The Boss, a carnival ringmaster, introduces the audience to the exhibits in his sideshow: the Bearded Lady, the Lizard Man, the geek, the Cannibal King, the “seraglio of a Hashemite sheik” and his harem of virgins, and the biggest draw of all, a pair of conjoined twins (“Come Look at the Freaks”). Meanwhile, Buddy Foster, a young musician and usher at the carnival, drags the reluctant Terry Connor, a booking agent on the Orpheum Circuit, to the sideshow. Buddy wants to show Terry the conjoined twins, Daisy and Violet Hilton -- he is convinced that they could make a great act on the Circuit. After the show, Terry has warmed to the idea. He can see that the girls have talent and their deformity is a definite draw for audiences. Buddy assures Terry that he can coach them in singing and dancing, and that signing these girls -- with Buddy in on the deal -- will rocket them all to success.
Elsewhere, the cast of the sideshow are announcing that Jake, a roustabout and the so-called