Look. Here’s the deal. I really didn’t like Side Show.
I didn’t hate it. It didn’t make me hellaciously mad, or want to like… stab everyone in a seven foot radius.
I just didn’t get it. The lyrics are horrid — they have no rhythm or really useful rhyme structure, and a complete lack of any kind of natural flow so it mostly just sounds like people are stumbling around trying to spit out words as fast as they can. And there’s maybe one melody in the entire show, which like… is a thing I could get over (I love Les Miz, for example), if like… somehow the material really made me care. Or feel something.
But basically the only moment I gave a fuck about anyone on that stage was like, 99% of the way through the show, when Sir came back to beg for a job or whatever, and like… OMG. If the only time I feel any real emotional pull is at the end when the bad guy gets his comeuppance, there’s really something wrong. I really shouldn’t have more sympathy for that guy than for the stars of the show.
Anyway, here’s the thing. I think I figured out how to make this work. Because in the middle of the second act, when Terry — who’s name I honest-to-god could not remember for the entire show — sings that song about only loving half of the Daisy and Violet duo, and then does a dream ballet, I had a very important epiphany about Side Show.
It would be better if The Phantom was in it.
Which I think means that I’ve also figured out where Andrew Lloyd Webber got the idea for Love Never Dies. And I’ve basically never laughed so hard in the theater as I did at Love Never Dies. So really, I stand by this The Phantom of the Side Show idea. Like. Make the impresario The Phantom and I’m going to laugh my face off for three hours and buy it on DVD to watch again and again.
So sorry Side Show. Until you make another edit and find a real emotional core — one where I actually feel for Daisy and Violet — or add in The Phantom, I’m just never going to love you as you are.