Saturday, July 28, 2012

Coeurage Theatre Company takes on Sondheim's ASSASSINS

Just in time for election season,
Coeurage Theatre Company presents a bold production of Stephen Sondheim’s Assassins, the polarizing musical about men and women who have attempted to assassinate U.S. presidents throughout American history.

Originally produced in 1991, the show only grows more relevant as the country progresses toward an uncertain future. From the events of September 11th, which delayed the piece’s scheduled Broadway debut, to the wars sparked by the failed assassination attempts on George H.W. Bush by Saddam Hussein and on Bill Clinton by Osama bin Laden, Assassins continues to hold a staggering topicality.

Some critics have accused the musical of humanizing the assassins portrayed in the show, but director Julianne Donelle was careful not to glorify their actions: “Assassins is told through the eyes of the ‘bad guy.’ But just because we hear their stories doesn't mean we empathize with the horrific crimes they commit. A great way to prevent is to understand.”

Donelle has harbored a passion to direct the musical since appearing in a production several years ago: “It is surprisingly funny and tragic at the same time. There is no composer and lyricist who takes more risks than Sondheim. His spirit of adventure always inspires me to be more creative and innovative as an artist.”

Donelle has expanded the roles of the ensemble, making them active participants in the telling of the story. She’s also changed the gender of their leader, the Proprietor. Making the enterprising character a woman enhances the female presence of the testosterone-filled cast, and adds a dimension of sexuality to her manipulation of the characters.

The cast will feature Jonas Barranca, Jesse Bradley, Gedaly Guberek, Mark Jacobson, Aimee Karlin, Jason Peter Kennedy, Graham Kurtz, Gary Lamb, Jeremy Lelliott, Nicole Monet, Kim Reed, Nick Rocz, Christopher Roque, Christine Sinacore, Sammi Smith, and Ryan Wagner.

Gregory Nabours will music direct and provide arrangements. The design team includes Brooke Baldwin (scenic design), Michelle Stann (lighting), Bryan Williams (sound), Kara McLeod (costumes). 

Assassins runs August 2 – September 9 with an opening night gala on Friday, August 3rd at Actors Circle Theatre, 7313 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90046. Click Here for tickets.

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