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ASSASSINS AT SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE: DISTURBINGLY GOOD

David Campbell in ASSASSINS.
Production photos: Prudence Upton

The period characters in ASSASSINS, playing at the Sydney Opera House, are a pretty wild-eyed bunch who make meeting them in an abandoned sideshow late at night pretty unappealing.  Led by John Wilkes Booth, who considers himself forefather of all American President assassination attempts, they are pretty evidently crazy.  But the more modern characters, apart from one, look alarmingly normal and rational.  That is … until a rifle is put in Harvey Lee Oswald’s hands towards the confronting ending of this show.  ASSASSINS is Stephen Sondheim’s 1990 malignantly comic attack on the American dream where normalcy collides with obsession in a dark musical which is thoroughly entertaining yet ominous. (Book by John Weidman) Continue reading ASSASSINS AT SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE: DISTURBINGLY GOOD

ASSASSINS

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Held up at glorious gunpoint between Miranda Musical Society’s previous show OKLAHOMA and the upcoming ANNIE comes a successful revival of Stephen Sondheim’s ASSASSINS. This show is a cavalcade of would-be killers and successful assassins from several eras of history. They taunt and help each other from an impossibly simultaneous present when the opening number sends them off in a carnival game to kill with guns of various descriptions.

As the eight assassins interact and react to their failed American Dreams they reveal a myriad of personal sensitivities, disorders, obsessions and excuses. All believe their only solution is to kill a president. This production’s faithful depiction of the show contains much humour as well as accuracy of accent and cultural predicament.

Continue reading ASSASSINS