornejo, who makes his debut in theatre as the ringmaster Sir, described as the dark an "abusive" adopted father of the twins; Markki Stroem as talent scout Terry Connor; and David Ezra as Buddy, who also will be the love interests of the twins.
Timmy Pavino, Christine Flores, Ring Antonio, Mica Fajardo, Arman Ferrer, Alex Reyes, Jill Pena, Chesko Rodriguez, Luis Marcelo, and Vien King round up the cast of circus members of the show.
Side Show is directed by Steven Conde. – Rappler.com
For tickets to Side Show, log on ticketworld.com.ph or call 891-9999