|Ben and gary in theater lobby after the Sideshow Performance|
The Porchlight production follows the careers of the Hilton Sisters, twin sisters who are conjoined, from a Sideshow in San Antonio, Texas, to Vaudeville, to their eventual casting in the movie Freaks and departure to Hollywood. From the opening number, the show reveals that the twins, along with the other characters who make up the sideshow, share the same emotional needs and desires as those a part of mainstream society, but because of their physical differences they will never be accepted or a part of mainstream society. My favorite part comes at the end of act one. The twins have recently been whisked away by a talent scout from the sideshow and their abusive employer. Daisy, the more assertive, ambitious of the twins, has fallen in love with the talent scout and believes that her feelings are reciprocated. Then, after one of their debut Vaudeville performances, the twins over hear the talent scout speaking to the press corps. Responding to a question about his relationship with Daisy, the talent scout says something to the effect of, "It's just for show. I could never love something like that." In a simple expression on her face, Daisy betrays heartbreak and devastation, then the twins close out the first act with a number about what it's like to feel human but never to be treated as human. I could relate. I am sure many other dwarfs could relate also.
|Banner hanging from the rafters on the set of Sideshow|
A second favorite part of the show came after the final curtain. Part of the set was a large scale reproduction of a publicity poster for the movie Freaks. The top line of the poster reads, "Can a full grown woman truly love a midget?" Offensive language aside, six years in my marriage, I am going to say, the answer is.....yes.