Studio 54, (4/22/2004 - 7/18/2004)

First Preview: Mar 31, 2004
Opening Date: Apr 22, 2004
Closing Date: Jul 18, 2004
Total Previews: 26
Total Performances: 101

Category: Musical, Drama, Original, Broadway
Comments: Premiered Off-Broadway at Playwrights Horizons in 1990. Was considered a "Revival" for the purposes of the Tony nominations in 2004.

Opening Night Production Staff

Theatre Owned / Operated by The Roundabout Theatre Company (Todd Haimes: Artistic Director; Ellen Richard: Managing Director; Julia C. Levy: Executive Director of External Affairs; Gene Feist: Founding Director); Theatre Manager: Matthew Mundinger; House Manager: LaConya Robinson

Produced by The Roundabout Theatre Company (Todd Haimes: Artistic Director; Ellen Richard: Managing Director; Julia C. Levy: Executive Director of External Affairs; Gene Feist: Founding Director)

Produced off-Broadway in 1990 by Playwrights Horizons (André Bishop, Paul Daniels)

Book by John Weidman; Music by Stephen Sondheim; Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim; Musical Director: Paul Gemignani; Music orchestrated by Michael Starobin; Based on an idea by Charles Gilbert, Jr.

Directed by Joe Mantello; Musical Staging by Jonathan Butterell

Scenic Design by Robert Brill; Costume Design by Susan Hilferty; Lighting Design by Jules Fisher and Peggy Eisenhauer; Sound Design by Dan Moses Schreier; Hair and Wig Design by Tom Watson; Projection Design by Elaine J. McCarthy; Associate Sound Design: David Bullard

Roundabout General Manager: Sydney Davolos; Associate Gen. Mgr: Greg Backstrom; Company Manager: Nichole Larson

Production Stage Manager: William Joseph Barnes; Stage Manager: Jon Krause; Roundabout Technical Supervisor: Steve Beers

Associate Conductor: Nicholas Archer; Keyboard: Nicholas Archer and Paul Ford; Flute, Piccolo, Clarinet, Soprano Sax, Harmonica: Dennis Anderson; Oboe, English Horn, Piccolo, Clarinet, Alto Sax: Andrew Shreeves; Clarinet, Flute, Piccolo, Bass Clarinet, E-flat Clarinet, Tenor Sax: Scott Shachter; Bassoon, Clarinet, Baritone Sax: Mark Thrasher; Trumpet, Cornet: Dominic Derasse; Trumpet, Flugelhorn: Phil Granger; French Horn: Ronald Sell; Trombone, Euphonium: Bruce Eidem; Guitars, Banjo, Mandolin: Scott Kuney; Bass, Electric Bass: John Beal; Drums and Percussion: Larry Lelli; Music Copying: Emily Grishman Music Preparation

Roundabout Director of Artistic Development / Casting: Jim Carnahan; Roundabout Associate Artistic Director: Scott Ellis; Roundabout Director of Marketing: David B. Steffen; Press Representative: Boneau / Bryan-Brown

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Opening Night Cast

Becky Ann BakerSara Jane Moore
James BarbourLeon Czolgosz
Mario CantoneSamuel Byck
Michael CerverisJohn Wilkes Booth
Mary Catherine GarrisonLynette "Squeaky'' Fromme
Alexander GemignaniJohn Hinckley
Neil Patrick HarrisBalladeer
Lee Harvey Oswald
Marc KudischProprietor
(Mar 31, 2004 - Jun 13, 2004)
Jeffrey KuhnGiuseppe Zangara
Denis O'HareCharles Guiteau
James ClowJames Blaine
President Gerald Ford
Merwin FoardPresident James Garfield
Eamon FoleyBilly
Kendra KassebaumEnsemble
Anne L. NathanEmma Goldman
Brandon WardellDavid Herold

Swings: Ken Krugman, Chris Peluso and Sally Wilfert

Understudies: James Clow (Charles Guiteau, John Wilkes Booth), Merwin Foard (Leon Czolgosz, Proprietor, Samuel Byck), Kendra Kassebaum (Lynette "Squeaky'' Fromme), Chris Peluso (Balladeer) and Brandon Wardell (Balladeer, Giuseppe Zangara, John Hinckley)

Awards and Nominations

Tony Award®

winner 2004 Best Revival of a Musical [winner] 

Produced by The Roundabout Theatre Company (Todd Haimes: Artistic Director; Ellen Richard: Managing Director; Julia C. Levy: Executive Director of External Affairs; Gene Feist: Founding Director)

winner 2004 Best Featured Actor in a Musical [winner] 

Michael Cerveris

 2004 Best Featured Actor in a Musical [nominee] 

Denis O'Hare

 2004 Best Scenic Design [nominee] 

Robert Brill

winner 2004 Best Lighting Design [winner] 

Jules Fisher

winner 2004 Best Lighting Design [winner] 

Peggy Eisenhauer

winner 2004 Best Direction of a Musical [winner] 

Joe Mantello

winner 2004 Best Orchestrations [winner] 

Michael Starobin

Drama Desk Award

winner 2004 Outstanding Revival of a Musical [winner] 

Produced by The Roundabout Theatre Company (Todd Haimes: Artistic Director; Ellen Richard: Managing Director; Julia C. Levy: Executive Director of External Affairs; Gene Feist: Founding Director)

 2004 Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical [nominee] 

Marc Kudisch

 2004 Outstanding Director of a Musical [nominee] 

Joe Mantello

winner 2004 Outstanding Orchestrations [winner] 

