Helen Hayes Winner Calarco Directs D.C. Assassins for Signature

News   Helen Hayes Winner Calarco Directs D.C. Assassins for Signature
In a region where the term "assassin" has painful resonance, Signature Theatre in Arlington, Virginia, presents a new production Assassins, the Stephen Sondheim-John Weidman musical, May 30-July 16.

Audiences aren't scared of the show there, however: The first five weeks are sold, the theatre announced.

Joe Calarco, a Helen Hayes Award winner for Signature's Urinetown, directs a cast that includes D.C. favorites and Signature veterans, as well as newcomers.

The musical, revived on Broadway in 2004, "provides a darkly-comic, captivating look at the lives, loves, and lunacy of nine infamous American assassins — from John Wilkes Booth to Lee Harvey Oswald to John Hinckley Jr. — who attempted, successfully or not, to take the lives of American Presidents. One of the most innovative musicals in years, Sondheim's score ranges from folk to ragtime to big Broadway ballads."

The 2006 Helen Hayes Award-winning creative team behind Signature's sold-out hit production of Urinetown reunites for the project. The creative team includes musical director Jon Kalbfleisch (Signature's resident musical director; choreographer Karma Camp; set designer James Kronzer; costume designer Anne Kennedy; lighting designer Chris Lee; and sound designer Tony Angelini.

The company includes Matt Conner (Nevermore composer, Pacific Overtures, A Funny Thing... Forum) as John Hinckley; Erin Driscoll (2006 Helen Hayes Award, Outstanding Lead Actress for Urinetown) as Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme); Daniel Felton (Pacific Overtures, Side Show, Sweeney Todd, Over & Over, The Fix), Will Gartshore (The Sex Habits of American Women, 2006 Helen Hayes Award for Urinetown) as John Wilkes Booth; Peter Joshua (Passion, A Little Night Music) as Giuseppe Zangara; Donna Migliaccio (Urinetown, Pacific Overtures, Follies, Gypsy, Sweeney Todd, Into the Woods) as Sara Jane Moore; Tally Sessions (Gospel According to Fishman) as Leon Czolgosz; and Stephen Gregory Smith (2004 Helen Hayes Award, Outstanding Supporting Actor for 110 in the Shade) as The Balladeer/Lee Harvey Oswald. New to the Signature stage are young actors Ethan Ableman and Bradley Bowers, who are alternating performances as Billy Moore, Doug Bowles, Andy Brownstein as Samuel Byck, Priscilla Cuellar, Mika Duncan as Charles Guiteau, Kathryn Fuller as Emma Goldman, Diego Prieto and Steve Tipton as The Proprietor, who is a kind of carnival barker leading to the shooting gallery concept of the show.

Assassins marks Signature's 15th Sondheim production in the theatre's 17-year history, and the final in the converted garage space on South Four Mile Run Drive. In October, Signature's staff moves into a new $12.5 million two-theatre complex that will open to audiences in January 2007 with a production of Sondheim's Into the Woods.

For more information, visit www.signature-theatre.org.

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