It's Official: Assassins Takes Last Shot July 18

News   It's Official: Assassins Takes Last Shot July 18
The Tony Award-winning revival of Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman's Assassins — which announced a provisional closing of July 18 unless business improved — will indeed shutter on that date, production spokespersons confirmed.
Denis O'Hare in Assassins
Denis O'Hare in Assassins Photo by Joan Marcus

The Roundabout Theatre Company's staging at Studio 54 on Broadway was originally slated to run through May 30, then extended the first time to July 4. Buoyed by its five Tony wins, the most Tony Awards of any show at the 2004 ceremony, the production announced another extension to Sept. 12. Slow advance sales, however, forced the non-profit to rescind that extension. The show will close following the 7PM showing on July 18, having played 26 previews and 101 performances.

The lauded revival will live on in a PS Classics cast album set for an Aug. 3 release. The recording will boast the premiere of the song "Something Just Broke" (added to the musical for its London debut, after its 1991 Off-Broadway premiere). Visit

Turning the Studio 54 stage into the underbelly of a carnival roller coaster — complete with shooting gallery, spinning wheel and unobtainable prizes — the musical revival began performances March 31. Tony Award winner Joe Mantello (Wicked, Take Me Out ) directs the Roundabout Theatre Company revival which opened on Broadway April 22.

"Although Assassins has been playing to strong houses, the advance sales have slowed drastically. Sadly, contrary to popular perception, going into July, the show is not playing to capacity and tickets are available," Roundabout artistic director Todd Haimes had previously said in late June. "Assassins has been a great success for Roundabout and I am delighted that the production has been so well received by the press, the theatrical community and our subscribers. I want to make sure that anyone who may have been procrastinating on seeing this remarkable musical act now."

Assassins, which debuted Off-Broadway at Playwrights Horizons in 1990, theatrically retells the stories of the nine individuals who took aim at eight different presidents — the four successful and five attempted assassins. The stageshow filled with song anachronistically weaves together scenes wherein they all interact with one another. The ensemble cast features Neil Patrick Harris (Proof, Cabaret) in dual roles as The Balladeer — who comments on the action to the audience — and arguably the most infamous assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald. Michael Cerveris (Titanic, Tommy) swaggers as the first successful presidential assassin, John Wilkes Booth. James Barbour (Jane Eyre, Carousel) portrays William McKinley killer, Leon Czolgosz. Denis O'Hare (Take Me Out) cakewalks as the eccentric office seeker and James Garfield murderer, Charles Guiteau. Mario Cantone (The Violet Hour) takes on Samuel Byck, who threatened Richard Nixon with a 747. Jeffrey Kuhn (Ragtime) plays FDR gunman, Giuseppe Zangara. Alexander Gemignani plays the Jodie Foster-obsessed Ronald Reagan shooter, John Hinkley. And Becky Ann Baker (Titanic) and Mary Catherine Garrison (Debbie Does Dallas) play Gerald Ford's femme fatales, Sara Jane Moore and Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme, respectively.

John Schiappa — who replaced Marc Kudisch (Thoroughly Modern Millie) — is also featured in the cast as the Proprietor, who sets the show in motion and provides weapons and more to the assassins. James Clow, Merwin Foard, Eamon Foley, Kendra Kassebaum, Ken Krugman, Anne L. Nathan, Chris Peluso, Brandon Wardell and Sally Wilfert play a variety of roles in the ensemble.

Assassins — 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 musical took home Tony prizes for actor Michael Cerveris, director Joe Mantello, orchestrator Michael Starobin, the lighting team of Peggy Eisenhauer and Jules Fisher as well as the Tony for Best Revival of a Musical.

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

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