(Los Angeles, CA) East West Players (EWP), the nation’s longest running theatre of color and largest producer of Asian American theatrical work, announces that it will close out its 54th season with a new production of Stephen Sondheim’s Assassins – the wickedly subversive Tony-award winning musical that tells the story of the nine notorious Americans who took their shot at the President of the United States.
“In the tradition of Hamilton and the upcoming 1776 revival, as we revisit American history through a multicultural lens, we wanted to consider the full scope of American history which includes some of the dark chapters at the heart of Assassins. The show investigates the vaunted ideal of the American Dream, and our production will grapple with what it means to live out a dream that is complicated by violence and oppression, which communities of color in this country often know all too well,” says EWP Producing Artistic Director Snehal Desai.
He adds, “East West Players has long embraced the Sondheim catalogue, mounting eleven individual musicals along with two productions of Pacific Overtures and Sweeney Todd in its 54 year span. This production of Assassins coincides with Sondheim’s 90th birthday, and given our background with his work, it is fitting that EWP should be a part of that moment,”.
Assassins features music and lyrics by Sondheim, described by Frank Rich of The New York Times as “the greatest and perhaps best-known artist in American musical theater.” The book was written by John Weidman, based on an idea by Charles Gilbert, Jr. The revue-style musical examines motives of these nine notorious individuals as they encounter a nightmarish carnival game that one-by-one untangles their stories. This wickedly comedic spectacle explores the national culture of celebrity and its violent intersection with the American dream.
Assassins (along with the December 2019 holiday comedy Sugar Plum Fairy by Sandra Tsing Loh) will be performed at the David Henry Hwang Theater at the Union Center for the Arts in Downtown Los Angeles’s Little Tokyo district. It will feature as the grand finale to a season that included co-productions with the Fountain Theatre and the Pasadena Playhouse. Assassins will be directed by EWP’s Producing Artistic Director Snehal Desai, with music direction by Marc Macalintal. Performances begin March 12, 2020.
Tickets to Assassins are exclusively available as part of the EWP 54th Season subscription, with special three-play subscription packages available that include Lauren Yee’s The Great Leap (a co-production with Pasadena Playhouse, directed by BD Wong), Sugar Plum Fairy, and Assassins. New and renewing members can take advantage of subscription rates through November 15, 2019. Single tickets will be made available later this year. Call (213) 625-7000 or visit http://www.eastwestplayers.org for more information.