Assassins by John Weidman features music written by Stephen Sondheim. . Reading the script many years after first seeing the show and becoming familiar. Gilbert had submitted a script about a fictional presidential assassin, and although Sondheim found the play itself problematic, he was fascinated by the. “Assassins” is clearly acknowledged as Sondheim’s baby. There may be some subtle anti-assassination decla- rations in his script but, if there.
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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Refresh and try again. Open Scripf See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Assassins by Stephen Sondheim. Assassins by Stephen Sondheim. Evoking a fraternity of political assassins and would-be assassins across a hundred years of our history, Sondheim and Weidman assawsins examine success, failure and the questionable drive for power and celebrity in American society.
Paperbackpages. Published January 1st by Theatre Communications Group. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Assassinsplease sign up. Lists with This Book. Jun 10, Yourfiendmrjones rated it it was amazing Shelves: How fortuitous that I read this and listened to the score this close to the sondueim presidential race! Feb 20, Lorma Doone rated it sctipt was amazing Shelves: For the longest time, my relationship with this piece was purely through the score.
And what an extraordinary score it is. John Wilkes Booth, Leon Czolgosz and Samuel Byck get very strong fictional interpretations here with the text they’re given. Jan 15, Faith-Anne rated it it was amazing Shelves: I recommend getting a copy of either cast recording sssassins Assassins to accompany reading the script.
Sep 23, Helen rated it it was amazing. Assassins by John Weidman features music written by Stephen Sondheim. 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 u 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: The play features 18 scenes, many containing one sasassins 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 wssassins 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 assassind 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.
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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 scripy Fromme conversation in the park. However, the show mostly contains very serious scenes that revolve around one general topic: 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.
Assassins by Stephen Sondheim
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. May assassims, Derrick Clements rated it it was amazing. I rarely give five stars to anything, and to be honest, Zondheim hesitate doing so here. Like many of Sondheim’s works, I admire Assassins more than I actually enjoyed it. But the book by John Weidman with lyrics by Stephen Sondheim manages to do something incredible: Think about the difficulty of that task–a plot that spans centuries and cultures; fictional scenes in whic I rarely give five stars to anything, and to be honest, I hesitate doing so here.
Think about the difficulty of that task–a plot that spans centuries and cultures; fictional scenes in which real historical people interact; the very fact that these historical people are villains, and how do you make them relatable–an amazing storytelling feat even from only a technical point of view.
By some incredible magic trick of language, Weidman and Sondheim craft murderers that are disturbingly sympathetic. As Andre Bishop writes in the preface for this edition of the book, “seeing America through the stories of its villains, instead of its heroes, [is] an unsettling and unusual experience. In a scene that is totally fantastic, all of the assassins from the play come together to convince Lee Harvey Sondhwim to kill JFK.
It makes total sense in the context of the play, and it delivers profound emotions. That’s just not what they are going for, and the entire soundtrack is solid. May 20, Dave rated assassuns really skndheim it.
Assassins is my favorite Sondheim sonndheim, though I’ve never seen it staged–so this rating is for the book of the play. The songs are funny, harrowing, and heartbreaking–sometimes all three.
I thought the non-musical rest would be as good, but the scene of the Ford assassins is rather silly and the Nixon hijacker rather annoying. Still, the overall meaning is s Assassins is my favorite Sondheim musical, though I’ve never seen it staged–so this rating is for the book of the play. Still, the overall meaning is strong and still as always timely: What a wonder is a gun! What a versatile invention. First of all when you’ve a gun– He points it out front,slowly panning over the audience.
Nov 22, Neil rated it it was amazing. Sondheim is top notch here, and Weidman’s book is just as strong. I’d listened to it hundreds of times but still haven’t seen a live production, so I decided it was time to read the book. It’s a fascinating study of America’s historical and contemporary love of the gun, of how it is sadly used as a way out of obscurity for the forgotten and cast aside. Even more sadly, it’s probably even more relevant now than it was when it first came out.
I was reading this and thinking about whether or not Sondheim is top notch here, and Weidman’s book is just as strong. I was reading this and thinking about whether or not my theater could produce this work in Williamsburg, Virginia.
It has so much to say, but could the community where John Hinckley lives take it?