Step right up! Come one, come all to a veritable carnival of passionate urges. Politics can make anyone feel a little angry, and Sondheim draws back the curtain on a group of Americans that have taken their frustrated feelings too far. Whether unheard, unseen, slighted or wronged, America's nine presidential assassins took action on a government they felt was betraying the people. Their guns and their justifications (set to music!) are just the balm for an election season that's already getting tense. Assassins begins performances September 26th and runs through November 11th at The Ashby Stage.
It can easily be said that righteous anger created the foundation of our government, and it's the actions fueled by this anger that have made the most instrumental changes in our national history. The feeling that the individual must step forward, must make change happen on his or her own, is especially common right now. But how do people go from anger, which may or may not be justified, to getting a gun and killing (or attempting to kill) the president of the United States? The men and women who followed through on their irate passions now serve as strange icons in our culture.
Don't have the list in your head? The bizarre and murderous game of the play will lead you through the key players, as well as their eras. Here's a quick review: John Wilkes Booth (assassin of President Abraham Lincoln, 1865), Charles Guiteau (assassin of President James Garfield, 1881), Leon Czolgosz (assassin of President William McKinley, 1901), Giuseppe Zangara (attempted assassin of President-elect Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1933), Lee Harvey Oswald (assassin of President John F. Kennedy, 1963), Samuel Byck (attempted assassin of President Richard Nixon, 1974), Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme (attempted assassin of President Gerald Ford, 1975), Sara Jane Moore (attempted assassin of President Gerald Ford, 1975), John Hinckley (attempted assassin of President Ronald Reagan, 1981).