"So, if you want to see some of the best theater that Brooklyn has to offer, please make your way over to Brooklyn Heights and enjoy being inspired by professionals whose passion it is to bring about a great great show."
And an amazing blog review at HI DRAMA:
VA HEINEMANN at HI DRAMA, REVIEWS -
Theater 2020 ASSASSINS
Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Book by John Weidman
Based on an idea by Charles Gilbert Jr.
Director: David Fuller
Music Director/Pianist: Brandon Adams
Costume Designer: Ben Philipp
Lighting Designer: Giles Hogya
Choreographer: Judith Jarosz
Production Stage Manager: Maria Marrero
David Arthur Bachrach*: Sam Byk
Jana Bernard: Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme
Amber Dewey: Balladeer, ,Lee Harvey Oswald, Emma Goldman
Christian Doyle: John Hinkley
Robert Farruggia*: Giuseppe Zangara
David Fuller*: Proprietor
Elizabeth Kensek*: Sara Jane Moore
Evan Maltby*: Leon Czolgosz
Josh Powell*: John Wilkes Booth
Danny Wilfred*: Charles Guiteau
(*Appearing courtesy of Actors Equity Association)
Sondheim/ Weidman’s “Assassins” chronicles all the
Presidential assassins and would be assassins from
Booth to Oswald. It's one of Sondheim's favorite subjects:
The Failed American Dream.
These poor misguided souls “that brought a nation to its
knees”; All the while thinking that what they did was going
to save the nation. While others had less lofty motives. They
had a bad tummy or wanted to impress Jodie Foster or to
rescue psychopathic Charles Manson.
You’d think such a deadly topic right now would be in poor
taste but if anything it shows the importance of gun control.
This cast had the most spectacular voices:
John Wilkes Booth started it all. Josh Powell is a silver tongued, golden voiced devil. His “Ballad of Booth” will send chills up your
spine as he self righteously proclaims that he was bringing down a tyrant, but the Balladeer nicely played by a female, Amber Dewey, is
always on hand to comment cynically on the assassin’s motive. Ms. Dewey was great at capturing the harried Emma Goldman who still took
time off to comfort the over-worked underpaid Leon Czolgosz played poignantly by Evan Maltby*. He points out in the “Gun Song” it
takes many men to make a gun and many die in the making of it.
Robert Farruggia’s Giuseppe Zangara is an Italian immigrant who can’t get rid of his stomach ache so he decides to assassinate FDR. The
comical “How I Saved Roosevelt” has the ensemble bragging how they saved FDR because of their actions. Mr. Farruggia plays him with
David Arthur Bachrach* provided comic relief as Sam Byk who decided to crash a plane into the White House to kill Nixon while talking to
Lenny Bernstein on a tape recorder.
The only females in the group are Squeaky Fromme (Jana Bernard) and Sarah Jane Moore (Elizabeth Kensek*) who both want to kill Gerald
Ford. Ms. Bernard has this wonderful feral quality and Elizabeth Kensek* was delightfully ditzy.
Christian Doyle played the sullen John Hinkley who felt Unworthy of the Love of Jodie Foster who he was obsessed with.
David Fuller* as the proprietor would make the NRA and ironically Trump very happy as he offers all these malcontents a gun so they can
have their dreams come true and give the rest of us nightmares.
Danny Wilfred* got to play my favorite character, Charles Guiteau. He is just so crazily optimistic even when faced with hanging and really
stepped up with Judith Jarosz’s choreography.
A good thing that came out in all this is that for the first time I realized how much “Assassins” alludes to Shakespeare's “Julius
Caesar”. Killing a President may seem like an honorable cause but in the end all the perpetraitors (Spelled wrong on purpose) come to a
much deserved bad end. Their causes may be just but how they execute them is wrong.
I just love this Sondheim score and to hear it sung so magnificently by this cast is worth the trip to Brooklyn.
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