Michael Starobin

 2004 Outstanding Set Design of a Musical [nominee] 

Robert Brill

winner 2004 Outstanding Lighting Design [winner] 

Jules Fisher

winner 2004 Outstanding Lighting Design [winner] 

Peggy Eisenhauer

winner 2004 Outstanding Sound Design [winner] 

Sound Design by Dan Moses Schreier

Theatre World

winner 2004 Award [recipient] 

Alexander Gemignani


music by Stephen Sondheim; lyrics by Stephen Sondheim

Everybody's Got the RightProprietor, Leon Czolgosz, Charles Guiteau, Lynette "Squeaky'' Fromme, Samuel Byck, John Wilkes Booth, Giuseppe Zangara, John Hinckley and Sara Jane Moore
The Ballad of BoothBalladeer and John Wilkes Booth
How I Saved RooseveltGiuseppe Zangara and Ensemble
Gun SongLeon Czolgosz, John Wilkes Booth, Charles Guiteau and Sara Jane Moore
The Ballad of CzolgoszBalladeer and Ensemble
Unworthy of Your LoveJohn Hinckley and Lynette "Squeaky'' Fromme
The Ballad of GuiteauCharles Guiteau and Balladeer
Another National AnthemProprietor, Leon Czolgosz, John Wilkes Booth, John Hinckley, Lynette "Squeaky'' Fromme, Giuseppe Zangara, Sara Jane Moore, Charles Guiteau, Samuel Byck and Balladeer
Something Just BrokeEnsemble
Everybody's Got the Right (Reprise) Sara Jane Moore, Samuel Byck, Leon Czolgosz, Giuseppe Zangara, Lynette "Squeaky'' Fromme, John Hinckley, Lee Harvey Oswald, Charles Guiteau and John Wilkes Booth


AP: "Assassins a Gut-Punch Musical"

The setting looks like a ghostly, abandoned carnival with a rickety roller coaster rising to the stars and a disturbing motto blazing in lights: "Shoot! Win!"

It's an appropriate sideshow sentiment for "Assassins," the stunning, gut-punch of a musical that the Roundabout Theatre Company has had the good sense to revive at Studio 54.

Thirteen years ago in its initial incarnation at off-Broadway's Playwrights Horizons, this creation of Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman was an extraordinary, unsettling piece of musical theater. It still is today, and in director Joe Mantello's perceptive and precise production, the show seems even darker and more malevolent.

The times may be riper for the musical, too. The world has grown a lot more unsafe, for one thing. And the quest for celebrity is fiercer: Just what will people do for a bit of notoriety? The machinations of "Survivor" and "The Apprentice" or even Roxie Hart in "Chicago" are like child's play compared to the stuff found here.

In "Assassins," Weidman and Sondheim present a cavalcade of misfits, the desperate and the disaffected who killed or tried to kill the president of the United States.

These individuals - from John Wilkes Booth to John Hinckley – each get a moment, musical or otherwise, to explain why they did what they did. Weidman's book follows a revuelike format as it travels along a disjointed path of American history.

The proprietor of a shooting gallery (a fierce-looking Marc Kudisch with shaved head, gold teeth and tattoos) invites these misfits to shoot a president - if that's what they want to do. "Everybody's got the right to happy," he croons. It's one of Sondheim's more direct lyrics, wedded to a jaunty, hypnotic tune.

The composer's score is one of his most accessible, and despite its subject matter, melodically appealing. It's a celebration of musical Americana - from spirituals to soft rock, from John Philip Sousa to Woody Guthrie - often with a particular, perverse Sondheim twist.

Changes in the show since its premiere in 1991 have been minor. "Something Just Broke," an affecting song from the London production, has been added. In it, people recall where they were and what they were doing when they heard that John Kennedy was shot.

The creators have also done something ingenious with the character of the Balladeer, until now used mostly as a device to link the various brief sketches.

At Studio 54, it's the Balladeer, played with quiet determination by Neil Patrick Harris, who morphs into a reluctant Lee Harvey Oswald. In the original production, he was played by another actor.

It's Oswald who must be convinced by the other assassins that he needs to kill Kennedy if he wants to gain immortality, and their argument becomes the musical's most chilling moment.

For a show with such grim scenes, there is a surprising amount of humor in the evening. Much of that is supplied by the characters of Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme (Mary Catherine Garrison) and Sara Jane Moore (Becky Ann Baker), linked by Weidman because of their separate, inept attempts to kill Gerald Ford.

Mario Cantone babbles hilariously as the desperately neurotic Samuel Byck who wanted to crash a plane into the White House and get Richard Nixon.

Denis O'Hare gives a twitchy, hyperactive performance as Charles Guiteau, literally cakewalking his way to the scaffold to pay for his assassination of James Garfield.

And we haven't even gotten to Alexander Gemignani as the shyly pathetic Hinckley or the dynamic Michael Cerveris, who, as Booth, joins with three others to sing the slyly seductive "Gun Song." It's this quartet that urges would-be assassins to move their little trigger finger and "you can change the world."

This sense of empowerment pervades "Assassins," turning these surefire losers into winners, at least in their own minds. And Weidman and Sondheim have perfectly captured their dark deeds.


Replacement/Transfer Info

The following people are credited as replacements or additions if they were not credited on opening night.

Studio 54

(4/22/2004 - 7/18/2004)
Conducted by Nicholas Archer(Jun 15, 2004 - ?).


John Schiappa
Proprietor (Jun 15, 2004 - Jul 18, 2004)

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