June 27, 2008
Tony-nominated lyricist and playwright Bill Russell returns to Morningside College to direct a concert version of his Broadway musical “Side Show” that will be performed at 7 p.m. on Saturday, July 19, in the Buhler Outdoor Performance Center at 3625 Garretson Avenue on the Morningside campus.
Russell, who attended Morningside College from 1967 to 1969, made his Broadway debut as a writer with “Side Show.” The musical opened in October 1997 and is inspired by the true story of conjoined twins Daisy and Violet Hilton, who became stars during the Depression. “Side Show” received Tony nominations in 1998 for best musical, best actress, book (musical) and original musical score.
The free concert is the second of four productions scheduled for the Betty Ling Tsang Summer Fine Arts Series at Morningside’s new outdoor amphitheater-style performance center. In the event of rain, the concert will be moved to Klinger-Neal Theatre, 3700 Peters Avenue, on the Morningside campus.
“We are honored that Bill has agreed to return to Morningside College and Sioux City to stage this concert version of Side Show,” said Randy Peters, artistic director for the Betty Ling Tsang Summer Fine Arts Series. “This will be a unique opportunity for Sioux City area residents to see and hear a Tony-nominated musical directed by its creator.”
Peters added that several Sioux City performers will appear in the concert, including Erin Nelson in the role of Violet Hilton, Sally Sams as Daisy Hilton, Collin O‘Connor in the role of Buddy Foster and John Krager as The Boss.
Russell is a South Dakota native who lives in New York City and continues to write and direct. His many Broadway and off-Broadway credits include “Pageant” and “Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens.” Morningside conferred an honorary degree of doctor of humane letters upon Russell in 2003.
Other performances scheduled for the Betty Ling Tsang Summer Fine Arts Series include “The Emperor’s New Clothes” on August 8 and 9, and “Symphony in Sneeze,” a family concert of symphonic music play, on August 23. All performances are free and open to the public.