Sondheim’s ‘Assassins’ Will Be Next Show at NextStop Theatre Company

by RestonNow.com September 19, 2017 at 10:15 am 12 Comments

The Tony Award-winning musical “Assassins” is coming to NextStop Theatre Company (269 Sunset Park Drive) next month.

The darkly comedic show, by Stephen Sondheim, will open Oct. 19 at the theater. It depicts presidential assassins throughout American history. According to information provided by NextStop, the show “has gained relevance of late” as “the show’s themes of anger over the unfulfilled promise of the American dream mirror a deeply divided country.”

“We started talking about producing this show before [President Donald] Trump was elected, but it was already clear that the political divisions in our country are very real and run very deep,” said Evan Hoffmann, producing artistic director, in a press release. “The show is even more relevant now that we see anger and resentment boiling over that was simmering beneath the surface.”

NextStop says audiences will get “a taste of several genres of music” along with the “non-traditional history lesson.” According to NextStop, it is part of their 2017-18 series to “build the bonds of community.” The theater is currently performing “Disgraced,” a play about Muslim assimilation and identity, through Oct. 1.

The cast of “Assassins” will include Andrew Adelsberger (as Charles Guiteau), Mikey Cafarelli (as John Hinckley Jr.), Brice Guerriere (as Giuseppe Zangara), Bobby Libby (as John Wilkes Booth), Katie McManus (as Sara Jane Moore), Mackenzie Newbury (as The Proprietor), John Sygar (as The Balladeer/Lee Harvey Oswald), Daniel Westbrook (as Leon Czolgosz), Jaclyn Young (as Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme) and Alex Zavistovich (as Samuel Byck). Megan Adrielle, Madeline Cuddihy, Jason Hentrich and Colton Needles are also members of the ensemble. The production is directed by D.C. artist Jay D. Brock.

The creative team also includes Bryan Lilley (music director), Christie Graham (assistant director), J.D. Madsen (set designer), Kristina Martin (costume designer), Catherine Girardi (lighting designer), Laura Moody, (stage manager), Jade Brooks-Bartlett (props coordinator/assistant stage manager), Marilyn Lopes (costume apprentice), Quoc Tran (assistant stage manager/sound mixer/fight choreographer) and Jonathan Abolins (master electrician).

Performances of “Assassins” will be Thursdays through Sundays, Oct. 19-Nov. 12. General admission tickets start at $20, and may increase to $60 depending on performance popularity. Tickets are available online at www.nextstoptheatre.org or by calling 866-811-4111.

“Assassins” is one of a pair of shows planned at NextStop about the office of the presidency. In January, “45 Plays for 45 Presidents” will open, and NextStop says it will “provide a lighthearted counterpoint” to “Assassins.”

Photos courtesy Lock & Company

  • Mike M

    Yea! More leftists anti-American drivel “art!”

    • Thomas Day

      God knows you won’t be able to afford it.

      • Mike M

        Great comment, Thomas, my sour lil leprechaun.

  • Mike M

    The “lessons” of history are subjective. As for Anti-Americanism it is the hallmark of Libtardery. When you look back at the history of ANYTHING, let alone the greatest country in the world and all you see are the tiny warts – assassination are a great example, then you are extremely biased in your picking of “lessons.” Libtards will always bottom feed. They will, for example, look at the acts of fewer than ten mentally ill people and howl at the moon that it is an American trait. That is what this show is about. Libs will cheer even though it was panned in most instances of production. Were you aware that assassination is as old as human hierarchy? Were you aware that an assassination in 1914 caused one of the worst wars known to man. US assassination, and certainly the failed attempts didn’t change much of anything. Thanks for helping me shine line on the cockroachery of the left.

    • IllegallyLivingInReston

      Let’s breakdown some facts here:

      1.) Four presidents have been assassinated.

      2.) Assassins does not make the assassins out to be heroes

      3.) Assassins won a Tony award

      4.) Et Tu, Brute?

      5.) Unsure what the Archduke has to do with the assassination of our presidents

      6.) Assassinations of presidents will always have a nominal effect on American politics because we aren’t a dictatorship/monarchy, what have you.

      7.) What makes a historical event worth studying?

      “When you look back at the history of ANYTHING, let alone the greatest country in the world and all you see are the tiny warts – assassination are a great example, then you are extremely biased in your picking of “lessons.”

      Oh please, your historical revisionism of America as paragon of humanity is no better than anyone saying America was and is awful all the time.

      • Mike M

        Let us break it down:
        1,2) Irrelevant to my argument.
        3) My words: “. . . it was panned in most instances of production.” Fact.
        4) Irrelevant.
        5) Sondheim himself said American political culture bred assassins. That is patently ignorant as assassination transcends the US in geography, culture, and time.
        6) The US has been superior than the rest of the world because of how we withstand assassinations. Instead of looking at that happy peculiarity, Sondheim declares assassination an American problem, when it clearly is a human thing.
        7) Any historical even is worth studying. This play is not a study. It is an insult to the whole country. Look at the main character dressed like the flag. That is an attempt to tarnish our country with the one-off warts. The events most worth studying are those that moved and changed the world. Take the assassination of Archduke Francis Ferdinand and Julius Caesar.

