Another National Anthem Sung on Broadway as Assassins Starts, March 31

By Ernio Hernandez
March 31, 2004

The lobby warning "Gunshots will be used during the performance" takes on an additional meaning at Broadway's Studio 54 as Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman's musical Assassins begins on Broadway, March 31.

Tony Award winner Joe Mantello (Wicked, Take Me Out ) directs the Roundabout Theatre Company revival set to open April 22 for a run currently slated through June 20.

Assassins, which debuted Off-Broadway at Playwrights Horizons in 1990, centers on nine presidential assassins and would-be assassins. It anachronistically weaving together scenes wherein they interact with one another. The show is set in motion as the assassins are invited to take aim at a carnival shooting gallery.

Neil Patrick Harris (as Balladeer/Lee Harvey Oswald) will lead a cast that includes James Barbour (as Leon Czolgosz), Mario Cantone (as Samuel Byck), Michael Cerveris (as John Wilkes Booth), Alexander Gemignani (as John Hinkley), Marc Kudisch (as Proprietor), Jeffrey Kuhn (as Giuseppe Zangara), Becky Ann Baker (as Sara Jane Moore), Mary Catherine Garrison (as Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme) and Denis O'Hare (as Charles Guiteau).

To view the first two of Playbill On-Line's exclusive Assassins Shooting Gallery features, focusing on all nine assassins and the actors who portray them, visit the Special Features section or click here:
Part I: Kuhn as Zangara and Cerveris as Booth or
Part II: Gemignani as Hinckley and Cantone as Byck
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James Clow, Merwin Foard, Eamon Foley, Kendra Kassebaum, Ken Krugman, Anne L. Nathan, Chris Peluso, Brandon Wardell and Sally Wilfert will also play in the ensemble of the Roundabout presentation.

The musical — based on an idea by Charles Gilbert, Jr. — features a book by Weidman with music and lyrics by Sondheim. Paul Gemignani — who was involved with the original Off-Broadway run — serves again as musical director. Orchestrations are by Michael Starobin. Musical staging is provided by Jonathan Butterell (Nine).

The design team for Assassins includes Robert Brill (set), Susan Hilferty (costume), Peggy Eisenhauer and Jules Fisher (lighting) and Dan Moses Schreier (sound). Hair and wig design is handled by Tom Watson while projections are by Elaine J. McCarthy.

The score includes the songs "Everybody’s Got the Right," "The Ballad of Booth," "How I Saved Roosevelt," "Gun Song," "The Ballad of Czolgosz," "Unworthy of Your Love," "The Ballad of Guiteau," "Another National Anthem," "Something Just Broke" and "Everybody’s Got the Right" (reprise). "Something Just Broke" was not featured in the original Off-Broadway run, but was added to the show for the subsequent London run directed by Sam Mendes.

Roundabout had slated a 2001 production of the musical which was postponed in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. This staging will mark the musical's Broadway premiere.

The original staging of Assassins in 1990 featured Jace Alexander as Oswald, Patrick Cassidy as Balladeer, Victor Garber as Booth, Greg Germann as Hinckley, Anne Golden as Fromme, Lyn Greene as Goldman, Jonathan Hadary as Guiteau, Eddie Korbich as Zangara, Terrence Mann as Czolgosz, Debra Monk as Moore and Lee Wilkof as Byck. The Jerry Zaks-directed staging lasted 71 performances.

The musical will be one of two works by the team of Sondheim and Weidman to be produced by the Roundabout this year. The company will also team up with Gorgeous Entertainment Inc. to present Pacific Overtures on Broadway in the Fall of 2004 at the same space, Studio 54.

Tickets are currently available at Studio 54 (254 West 54th Street), by calling Ticket Services at (212) 719-1300 or online at www.roundabouttheatre.org.