Dark Forces at Work in "Assassins"
At MCCC's Kelsey Theatre July 24-Aug. 2


Cheng/Ferrara Productions explores the nightmarish underbelly of the American dream in "Assassins" at Mercer County Community College's Kelsey Theatre. Dates and show times for this Tony Award winning musical are: Fridays, July 24 and 31 at 8 p.m., Saturdays, July 25 and Aug. 1 at 8 p.m., and Sundays, July 26 and Aug. 2 at 2 p.m. Kelsey Theatre is located on the college's West Windsor campus at 1200 Old Trenton Road. A reception with the cast and crew follows the opening night performance on July 24.

With Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman combining forces on a compelling musical score, this one-act play traces the cultural and musical history of the United States through the lives - and deaths - of some of its most notorious figures: the nine men and women who have attempted, with various degrees of success, to murder a president.

Through a series of darkly funny vignettes depicting hypothetical interactions among the assassins, Sondheim and Weidman freely mix past and present as they ask a question that is central to American values: If everybody's got the right to be happy, what do you do if you're not? The revue-style musical sets a sinister tone from its opening number, "Everybody's Got the Right," with a carnival barker encouraging the crowd to step up and kill one of the presidents depicted on his revolving wheel.

The cast of "Assassins" includes Kyrus (center); headshots, top row from left, Hilary Goldman, John Zimmerman, Tom Bessellieu, William Kamps and Jacob Porter; bottom row from left, Jennifer DeVenio, Sean Downing, and Paul Lasky. Photo by Kresimir Juraga.

First opening off-Broadway in 1991, where it played for 73 performances, "Assassins" debuted on Broadway in 2004 in a Roundabout Theater Company production. The show won five Tony Awards, including Best Revival of a Musical and Best Direction of a Musical. "Assassins" also won three 2004 Drama Desk awards.

The cast includes: Tom Bessellieu as Samuel Joseph Byck, Jennifer Devenio as Sara Jane Moore, Sean Downing as Leon Frank Czolgosz, Hilary Goldman as Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme, Williams Kamps as John Wilkes Booth, Kyrus as the Balladeer, Paul Lasky as John Hinckley Jr., Jacob Porter as Giuseppe Zangara, Andrew Young as the Proprietor, and John Zimmerman as Charles Julius Guiteau. The show is directed by Frank Ferrara, with musical direction by Nick Cheng and choreography by Jill Potash.

Tickets for "Assassins" are $16 for adults, $14 for seniors, and $12 for students and children. Due to some potentially objectionable language and very strong adult content, this production is not recommended for children under the age of 13.
Tickets may be purchased online or by calling the Kelsey Box Office at 609-570-3333. Free parking is available next to the theater. Kelsey Theatre is wheelchair accessible and provides assisted listening devices upon request.

The final show in the Kelsey Theatre Summer Series is "Musical of Musicals: The Musical!" from Aug. 14-Aug. 23. Series subscriptions for the 2009-10 season go on sale July 6. Learn more by visiting the Kelsey website.

For more on events at Kelsey Theatre visit:

Kelsey Summer Series
Ticket Information
Audition Information
Tomato Patch Visual and Performing Arts Workshops

Directions to MCCC

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