Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Book by John Weidman
Directed by Jason Hoover
Music Direction by David Möschler
Choreography by Bobby Bryce
June 2011
Eureka Theatre: 250 Jackson Street (at Battery), San Francisco

 

Bold, original, surreal, disturbing, thought-provoking and alarmingly funny, Assassins is perhaps the uttermost controversial musical ever written. Part vaudeville extravaganza, part exposé and wholly electrifying, this most American of musicals (winner of five Tony® Awards) lays bare the lives of nine individuals who assassinated or tried to assassinate the President of the United States, in a one-act historical “revusical” that explores the dark side of the American experience. From John Wilkes Booth to Lee Harvey Oswald, Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman bend the rules of time and space, taking us on a nightmarish rollercoaster ride in which assassins and would-be assassins from different historical periods meet, interact and, in an intense final scene, inspire each other to harrowing acts in the name of the American Dream. Hugely resonant in today’s celebrity-obsessed society, the story is peopled with desperate characters intent on making their mark.

The reviews are in! San Francisco Critics love Assassins.

“The entire cast is outstanding, with the principals inhabiting their characters with a genuinely scary abandon, often bearing an uncanny resemblance to the actual persons…with this production, Ray of Light has once again proven itself to be a force to be reckoned with in Bay Area musical theatre. A definite must-see!” -Greg Alonzo, Stark Insider

“The extraordinary community-theater company, which last scored with ‘Jerry Springer the Opera’, has marshaled a cast of Broadway quality.” -Janos Gereben: SF Examiner

“Ray of Light Theatre’s Assassins is a brilliant staging of composer Stephen Sondheim’s darkly disturbing, rarely performed sideshow styled musical revue of the men and women who have assassinated or tried to assassinate presidents of the United States.” -Susan Cohn: San Mateo Daily Journal

“Ray of Light Theatre has not only assembled a crackerjack crew of actors and a superlative design team, but director Jason Hoover brings a creepy/comic factor to Sondheim and Weidman’s ASSASSINS that makes the show as thought-provoking as it is entertaining… in fact, it’s impossible to tell where the contributions of one artist in this production leaves off and the other begins. This production is triumphant in every respect.” -Tony Frankel: Stage and Cinema

“The singing and orchestration are both wonderful in this production…ten songs are performed with acute attention to harmony and professional pitch control.” -Albert Goodwyn: Examiner.com

“The ROLT players seem to effortlessly inhabit that sweet spot between community repertory and professional gravitas that makes good theater compelling and fun!” -Evan Wynns: EDGE San Francisco

“Ray of Light draws from the best of Bay Area talent. The characters in this circle of Presidential assassins are fleshed-out by an appealing ensemble, who are likewise adept with the vocal demands of the score. Musical Director David Möschler delivers Sondheim’s distinct caliber of musical sharp-shooting. For the Sondheim purists, Ray of Light Theatre’s Assassins has hit the bull’s eye.” -Sean Martinfield: San Francisco Sentinel

“The Ray of Light production is more compelling and evocative than any Assassins that I’ve ever seen. The singing creates an authentic atmosphere that excites and energizes the audience…I can’t get over how perfect the singing and acting is in this amazing presentation of Sondheim’s show. Please sir – may I come to see the show again? I have seen Assassins before – but never one as cosmic and cinematic as the show at the Eureka Theatre. This is a serious ‘Jewel’ that should not be missed.” -Lee Hartgrave: BeyondChron.org

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