Foundry Player AssassinsBy Laura & Mike Clark • Jul 20th, 2007 • Category: Reviews
Listen to our review of the Foundry Player’s production of Assassins [MP3 4:50 1.4MB].
Mike: Assassins in a musical. Music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, book by John Weidman. Based on the concept by Charles Gilbert, Jr. It’s the story of all the presidential assassins and would be assassins. You get to learn a little more about their motivations and and for what it takes for them to be happy.
Laura: This was a pretty intense show. Not a happy ending, kind of introspective. It makes you think about the role of these killers and would be killers and what make them do the things they do. It was a pretty good audience. The room actually I think was full.
Mike: Assassins is a dark show. It takes a bit to get into the concept of how the show works. I think the concept for the show they used was pretty good. It was based off a new reality TV show called Assassins. That was pretty good, I liked that concept. At times it did grow a little old throughout the show. For the most part it worked pretty well in keeping your attention.
Laura: The host for the reality TV show Assassins was played by Blakeman Brophy. He reminded me a lot of the Leading Player in Pippin. He was there keeping his finger in everything, yet not getting too involved. He had a pretty good voice and kept things moving.
Mike: One of the most well known assassins, John Wilkes Booth was played by Christopher Guy Thorn. He did a pretty good job. Probably because that’s one of the few assassins that everybody recognizes. I like the misplaced feeling of righteousness that he brought to John Wilkes Booth. He made us definitely feel that Booth really felt he was doing the right thing by assassinating President Lincoln. “The Ballad of Booth” he sang was really well done. It kept our attention because it set the tone for the entire evening.
Laura: The Balladeer was played by John Loughney. He had a good strong voice. He could be heard over everybody. He kind of set the tone through his comments as he sung about the other assassins and what made them do the things they did. I enjoyed his performance.
Mike: Assassins is a hard show to get into because there really isn’t a plot. It’s actually a series of vignettes about each of the presidential assassins. The director of the show was Silvio Menzano. He did a good job with each of the individual bits. Some of them were really quite funny, some were quite serious. There were a few characters that kept popping up throughout the evening to show just how self centered and how self absorbed they were. Really the only true drama in the show is near the end, which I’m not going to give away. One of the characters does go through a transformation of thinking, from being very self centered and suicidal into maybe becoming an assassin. That’s really the only drama. The rest of the show pretty much every assassin does stand on their own and doesn’t really work with any of the other assassins. That makes the show really hard to get into.
Laura: The set for Assassins was good. The Set Designer was Dan Ribaudo. You had a studio audience area on the side. A podium in the front where various props were brought on and off. Then you had two screens up on the wall that various visual effects that were actually pretty creative.
Mike: The closing vignette introduced an entirely new set to the show. That was a surprise so I don’t want to give specifics away. A part of that vignette, though was disappointing because we in the audience knew how it was going to end up. I didn’t really have a sense of suspense about what was this person going to decide to do. To do an assassination or not. That kind of detracted a little bit from the effectiveness of the scene. I don’t know how you can get away with that since we all know history and what was about to happen.
Laura: Assassins is playing through Sunday July 29. Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8 and Sunday matinees at 2:30 PM at the Foundry United Methodist Church in Washington DC. This show I would not recommend for children. There is a lot of adult language and adult situations. I would recommend this for high school age and above.
Mike: The show runs an hour and fifty minutes, with no intermission which I think is just a little bit too long. I wish they could have had an intermission in the middle to give us a break and to kind of let us absorb some of the things that were going on on the stage.
Laura: And now, on with the show.
This article can be linked to as: http://washingtondc.showbizradio.com/goto/2007.
Laura & Mike Clark started ShowBizRadio in August 2005 because they love live theater. They each have both performed in and worked behind the scenes in DC area productions, as well as earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College. Mike & Laura are each members of the American Theatre Critics Association, and Mike is a member of the Online News Association.