The play begins in a fictional carnival scene, but other scenes take place over all different time periods in different locations, such as the Charles J. The theme of Assassins is that violence does not fix problems. Many of the assassins completed their actions thinking that the new president would fix the current Assassins by John Weidman features music written by Stephen Sondheim. Many of the assassins completed their actions thinking that the new president would fix the current universal struggle, relative to the time period of each assassin. Giuseppe Zangara, another assassin, attempted to kill Franklin Roosevelt because Zangara was struggling to feed himself during the Great Depression.
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The play begins in a fictional carnival scene, but other scenes take place over all different time periods in different locations, such as the Charles J. The theme of Assassins is that violence does not fix problems. Many of the assassins completed their actions thinking that the new president would fix the current Assassins by John Weidman features music written by Stephen Sondheim.
Many of the assassins completed their actions thinking that the new president would fix the current universal struggle, relative to the time period of each assassin. Giuseppe Zangara, another assassin, attempted to kill Franklin Roosevelt because Zangara was struggling to feed himself during the Great Depression. While there have been many presidential assassination attempts, this musical features eight of them: John Wilkes Booth shot Lincoln , Charles J.
The play features 18 scenes, many containing one or more of the assassins and their background. This show is very ensemble heavy and features music with some or all of the assassins, as well as the co-narrators, the balladeer and the proprietor. The scenes take place over different time periods, but eventually the assassins merge into one union. They want their fame and they speak to Lee Harvey Oswald, who is about to kill himself, about shooting John F.
Kennedy for the fame. In the end, the assassins come out and proudly sing that they had the right to complete their actions, while the ensemble stands behind them in anger at the assassins for ruining the lives of the ensemble. This story is told as a musical. As Stephen Sondheim has commonly done, the music emphasizes the lyrics and contains difficult and uninteresting melodies.
The musical features only 11 songs, unlike most musicals which contain around This is sung at the carnival and features the assassins buying their guns, the first step to even thinking about any kind of assassination. Ballad of Booth, Ballad of Czolgosz, and Ballad of Guiteau are led by the balladeer and they tell the stories of each of the successful assassins. Gun Song is very informational in explaining how much damage a gun causes and how easy it is to shoot a gun.
Another National Anthem features the entire cast. The assassins are justifying why their actions were so necessary and complaining about their absence of positive attention for their doings. The balladeer is responding how he, as an American felt about their doings, representing both himself personally and speaking for the whole county.
You can be what you choose This is historically accurate, as most people who were alive in remember where they were and what they were doing upon hearing about this shocking event. Each character speaks in a way very accurate to his or her native living area. The story is very fast paced. The balladeer covers the stories of the successful assassins in five minute songs each.
Some scenes are funny, such as a Moore and Fromme conversation in the park. However, the show mostly contains very serious scenes that revolve around one general topic: gun violence. Unlike many shows, this show does not feature a hero. Because the brain always feels the need to root for someone, a viewer might find him or herself rooting for a crazy madman.
This character could really be any of the assassins. As I was a cast member of this show over the summer, I identify with Billy, the character I played. They genderbent the character and called her Milly. The way Milly and Moore interact negatively is a lot like the way my mom and I interact negatively. I love the song, Ballad of Czolgosz and it was the only part of the show that there was dancing involved. My least favorite part was when Moore and Fromme were throwing bullets at Gerald Ford.
I found this scene poorly written and completely historically inaccurate. Weidman should have written in Gerald Ford to the show in some other way. Weidman did do a great job executing the theme. He proves that violence does not fix problems by showing nine violent acts and what the outcomes were of each of them.
The writing was also very smart to only feature presidential assassins, as opposed to assassins of other types of famous figures. This worked because of the large number of presidential assassination attempts and the universal awareness of the names of the presidents, despite the universal unawareness of some of the names of the assassins. The author was also very informational in terms of the historical events and I learned a lot of names and settings from this play.
I would recommend this play to anyone over 11 years of age. Anyone younger does not yet understand the emotional destruction that gun violence causes, but anyone older would enjoy this show because it is very interesting. The sets are great and the song lyrics are brilliant.
Gilbert had submitted a script about a fictional presidential assassin, and although Sondheim found the play itself problematic, he was fascinated by the peripheral material Gilbert had compiled--letters and anecdotes from actual assassins. Several years later, after obtaining permission from Gilbert, Sondheim decided to tackle the project along with John Weidman, a lyricist whom he had previously collaborated with on Pacific Overtures. Originally, Sondheim and Weidman intended to explore the lives of assassins throughout history beginning with Brutus and Julius Caesar , but they soon realized this was far too broad a topic and decided to limit themselves to assassins who had attempted to kill the President of the United States. As the project developed, their task soon became clear--to dramatize the unpopular thesis that the most notorious killers in our culture are as much a product of that culture as the famous leaders they attempt to murder. As the musical opens, a crowd is gathering at a carnival shooting gallery which features a revolving wheel on which various Presidents are depicted. Sondheim and Weidman show little regard for historical accuracy, freely mixing characters from different periods in a kaleidoscopic, hallucinatory revue. From Samuel Byck who hijacked a plane and tried to kill Nixon by crashing into the White House to Charles Manson groupie Squeaky Fromme to the infamous John Wilkes Booth--each presidential assassin is made to confront the fact that his or her act of meaningless violence failed to bring about the desired results.
ASSASSINS SONDHEIM SCRIPT PDF
Synopsis[ edit ] This synopsis reflects the current licensed version of the show. The published script of the Off-Broadway production is slightly different. The show opens in a fairground shooting gallery where, amid flashing lights, human figures trundle past on a conveyor belt. John Wilkes Booth enters last and the Proprietor introduces him to the others as their pioneer before he begins distributing ammunition.