        My historical views are 20/20, not cherry-picking. This play is bottom feeding in a desperate attempt to tarnish the image of the US. This is a Liberal passion, for some odd reason. I think I know the psychology.

        By the way, the timing of this particular choice is disgusting. It is a cowardly Liberal way of threatening assassination to overturn election results you don’t like. It parallels the Julius Caesar and related themes recently in Renaissance. Disgraceful. Can you imagine if the Right did this during the Obama Administration.

        • Jay Brock

          It is great that this musical is already creating such a passionate discourse of ideas and debate.

          To shed some light as the director of this production:

          1) RE: Mike M “the timing of this particular choice is disgusting.” I pitched the idea to Next Stop long before the election results because frankly partisan politics have nothing to do with this musical. The assassins ideologies range from far left to far right as do the presidential targets. Had the recent election gone another way the musical would still have been produced. Decisions of what will be produced in a theatre’s season are decided 1-2 years in advance

          2) The musical is not about assassination it is about issues of disillusionment, alienation, lack of connection to community and seeks to answer the question of the how and why one comes to the conclusion that assassination is an answer to their problems.

          3) RE: Mike M “Look at the main character dressed like a flag” Are you referring to the publicity shot above? That’s not the main character of the musical it’s a piece of advertising. Your comment suggests that you do not know the content of the musical – can I graciously suggest that you (and anybody else pro or con of the musical) give the show a read/viewing before passing judgment?

          4) Re: Mike M “panned” While the musical did not do as commercially well on Broadway as investors would have hoped (101 performances) it is a far-cry to say that it was “panned in most instances”. I submit here the NY times review which is the most important and influential review in the NYC theatre scene.
          Certainly there are many other glowing, mixed and negative reviews of this musical, but should the opinion of theatre critics dictate what is and is not produced by regional theatre?

          Again I’m really glad to see that attention is being paid to this musical whether it is positive or negative. It raises important questions and arouses fierce passions – and at the end of the day this is the reason I wanted to direct it. I hope many of you will attend the production and then post your thoughts whether they be positive or negative.

          • Mike M

            Thanks for the reply.
            1) So, when was the decision to do this taken? You see Jay, I noticed that during the election year more slavery-themed movies appeared than in any other year of my lifetime. This was planned by people in your industry who are notoriously leftist and anti-American. The aim was to inflame certain “passions.” Right. And that’s your goal? Right?
            2) The movie “Assassins” is about assassins and therefore is is about assassination. Why would you even argue this point? Doth you protest too much?
            3) I know what I have read in a variety of sources. I also quoted Sondheim and how he thought it spoke to a flaw American culture even though assassination is common to many cultures. You choose to show this same stuff. So, why would the “publicity shot” have someone dressed like the American flag?
            4) Of course the NYT loved this. The NYT is the America-hating DNC’s mouthpiece. But just for you, another Times review that is unflattering at https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/13/theater/review-assassins-offers-a-national-anthem-for-killers.html?mcubz=0. There are many others. Even Sondheim has to excuse himnelf stating that “anything goes” and that some people can;t handle it.
            This one is for the oddly-timed regurgitation of this show and in fact, it speaks to the shameful appeal this show has for LIberals.

            I ask Liberals if they really want political violence. Because it would not go well for anyone. Especially them. So, they should stop hinting at it. Thanks, for fanning the “passionate” flames of negativity and hate.

          • Jay Brock

            My only response is to apologize for my comment that asserted that you “knew nothing of the show” Sometimes as you know text does not indicate intent as the voice does. I had no intention of being nasty or disingenuous to you, i only thought that you might have a different perspective on the musical if you had a chance to read the source material for yourself. Again my sincere apologies for how that came across in the above post.

    • RestonAssurance

      Hey now, I’m liberal with conservative pepperings. Your view on liberals is too general. We’re not that inept. We’re not that different from conservatives. We all want a better future for our country. Wanting that without intolerance and hate benefits everyone.

      • Mike M

        Litmus test! Liberals see global warming as dangerous, but the national debt as needing to grow?

        And why don’t you comment on what I wrote specifically about this show?

        Can you agree that the Liberals in here can be quite hateful, HHNHH notwithstanding, and they often call people racist simply for holding conservative views?

        • RestonAssurance

          Clearly global warming is dangerous and catching up to us. I lived in Africa and Asia where the impact is certainly more devastating than what we have here.
          As far as the national debt needing to grow – I don’t think that it needs to grow. I’m certain we can agree to disagree on what Uncle Sam proposes to raise the debt over. So long as we are safe, taken care of and a happy country, then we will last.
          As for the show – I don’t think it is un American per se. Learning of monarchs, presidents and prime ministers being assassinated is certainly a nasty and shocking thing. Within safety, I experienced the rippling effects of a suicide bomber on the then Sri Lankan president. Assassins are never heros, but they do shed some light on 1) either the mental illness they suffer from or 2) the deep cultural divide of a nation.
          I see the play as being about the latter, and as a warning for all of us. Can we address this divide, can we work together?
          Lastly, as for the liberals in here – I don’t think that they’re hateful. Some may get their feathers ruffled in calling you out and vise versa. You’re a strong debater, and I can see where some of your views come from as well as the other side.


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