Will Neil Simon’s “shtick,” stick?
As recently as a decade ago, the question would have seemed ridiculous. Community theaters in Southern California, and no doubt much of the rest of the nation as well, had been featuring Simon’s plays in their seasons since the late 1960s. Outside of Shakespeare, it seemed as if no playwright during this period had as many of his works produced for suburban audiences.
Photo by Yvonne Kleiman
The two leads in the Pierce College production of "Side Show" have such sparkle and charm that one might be tempted to feel more sympathy for the bearded lady, the guy who drinks chicken blood, or others among the circus "freaks" who fill out the musical's cast. Still, the decision by director Gene Putnam to present to the audience well-adjusted Siamese twins, who by their actions exhibit little self-pity or sadness, makes the characters that much more appealing.