"How could one inconsequential angry little man cause such universal grief and anguish? More important, why would he? That's what Assassins is about."
Assassins is a powerful 1991 musical by Stephen Sondheim, onstage now in Minneapolis in a terrific production from Theater Latte Da. Assassins is part history, because it tells the true story of nine real people who set out to kill the president. It's part fantasy, because it imagines these assassins actually meeting one another, even across centuries. And it's part political cartoon, filled with funny, dark satire.
John Wilkes Booth and Lee Harvey Oswald step out of the history books and onto the stage to sing about the glory of the American experience and what can happen when it all goes wrong. Ultimately, it's not about losing a president; it's about losing faith in the American Dream, and the ever-deepening political divide.
So we invited the cast to sing two songs from Assassins, and talked with director Peter Rothstein and music director Jason Hansen about this amazing show. It's as timely as today's headlines.