Violet Hour's Mario Cantone Set for Musical Assassins on Broadway

News   Violet Hour's Mario Cantone Set for Musical Assassins on Broadway Actor-comedian Mario Cantone, currently starring on Broadway in The Violet Hour, is set to star in the upcoming Roundabout Theatre Company staging of Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman's Assassins.

Mario Cantone
Mario Cantone

"I'm doing [The Violet Hour], then I'm doing Assassins. I promised Joe [Mantello] I'd do Assassins and I certainly want to because I don't want anybody else to take my role," Cantone revealed to Playbill On-Line. The actor will take on the role of Samuel Byck — the wannabe assassin who threatened to crash a plane into the Nixon White House.

The character's particular plans in the volatile musical—which postponed its Broadway run following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks—will take on different connotations in the wake of the World Trade Center's destruction, Cantone concurred. "The whole thing is going to take on a whole new meaning and be very resonant," he said.

The 2001 scheduled Broadway cast included Douglas Sills (Little Shop of Horrors), Neil Patrick Harris (Cabaret), Denis O'Hare (Take Me Out), Raul Esparza (Taboo, John Dossett (Gypsy) and Cantone.

Librettist John Weidman told Playbill On-Line (Oct. 2003) "I'm happy to say that, as of the last conversation I had with Joe [Mantello], many of the key people, the crucial people — Neil Patrick Harris, for example — are available."

Assassins will reteam Cantone with director Joe Mantello, (Wicked, Take Me Out) whom he has worked with on Love! Valour! Compassion! and his limited Broadway engagements of An Evening With Mario Cantone.

Cantone is known for his over-the-top roles in "Sex and the City," "Quiz Show," and the former children's television show "Steampipe Alley." Other credits include The Tempest (New York Shakespeare Festival), The Crumple Zone (Rattlestick Theatre) as well as stand-up gigs at Carnegie Hall, Caroline's Comedy Club, and on "Comedy Central Presents... Mario Cantone."

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