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Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Assassins... the Musical

"You know the FBI has a file on you now," a young man with a record informed me after I performed in Soubrette Production's Assassins last weekend.

"Oh honey, they've had a file on me for a long time," I replied. "You've read my blog, right?"

Seriously though, aside from the fact that I've actively and articulately criticized American politicians - conservatives and liberals (Though lets be honest, fundamentalists of the former persuasion are much more offensive and ridiculous than fundies of the latter - what would a fundamentalist liberal be anyway? a hippie? I digress.) - and aside from the fact that I am very opinionated about politics, race, sexism, issues of social justice and separation of church and state, I also dated someone who worked for the Department of Defense. Remember when I quit posting crazy boyfriend stories in the latter part of 2011? There was a reason for that. But it wasn't because I stopped dating men, it was because my man didn't have security clearance. Yep, that happened.

And now I've gone and performed in Assassins, the musical about successful and wanna-be assassins of American Presidents. So, add that to the file, Monsieur FBI.


Though to my credit, I don't play one of the nine assassins (only two of which are of the female persuasion: Sarah Jane Moore and Squeaky Fromme). Rather, I sing the poignant solo, "Something Just Broke," which critics say saved this Sondheim masterpiece from slaughter itself. The original Assassins produced in the early nineties was not well received, but with a new decade, a new cast, and a new song, the revival has had a profound affect on audiences.

And so has our Assassins. Austin icon, David Jarrott, wrote this about our show:

Facebook Post... borrowed. But I doubt he cares.
And while Trinity Street Players Producer, Cathy Jones, describes "a weight pressing down upon" her, Austin 360 critic, Cate Blouke, writes "Assassins is, oddly, really quite charming... until of course, we suddenly remember that we're humming along with the likes of John Wilkes Booth." 

Point taken.

But Nathan Brockett is SO. GOOD. I mean, look at his face in these photos.  

John Wilkes Booth is obvs. conflicted.
And he's not the only one. I love, LOVE watching Julia Lorenz-Olson play deranged housewife, Sarah Jane Moore. She's the best. And then, it would be remiss of me to leave out Robert Deike who plays the non-singing character in this Sondheim musical (what?), Sam Byck. "Have it your way, have it your way." He's neurotic. And we've got it on tape. Yeah, tape. Like circa 1985 tape. He's a perfect train wreck. 

Add to that the flitting across the stage, "never heard the word no," Charles Guiteau (who in our day probably would have gotten off with "afluenza" as opposed to being escorted to the gallows, but whatev.), and this is a cast that just. doesn't. stop. Andrew Cannata, Steve Williams, Meg Steiner, Joseph Garlock, and Brian Lasoya are all super duper.

Even the ensemble! I mean, I get it, I'm biased. But we're so cute! I love watching Vanessa's quirky mannerisms during "How I saved Roosevelt," and Adrianna Jones' rubber face in "Bill Bill," and then there's the ever-diverse Robert Berry who does EVERY VOICEOVER IN THE WHOLE SHOW from Ronald Reagan to Sirhan Sirhan. He's a hoot.

Anyway, yeah, so the FBI has another file to add to my case. I'm okay with that. Just so long as my Something Just Broke picture gets included. 

Ann Pittman, Ben Roberts, and Adrianna Jones during "Something Just Broke." Photo by Will Hollis
If they're going to document my rebelliously risqué and wildly dangerous lifestyle, I want to make sure they get the good stuff.

P.S. Wanna see an adorable slidshow of pictures made by President Garfiend? Check this out! 


P.P.S. Assassins is playing Thursdays thru Sundays at 8pm from now until April 20th. Tickets may be purchased at the door or from Brown Paper Tickets

P.P.P.S. For those of you who still aren't convinced to come see this show, here's some more articles & radio interviews to entice you...