Tonight is the opening night of Stephen Sondheim's Assassins at the nearby Costa Mesa Playhouse (corner of Hamilton and Meyer, down the street from Taco Mesa and the DMV). It's an unlikely American musical, but an important one.
Over at the OC Weekly, Red writes:
It's a show not often produced. Go figure. Nine killers doing song, dance, stand-up. Sondheim is of course saying, singing, joking and analyzing the whole country, and its unique, weird talent at producing a particularly perhaps American team of stand-ins for the socio-political national psychodrama, as it were: those bad actors of violence and dreamy estrangement from reality, sad mutant mentally ill people who fixate on authority in, well, less than healthy ways. (But, charmingly, at least they fixate.) We're talking about the guy who tried to kill FDR because his stomach hurt and missed, murdering the mayor Chicago. Sarah Jane Moore and Squeaky Fromme, who both tried to kill Gerald Ford. (He was already dead, it turns out.) Lee Harvey Oswald (JFK) and Charles Guiteau (Garfield). Sam Byck, who tried to hijack a plane and crash it into the White House (he was ahead of his time) to kill Nixon. It's all hilarious, manic, gun-crazy fun, with tremendous songs.
The play runs for a month of Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays and, yes, seeing it will surely make you better, smarter, wittier, happier, not to mention feeling good about supporting the arts by way of paying the modest ticket price asked from the troupers of a small, brave, creative and seat-of-the-pants operation charmingly situated in a residential neighborhood in east Costa Mesa. Musical Director Stephen Hulsey does amazing work and also plays Leon Czolgoz, who killed McKinley, and the cast features performances by folks with amazing pipes, including other Playhouse stalwarts. Director David Blair plays the dude with the troubled talking tummy. Hulsey's imprint is unmistakable and elegant and lovely. He has done a lot of great work with Theater Out and elsewhere, and contributed to a great CMP production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch in 2012. My favorite song is the tandem love song in which Squeaky sings about her love for Charlie Manson as John Hinkley, Jr. sings to Jodie Foster. Do edgy, smart plays make us better people? Say yes by purchasing tickets HERE or over the phone. Plenty of free parking.The little guy, son of Rebel Girl and Red Emma is part of the ensemble and plays Billy, son of Sarah Jane Moore.
They saw the preview last night and can say with confidence that it's quite a show.
If you go, look for Red and/or Rebel Girl, usually in the audience, lobby and/or parking lot as the little guy cannot drive yet. Tickets: $18.00 adults, $16.00 students and seniors.
from the Broadway production: