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Stephen Sondheim's Assassins Returns to East West Players Season

Originally slated to open March 2020, the long-awaited production will finally play the David Henry Hwang Theater.

The East West Players will present a revival production of Assassins.
(© Steven Lam)

East West Players, the nation's longest-running Asian American theater, has announced a return to live and in-person performances with its production of Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman's Assassins, which is set to play the David Henry Hwang Theater at the Union Center of the Arts starting February 17 ahead of an official opening night on February 20. Tickets are on sale through March 20.

Taking the form of a musical revue set around a carnival shooting gallery, Assassins tells the stories of the men and women who have tried (and occasionally succeeded) to kill the president of the United States. John Wilkes Booth, Squeaky Fromme, Charles Guiteau, and Lee Harvey Oswald are all featured in this darkly comic musical that has only become more urgent as the ranks of the violent and disaffected have swelling in America.

East West Players originally scheduled Assassins for its 2020 season, but the production was shuttered due to the global pandemic. "On what was to be opening night in March 2020, we made the difficult decision to halt production," said producing artistic director and director of Assassins Snehal Desai. "We are thrilled audiences will finally get the chance to see this electrifying and intoxicating production whose resonance has deepened and intensified over the course of the last two years."

Similar timing befell the off-Broadway revival, which is now enjoying a sold-out and extended run at Classic Stage Company.

The cast of East West Players' Assassins.
(© Steven Lam)

The Los Angeles revival features Trance Thompson as John Wilkes Booth, Gedde Watanabe as Charles Guiteau, Adam Kaokept as the Balladeer, Joan Almedilla as Sara Jane Moore, Max Torrez as the Proprietor, Christopher Chen as Samuel Byck, George Xavier as Leon Czolgosz, Astoncia Bhagat as Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme, Arvin Lee as John Hinckley, Jr., Aric Martin as Giuseppe Zangara, and Kym Miller as Emma Goldman. Andrea Somera, Jalen Lum, Michael Cavinder, and Maya Nahree McGowan appear in the ensemble.

Director Snehal Desai leads a creative team that includes Marc Macalintal (music director), Preston Mui and Jasmine Rafael (movement directors), Stephanie Lim (dramaturg), David Murakami (projections designer), Stephanie Nguyen (costume designer), Anna Robinson (scenic designer), Wesley Charles Chew (lighting designer), Cricket Myers (sound designer), Glenn Michael Baker (property designer), and Brandon Hong Cheng (stage manager).

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