Release date: 2004.
Type: Broadway musical.
"Everybody's got a right/To their dream." So begins Stephen Sondheim's 1991 show Assassins--and in this case, said dreams involve killing an American president. The characters form a veritable rogues' gallery, including John Hinckley, Lee Harvey Oswald and John Wilkes Booth of course, but also half-forgotten luminaries such as Leon Czolgosz (who killed McKinley) and "Squeaky" Fromme (who aimed for Gerald Ford with an unloaded gun). While Sondheim's lyrics are trenchant as ever, his music, which ranges from Sousa pomp to clever little waltzes, is technically brilliant but also oddly uninvolving. (Many fans prefer the recording of the 1991 Off-Broadway version, though "Something Just Broke," which was added to the 1992 London production, makes its recorded debut here.) Still, there are several high points. In "Unworthy of Your Love," for instance, Hinckley and Fromme wax poetic about their unrequited love for Jodie Foster and Charles Manson, respectively, in a Burt Bacharach-style ballad that's deliberately (I hope!) sappy. And of course as with most Sondheim shows, the cast of this revival--Michael Cerveris, Mario Cantone, Becky Ann Baker, Marc Kudisch, Denis O'Hare--is very good.