Xavier Players stage Tony Award-winning musical, Assassins

Play demonstrates how assassins, would-be assassins meet, interact, inspire one other to achieve American dream | April 1, 2006

What do Lee Harvey Oswald, Leon Czolgosz and Charles Guiteau have in common? They, along with six other people, assassinated or tried to assassinate a president of the United States. They are also the characters in the latest Xavier Players production, Assassins by Stephen Sondheim based off the book by John Weidman.

Disturbing, yet funny, Assassins tells the story of how assassins and would-be assassins from different historical periods meet, interact and inspire one other to harrowing acts in the name of the American dream.

“This is not a celebration of assassins,” says Tracy Macmorine, assistant director of operations for performing arts. “Rather, this production takes a revealing look at what happens when we marginalize people in a ‘free’ society.”

Adjunct faculty Stephen Skiles is directing the production and choral director Tom Merrill is providing musical direction.

“The music doesn’t sound like a lot of other Sondheim scores,” says Merrill. “There is a variety of styles depending on the character.”

Scot Buzza, director for music ministry at Bellarmine Chapel, portrays Lee Harvey Oswald. Other members of the case include: Lori Brandstetter as Squeaky Fromme, Paul Lieber as John Wilkes Booth and Dan Brown as John Hinckley Jr.

Assassins is being presented April 6-9 at 7:30 p.m., with a 2:00 p.m. matinee on Sunday, April 9, at the Gallagher Student theater. Tickets are $5 for Xavier faculty, staff and all students, and $15 for all others. Tickets may be purchased by calling the box office at 513 745-3939.