Bold, original, surreal, thought-provoking, and alarmingly funny, this five-time Tony Award-winner by Stephen Sondheim, (Music and Lyrics), and John Weidman, (Book), investigates the personalities behind nine presidential assassins and reveals uneasy truths about the American Dream. Hugely resonant in today's celebrity-obsessed culture, Assassins is peopled with desperate, disillusioned characters who force us to wonder how everybody's right to be happy can include killing a President.
Assassins will be directed at The Milwaukee Rep by Artistic Director Mark Clements. This will be the third musical he has directed since he began his tenure at The Rep following last season's hit Next to Normal and Cabaret from his first season. With the selection of Assassins for the 2012/13 Season, Milwaukee Repertory Theater shows its commitment to continuing to produce full-scale musicals as part of its repertoire. Clements has assembled a top-notch cast for this production featuring many performers with extensive Broadway credits.
Assassins runs in the Quadracci Powerhouse from September 4 – October 7, and opens on Friday, September 7.
"I am eager to direct Stephen Sondheim's highly entertaining but thought-provoking musical Assassins," said Artistic Director Mark Clements. "It's a riveting exploration of such issues as our obsession with celebrity status, entitlement to the fruits of the American Dream, our attitudes about guns and gun control, as well as how a society can be inadvertently complicit in facilitating the violent behavior of some its of deranged citizens." He added, "I love the often immediate effect that a dramatically and emotionally powerful piece of musical theater can have on an audience; and I am particularly drawn to musicals of gravitas and scale that encourage much further discussion and debate long after the final curtain has fallen. Given all of this, Assassins seemed a perfect follow-up to our two previous main stage musicals, and they don't really come more powerful and provocative than this particular piece."
Tickets for Assassins are from $10 – $65 (prices are subject to change). Students and senior citizens may purchase half-price RUSH TICKETS with proper identification 30 minutes before curtain time based on availability at The Rep Ticket Office. Single Tickets for all of Milwaukee Repertory Theater's 2012/13 productions are now on sale and can be purchased online at www.MilwaukeeRep.com, through The Rep's Ticket Office by calling 414-224-9490 or in person at 108 E. Wells Street. Group tickets are also available for purchase by calling Patron Relations Manager Christine Yundem at 414-290-5340. Subscriptions are also currently on sale.
Assassins premiered in December 1990 at Playwrights Horizons in New York City and later closed in February 1991. The following year it opened in October in London. With some updates to the original version, Assassins had its Broadway opening in 2004 and met with much critical success winning several Tony Awards including Best Revival of a Musical, Best Featured Actor in a Musical (Michael Cervis), Best Lighting Design, Best Direction of a Musical and Best Orchestration.
Jonathan Altman (Chorus/President Gerald Ford/David Herold), a member of The Rep's 2012/13 Artistic Intern Ensemble, comes to The Rep after graduating with a BFA in Musical Theatre from Shorter College; favorite roles include Jesus in Godspell, Austin in True West and Jimmy in Thoroughly Modern Millie.
Luke Brotherhood (Billy) returns to The Rep after performing in last season's Rep Lab and will appear as Smudge in A Christmas Carol later this year.
Jonathan Gillard Daly (Proprietor), a Rep Associate Artist, was last seen as Heck Tate in To Kill a Mockingbird; favorite roles at The Rep include Charlie in Death of a Salesman, Herr Schultz in Cabaret, Nicky Giblin in The Seafarer and Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol, to name a few; Daly is also a founding member of the Great River Shakespeare Festival in Winona, MN.
Lee E. Ernst (Samuel Byck), also a Rep Associate Artist, was most recently seen as Brabantio/ Montano in Othello, Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird and the title role in Lombardi; he has performed in over a 100 roles at The Rep since he joined The Acting Company in 1993; Ernst is also an accomplished fight choreographer and does fight choreography across the country.
Kelley Faulkner (Chorus), returns to The Rep after appearing last season as Patsy Cline in Always . . . Patsy Cline, Belle/Lucy in A Christmas Carol and Sally Bowles in The Rep's 2010/11 Quadracci Powerhouse production of Cabaret; other credits include Claire in Proof (Theatrefest); Nancy in Oliver! and Emily Arden in State Fair (Walnut Street Theatre), Roxie in Chicago (New Candlelight Theatre) and the National Tour of Big.
