The Broadway premiere of Stephen Sondheim’s Assassins will play the Music Box Theatre rather than the previously announced Booth Theatre, robbing the musical about presidential assassins the irony of being in a house named for John Wilkes Booth’s brother, Edwin.
The Roundabout Theatre Company confirmed the booking Aug. 7, and officially announced Douglas Sills to play John Wilkes Booth, the handsome, disgruntled anti-North actor who murdered Abraham Lincoln. The musical, with music and lyrics by Sondheim and a book by John Weidman, explores the stories and legacies of those who killed or tried to kill U.S. presidents throughout history. The show premiered in 1991 Off-Broadway but did not move to Broadway apparently in part because of the political climate and the looming Gulf War.
Joe Mantello will stage Assassins, with choreography by John Carrafa. Previews begin Nov. 1, with an opening set for Nov. 29.
The design team includes Robert Brill (sets), Ann Roth (costumes), Kenneth Posner (lights) and Jonathan Deans (sound). Michael Starobin is orchestrator (as he was for the original cast album). Paul Gemignani is musical director (as he was a decade ago). Frank P. Scardino is executive producer.
The Music Box, the intimate and ornate theatre on 45th Street built by Irving Berlin and Sam Harris, loses Neil Simon’s The Dinner Party Sept. 1, it was announced this week. The closing announcement freed the Roundabout to announce the Assassins change of venue. No reason was immediately given for the change.