Forged of ‘Assassins,’ a musical about presidential homicide makes an attempt, set to reunite

Stephen Sondheim will not be identified for his bankable ideas. He’s written Broadway musicals a couple of cannibal barber (“Sweeney Todd”), an unpleasant Italian lady whose love goes unrequited (“Ardour”) and the story of a damaged friendship that’s instructed backwards (“Merrily We Roll Alongside”).

However his hardest promote ever was “Assassins,” about about those that have tried to kill presidents, which opened in 1991. “Hey, pal, feeling blue?” goes the primary lyric. “Don’t know what to do? Hey, pal, I imply you. Come right here and kill a president!” “Cats,” it isn’t.

The darkish present’s solid of criminals consists of John Wilkes Sales space, Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme and Lee Harvey Oswald. To provide you an concept of what these ne’er-do-wells are serving up, John Hinckley Jr. and Fromme sing a romantic duet to Jodie Foster and Charles Manson known as “Unworthy of Your Love.”

“I’ve had nice theatrical experiences, however ‘Assassins’ outweighs all of them,” authentic solid member Patrick Cassidy instructed The Publish. “Attending to originate a Sondheim/[John] Weidman present is each actor’s dream.”

The musical’s popularity has skyrocketed because it first premiered off-Broadway on the tiny Playwrights Horizons to a blended evaluation from the New York Occasions’ Frank Wealthy, and working simply 73 performances. “Assassins” later gained the Greatest Revival Tony Award in 2004, and for its 30th anniversary, the unique solid is reuniting nearly Monday evening at eight p.m. as a part of the free on-line “Studio Tenn Talks: Conversations With Patrick Cassidy” collection.

Cassidy, who has additionally starred on Broadway in “42nd Avenue” and “Annie Get Your Gun,” has introduced collectively actors Victor Garber, Annie Golden, Debra Monk, Terrence Mann and extra, together with Sondheim, Weidman, musical director Paul Gemignani and director Jerry Zaks, to share recollections of their controversial present and sing a couple of songs.

The expertise is effervescent up fond and unusual recollections for Cassidy.

Patrick Cassidy
For Patrick Cassidy, originating a task in a Stephen Sondheim musical was a dream.
Getty Photos

“Folks would ask me, ‘What’s ‘Assassins’ about?,” he mentioned of the early days. “I mentioned, ‘Nicely, it’s a musical . . . in regards to the presidential assassins.’ And everyone steps again and goes, ‘Actually?’ ”

He added: “It was scary. There was an actual concern of it.”

One lady within the viewers was so terrified, she loudly introduced her departure whereas Cassidy was nonetheless singing.

The actor performed a folk-singer narrator known as the Balladeer, and through a quantity about Charles Guiteau, the lawyer who killed President James A. Garfield, she simply misplaced it.

“After [Giuseppe] Zangara, [who attempted to kill president-elect Franklin D. Roosevelt], is electrocuted, I sing the track ‘The Ballad of Guiteau,’ ” he mentioned. “He’s strolling as much as the gallows, getting increased and better, and I keep in mind towards the top of the quantity listening to a girl say, ‘Norman, Norman, they’re gonna grasp him! I gotta get outta right here, Norman!’ ” 

Actors Terrence Mann as pres. assassin Leon Czolgosz (L) and Patrick Cassidy (R) in a scene from the Playwrights Horizons production of the musical "Assassins.".
Actors Terrence Mann as pres. murderer Leon Czolgosz (L) and Patrick Cassidy (R) in a scene from the Playwrights Horizons manufacturing of the musical “Assassins.”.
Martha Swope