Steve French (Leon Czolgosz) will be making his Rep debut; Off-Broadway credits include being a member of the Drama Desk Award-winning ensemble of In Transit and the world premiere staging of The Burnt Part Boys; regionally he has performed with Hartford Stage Company, ALLIANCE THEATRE, Goodspeed Musicals, Monomay Theatre and Long Wharf Theatre, among others.
Evan Harrington (John Hinkley) will also be making his Rep debut; on Broadway he has appeared as Brian in Avenue Q and Piangi in The Phantom of the Opera; National Tours include The Music Man, Phantom and Camelot; favorite roles have included Orator/Grand Inquisitor in Candide, Beadle/Pirelli in Sweeney Todd, Baker in Into The Woods and Dave in The Full Monty, to name a few.
Melissa Joy Hart (Emma Goldman/Chorus) will also be making her Rep debut; credits include Amadeus, Sound of Music and Jacques Brel (Walnut Street Theatre); Little Mermaid (Fulton Theatre) Fat Pig (Theatre Horizon) and Musicale Series (Bristol Riverside Theatre).
Ray Jivoff (Chorus/President James Garfield) is delighted to be making his Rep Quadracci Powerhouse debut, having appeared at The Rep's Stackner Cabaret in That's Amoré (1999/00) and My Way (2001/02); Jivoff is Associate Artistic Director of Skylight Music Theatre; favorite roles there include Mr. Zero in Adding Machine, Harp in Animal Crackers, Roger Debris in The Producers and Koko in The Mikado.
Sarah Litzsinger (Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme) returns to The Rep after performing the role of Diana in last year's smash-hit musical, Next to Normal; this summer she was honored as a Lunt-Fontanne fellow by the Ten Chimneys Foundation; Kitzsinger holds the distinction of being Broadway's longest running Belle in Disney's Beauty and the Beast; she has also been seen on Broadway in Marilyn, An American Fable, Oliver! The Revival, Les Miserables and Amour.
Adam Monley (John Wilkes Booth) will also be making his Rep debut with Assassins; he was in the original Broadway cast of Mamma Mia!; National Tours include Raoul in The Phantom of the Opera and Mark Twain/Voice of Huck in Big River; Off-Broadway credits include Fanny Hill (York Theater Company) and A Gingerbread House (Playwrights Horizons); regional highlights include Working and Emma at The Old Globe and Oklahoma! at Papermill Playhouse, to name a few.
Caroline O'Connor (Sara Jane Moore), an accomplished international stage and film actress, returns to The Rep after performing in The Rep's 2010/11 production of Bombshells; most recently, she played Rose in Gypsy, Phyllis in Follies and Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd at the Chatelet Theatre in Paris; O'Connor made her Broadway debut as Velma in Chicago; West End/UK productions include Mack and Mabel, On the Town, Romance, Romance, Street Scene, Matador, The Rink, Cabaret, Me and My Girl, Showboat, Damn Yankees, Baby, Into the Woods and A Chorus Line, among others; film credits include Moulin Rouge and De-Lovely.
Chris Peluso (Balladeer/Lee Harvey Oswald), a Broadway actor, will also be making his Rep debut; he returns to Milwaukee after having performed the role of Fiyero in the National Tour of Wicked; Broadway productions include Assassins, Mamma Mia! and Lestat; regional credits include Goodspeed Opera House, Music Theatre of Wichita, La Jolla Playhouse, Barrington Stage Company and Marriott Lincolnshire.
Mark Price (Charles Guiteau), a stage, television and film actor, will also be joining The Rep for the first time; Broadway credits include Mary Poppins, Wonderful Town, All Shook Up, Rocky Horror Show, Mamma Mia!, Dance of the Vampires, You're a Good Man Charlie Brown and The Capeman; film and television credits include: Law & Order, Broadway's Finest, The Tony Awards and The Rosie O'Donnell Show.
Brian Sills (Giuseppe Zangara), makes his Rep debut with Assassins; New York credits include The 24 Hour Plays (American Airlines Theater and Nora (NYMF); Sills was in the original cast of the National Tour of The Lion King; regional theater credits include Kansas City Repertory Theatre, Clarence Brown Theatre, Cleveland Play House and Chicago Shakespeare Theater, among others.
J.R. Yancher (Chorus/James Blaine), a member of The Rep's 2012/13 Artistic Intern Ensemble, is a graduate of Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts in Davis, California; favorite roles there include Romeo in Romeo and Juliet, John Brooks in Little Women – The Musical, Brodie in The Real Thing and The Corporal in The Caucasian Chalk Circle.