The musical Assassins is arriving with a BANG to USM's Corthell Concert Hall in Gorham the weekend leading up to the Presidential Elections this fall. It is an unusual musical which some say is possibly the most controversial musical ever written. You'll have to decide for yourself Nov. 2-4, 2012. Assassins opens on Friday, November 2 and runs for only four performances through Sunday, November 4. Show times are 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, November 2 & 3; 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Sunday, November 4. Reserve tickets at the USM School of Music website at www.usm.maine.edu/music/boxoffice or by calling the Music Box Office at (207)780-5555.
This musical theatre production is sponsored by Saco & Biddeford Savings Institution.
Assassins is based on an idea by Charles Gilbert Jr. with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by John Weidman. Performed as a revue in one act, Assassins offers up nine sharply drawn sketches of people who killed presidents of the United States - or gave it their best shot. The glimmering and flavorful score varies to reflect the popular music of the eras depicted by giving a nod to the all-American sounds of Foster, Sousa, and Copland. The musical first opened Off-Broadway in 1990, and the 2004 Broadway production won five Tony Awards.
Director Ed Reichert says, "Assassins is a wonderfully theatrical piece with many opportunities to explore creative and unique interpretations within the play...which you'll see and hear on our concert hall stage. One of them is the use of actors playing instruments throughout the play to help the stories along. In addition to acting and singing, half of the cast members will be making their own 'musical' contributions to the orchestrations in this School of Music presentation. What most distinguishes this production are the exceptional talents of the entire cast. Their characterizations will be historically accurate while also being complex and individual. The audience should be prepared to be re-introduced to these criminals, and just may find them to be funny, charming, passionate and distinctly American. Sondheim writes (about Oswald), 'How could one inconsequential angry little man cause such universal grief and anguish? More important, why would he?' That's what Assassins is about."
The characters in Assassins include both non-fictional (the nine assassins and Emma Goldman), as well as some fictional characters (The Proprietress & The Balladeer), and an ensemble of six who each play multiple roles throughout. The assassins will be played by: Christopher Ellis - Litchfield, ME (John Wilkes Booth); Matt West - Farmington, ME (John Hinckley); Brad Longfellow - Farmingdale, ME (Guissepe Zangara); Joshua Witham - South Paris, ME (Charles Guiteau); Caleb Lacy - South Durham, ME (Samuel Byck); Cameron Wright-Ellsworth, ME (Leon Czolgosz); Danie Lane (Friday 8p.m & Sunday 2 p.m.) - Caribou, ME and Emily Bashier Davis (Saturday 8 p.m. & Sunday 5 p.m.) - Windham, ME (sharing the role of Sara Jane Moore); Jericah Potvin (Friday 8p.m & Sunday 2 p.m.) - Millinocket, ME and Eileen Hanley (Saturday 8 p.m. & Sunday 5 p.m.) - Peaks Island, ME (sharing the role of Lynette 'Squeaky' Fromme); and Jimmy McDonald - Ipswich, MA (doubling in the roles of The Balladeer and Lee Harvey Oswald). Mel Bills, from Augusta, ME (playing The Proprietress). Rounding out the ensemble are: Katie Hubbard - Billerica, MA (also playing anarchist/feminist Emma Goldman); Liz Kershenbaum - North Andover, MA; Jordan Holt - Plymouth, MA; Owen Carten - Portland, ME; Eric Berry-Sandlein - South Portland; and Matt LaBerge - South Portland. USM School of Music faculty member Ed Reichert directs. Junior piano performance major Kellie Moody is the Associate Musical Director. Graduate student Timothy Burns is contributing with re-orchestrations. In addition to the actors who will be playing instruments, USM School of Music majors Eric Quinn, Jacob Forbes and Kinnon Church will round out the orchestra.
Don’t miss this fascinating show.
Note: this show is not appropriate for children due to mature language and subject matter.
For more information on the USM School of Music's fall concert season and programs of study, visit www.usm.maine.edu/music. Sign up for e-notices, or find us on Facebook as USM School of Music, www.facebook.com/Music.USM.
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PHOTOS available on request.