Thursday, August 8, through Sunday, August 18
The Black Box Theatre, 1623 Fifth Avenue, Moline IL
Winner of five Tony Awards and one of the most memorable, iconic, and popular musicals of the last several decades, legendary composer Stephen Sondheim's Assassins hits the stage at Moline's Black Box Theatre August 8 through 18, its twisty, tuneful tale of famed and obscure killers (and would-be killers) lauded by the New York Times for its “astonishing score” in which “sly distortions of familiar musical tropes approximate the skewed ways in which these characters hear everyday melodies.”
An off-Broadway tour-de-force that won Tonys for Best Revival and Direction of a Musical during its 2004 Broadway run, Assassinscombines Sondheim's signature blend of intelligently stunning lyrics and beautiful music with a panoramic story of our nation's culture of celebrity and the violent means some will use to obtain it. This bold, original, and alarmingly funny show is perhaps the most controversial musical ever written, laying bare the lives of nine individuals who assassinated or tried to assassinate the President of the United States, and presented in a historical “revue-sical” that explores the dark side of the American experience. From our encounters with John Wilkes Booth and Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme to our time spent with Lee Harvey Oswald and John Hinckley Jr., composer Sondheim and book writer John Weidman bend the rules of time and space, taking us on a nightmarish roller-coaster ride in which assassins and would-be assassins from different historical periods meet, interact, and inspire each other to harrowing acts, all in the pursuit of the American Dream.
Directing Assassins for the Black Box Theatre is company co-founder David M. Miller, who previously helmed such musicals as Baby, Rock of Ages, and this spring's The Last Five Years for the venue. Randin Letendre serves as music director, with Kelci Eaton responsible for choreography and costumes, and the crew rounded out by stage manager Greg Kerr, crew member Jadyn Vought, and props master (and gun master) William Chase. The cast, meanwhile, is composed of 15 area talents, with director Miller among them in his role as would-be FDR assassin Giuseppe Zangara. Joining Miller in the production are such Black Box veterans as Benjamin Graham (The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee), Mark McGinn (Clue: The Musical), Brant Peitersen (I Love You Because), Tommy Ratkiewicz-Stierwalt (Little Women: The Musical), Tom Vaccaro (It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play), and Baby co-stars Emmalee Hillburn, Julie Hummel, and Joseph Wren. And Assassins' cast is completed by Dani Phillips Kent, Scott Peake, Eric Teeter, Dorothy Turner, Sara Nicole Wegener, and Argus/Dispatch entertainment writer Jonathan Turner, the latter of whom served as music director and keyboardist for The Last Five Years.
Assassins runs at the Black Box Theatre August 8 through 18, with performances at 7:30 p.m. on Thursdays through Saturdays and 2 p.m. on Sundays. Tickets are $13-16, and more information and reservations are available by calling (563)284-2350 or visiting TheBlackBoxTheatre.com.