|Posted by: hugoP 12:01 am EDT 07/13/17|
|Just got back from Night One of ENCORES' ASSASSINS. Crowd was enthusiastic and very eager to make connections between present day political passions and Sondheim/Weidman's more-relevant-and-devastating-than-ever work. I'll leave it to smarter ATCers to explore these themes and how the show reverberates (and boy it does), and I'll stick to the performance.
Full disclosure, this was only my second ENCORES performance (the first was many years ago and it was an anniversary night filled with individual songs from past shows-- lovely and delightful, but slight).
Also, I love ASSASSINS, and saw the original Off Broadway production, the Broadway production and at least 4 other productions over the last 25 years down in Atlanta, which is home base for me and a very active musical theatre town.
Production moved fast and was staged smartly, even though the overall production design was spare (what I expected) and rather bland (which I didn't). Some nice lighting effects and the pacing was perfect. Performances were very strong, with maybe one or two exceptions. Standouts were a stunning Steven Pasquale (Booth, and unforgettable), a hilarious Victoria Clark (Sara Jane Moore), a riveting Cory Michael Smith (Oswald), and very powerful performances from two of my favorite stage actors, Alex Brightman (Zangara) and Shuler Hensley (Czolgosz). Pearl Sun has a great moment with Hensley in the Emma Goldman scene. The Oswald/Booth scene in the Book Depository is brilliant-- great writing, wonderful staging, perfect performance. Took my breath away.
one final thing: Clifton Duncan is a very very good Balladeer-- can you please give him a costume like the rest of the cast??? Looks like a brilliant performer came in off the streets of NY as designated singer. The guy is wonderful-- give him the same costuming attention everyone else gets!
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