To the Head of the Line: James Barbour Plays Big Bill Killer in Assassins on Broadway

News   To the Head of the Line: James Barbour Plays Big Bill Killer in Assassins on Broadway
 
James Barbour (Jane Eyre, Beauty and the Beast) will assume the role of President William McKinley assassin Leon Czolgosz in the upcoming Broadway staging of the Stephen Sondheim-John Weidman musical Assassins, Playbill On-Line has learned.

James Barbour
James Barbour

The actor will take over the role of Czolgosz (pronounced choal-gosh) that was to be played by John Dossett (Gypsy) when the production was set to open on Broadway in 2001, before being canceled in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Barbour recently starred in the Signature Theatre's world premiere staging of the Ken Ludwig's revised Ben Hecht-Charles MacArthur play Twentieth Century, in Washington, D.C. He has also appeared in Urinetown as Officer Lockstock, in the 1994 revival of Carousel as Billy Bigelow and in leading roles in Jane Eyre, Beauty and the Beast, and Back from Broadway — which he penned with co-star Hershey Felder (George Gershwin Alone).

Assassins, which debuted at Playwrights Horizons in 1990, centers on nine presidential assassins and would-be assassins. Tony Award winner Joe Mantello (Wicked, Take Me Out ) will direct. Paul Gemignani (Into The Woods, Kiss Me, Kate) will serve as musical director.

Beginning previews March 19, 2004, the long-awaited staging will open at Roundabout's new musical home Studio 54, April 22, 2004. This production will mark the musical's Broadway premiere.

Neil Patrick Harris will lead the cast as John F. Kennedy assassin Lee Harvey Oswald and Balladeer. Playbill On-Line previously reported actor-comedian Mario Cantone (The Violet Hour) is set to star as Samuel Byck and Alexander Gemignani as John Hinckley. Michael Cerveris (Tommy) told PBOL he is slated to play John Wilkes Booth — a role set to be played (in 2001) by Douglas Sills (Little Shop of Horrors).

Tickets will be made available Feb. 23, 2004 through (212) 719-1300 or online at www.roundabouttheatre.org. The Studio 54 box office will open for Assassins March 5, 2004.

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