Director Bill Condon feels the controversy has been "overblown."
The fine ensemble swirling around McKellan's killer performance as the aging Mr. Holmes, now in retirement in the country, is first rate. And in that spirit, the movie's Monday premiere took advantage of Broadway's dark night, with theater actors out for drinks and ravioli at Southgate in celebration.
And so it goes -- another production of Side Show leaves us. Its cult status will remain, untouched by mainstream attention. This is no surprise to those of us who follow such things. In fact, the surprise was that it came at all.
In 1997, a hauntingly beautiful and richly uncommon musical called Side Show opened on Broadway to critical acclaim. The show was based on the lives of the famous conjoined real-life twins who were headliners in the 1930s vaudeville circuit.
Bill Condon, aware of the controversy surrounding Side Show in its original production -- is it P.C. to focus on "freaks"-- said he is hoping for the day when reviews won't open with a comparison to its ill-fated first production. And now this production is meeting an ill fate all its own.
It hard to find the silver lining in the cold, blustery weather and increasingly shorter days that mark December in New York, but one thing is the guilt for staying indoors completely evaporates.
I saw it first. Well, not quite. The rapturous critical reception that has greeted the revival of Side Show on Broadway takes me back, way back, to a demonstration of Side Show's unique power that I witnessed firsthand quite some time ago.
My trip to the west coast is bringing me in contact with two shows I have an emotional attachment to: Side Show and The Black Suits.