JCC theater presents musical that celebrates society's marginalized

Based on the story of real-life conjoined twins and Depression-era Vaudeville stars Violet and Daisy Hilton, “Side Show” blends the music of the era with contemporary musical theater in a poignant depiction of the everyday hopes and dreams of people living on the fringes of society.

Ross Shirley, who directs Gallery Players' production of “Side Show,” said he believes the story of the struggle for acceptance rings true given the current political climate.

“Theater offers opportunities to look at ourselves and the world around us and consider them from new, different perspectives,” Shirley said. “[The sisters] fought so hard to be seen as not some gimmick. They were true entertainers. But the tragedy is that is not what the world allowed them to be.”

Contemporary yet less familiar, Shirley said the strength of the show is its “big, belty Broadway ballads,” delivered most often in duet by Eryn Hollobaugh and Bailey Maholm, who play the Hilton sisters in the Gallery Players production.