December 18, 1990
Assassins
Composer:Stephen Sondheim
Librettist:Stephen Sondheim
Synopsis
Assassins opens in a fairground shooting galley where a murderous carnival game’s Proprietor entices a group of men and women to play. Among them are Charles Guiteau, “Squeaky” Fromme, and Lee Harvey Oswald. The Proprietor promises them that killing a United States President will solve their problems and one by one hands them weapons. John Wilkes Booth is the last to step forward. Each is followed from their history and reasoning to their successful or unsuccessful assassination.

Through stories of historical characters, the complexity and darkness of villainous deeds is written with folk songs, cakewalks, waltz, and Sousa pomp. With subtle illusions of Americanism and a lush personification of the warped American Dream, Assassins probes the complexity of outsider thinking, the sanitized history written by the good guys, and what pushes people to the edge.

Title Information

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Approximate Runtime (hh:mm)
00:57

Number of Acts
1

Musical Style
A blend of Civil War ballads, folk songs, spirituals, cakewalks, hoedowns, barbershop quartets, Sousa marches, society waltzes, Broadway showtunes, and soft rock.

Original Cast
William Parry (The Proprieter)
Patrick Cassidy (The Balladeer)
Victor Garber (John Wilkes Booth)
Jonathan Hadary (Charles Guiteau)
Terrence Mann (Leon Czolgosz)
Eddie Korbich (Guiseppe Zangara)
Annie Golden (Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme)
Debra Monk (Sara Jane Moore)
Greg Germann (John Hinckley, Jr.)
Lee Wilkof (Samuel Byck)
Jace Alexander (Lee Harvey Oswald)
Marcus Olson (David Herold)
Lyn Greene (Emma Goldman)


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