Assassins
Closed 1h 45m
Assassins
81

Assassins NYC Reviews and Tickets

81%
(179 Reviews)
Positive
92%
Mixed
6%
Negative
2%
Members say
Great singing, Clever, Great acting, Intelligent, Relevant

About the Show

Encores! Off-Center presents a star-studded concert staging of Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman’s musical about the people who have attempted to kill or successfully assassinated U.S. presidents.

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Member Reviews (179)

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876 Reviews | 906 Followers
61
Disappointing, Dated, Confusing, Uneven

See it if You are a Sondheim completionist and you have never seen this one before. Some really amazing talent and a couple of not so amazing...

Don't see it if Convoluted, confusing. Long vignette dialogue scenes (which in themselves are funny) that often don't further a plot. Uneven talent. Read more

851 Reviews | 1007 Followers
55
Disappointing, Overrated, Slow, Boring, Overly long

See it if You haven't seen it & are a theatre completionist. Pasquale, Clark & Balladeer are standouts.

Don't see it if Very slow & overly long. Story told through vignettes, no character/story development. I was bored & really couldn't wait for it to end. Read more

965 Reviews | 339 Followers
80
Edgy, Thought-provoking, Great songs (sondheim!), Ambitious, Barebones

See it if you are open to dark musicals. Subj matter & structure are odd, but 2 hours race by. Great singing (Pasquale! Clark!) & historical insights.

Don't see it if you want a full-scale production. Also, space is wrong; even $$$ seats too far. Lipton, who opens, is inept. Still, great dark humor. Read more

952 Reviews | 387 Followers
61
Disappointing, Overrated, Pointless, Poor singing, Great staging

See it if you've never seen it and want to cross it off you Sondheim list. Personally I hated it. Thought most of the performances were poor/bad show.

Don't see it if You think you're missing something. I'm a BIG Sondheim fan and this show is his worst (IMO). I get it, but it just didn't work for me.

MJK
677 Reviews | 187 Followers
80
Entertaining, Thought-provoking, Great singing, Great writing, Intelligent

See it if you want to see stripped-down, concert version of an infrequently-revived Sondheim work, allowing greater focus on the clever words & music.

Don't see it if you'd rather wait to see this intimate musical in a smaller venue than the massive NYCC; you want to see the show in full production.

687 Reviews | 115 Followers
83
Ambitious, Edgy, Great acting, Great writing, Resonant

See it if Audacious subject -presidential assassinations- enshrined in a brillant book by Weidman & edgy score by Sondheim First rate ensemble soars

Don't see it if Kauffman's cagey direction doesn't unite divergent elements of script Bare bones staging harms rather than enhances but material triumphs

618 Reviews | 274 Followers
82
Brilliant/entertaining sondheim musical about unlikely subject - presidential assassinations - imaginative beyond belief

See it if 4 outstanding performances by Pasquale as John Wilkes Booth, Clarke as Sara Jane Moore, Shuler Hensley as assassin of Pres McKinley

Don't see it if this concert version misses antic carnival atmosphere of fully-staged show; ensemble scenes under-rehearsed Read more

don
506 Reviews | 1002 Followers
80
Clever, Great singing, Thought-provoking

See it if Sondheim is great. 3 superb portrayals Steven Pasquale, Clifton Duncan (1st time) & Erin Markey. Sound system so improved.No intermission.

Don't see it if House too large. Major problem for me: It still glorifies killing when I see it Off Center still does not match Encores production values.

Critic Reviews (15)

The New York Times
July 13th, 2017

"The show’s revuelike format allows the authors to vary the palette with mad scenes, melodrama, minstrelsy and vaudeville. In the concert presentation of 'Assassins'...it is the comedy that works best...Kauffman does not make a legible case for the existence of two narrator figures...Nor has she been able to maintain drive through all of the vividly contrasting, often nonlinear scenes. But 'Assassins' is largely self-correcting, especially in its score...It is vocally exceptional."
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The Hollywood Reporter
July 13th, 2017

"Mordantly funny and disturbing...Pasquale’s is just one of many superb performances in this production...Not everything works smoothly...The actors relied on scripts a little more than usual for Encores! shows these days. There was also an occasional tentativeness to the performances...More generally, the bare-bones staging proves a bit limiting...The performers and 12-piece orchestra do full justice to Sondheim’s score...The music is richly melodic and the lyrics witty and provocative."
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Deadline
July 13th, 2017

"Perhaps the most moving and persuasive argument yet for Sondheim and Weidman’s 'Assassins'...The timing of this concert could not have been more stunning. Under Anne Kauffman’s miraculously seamless direction, the ensemble soars; especially Pasquale, along with Shuler Hensley as Leon Czolgosz and Danny Wolohan as Samuel Byck. The 'Assassins' concerts are repeated through this weekend. Don’t pass up your chance to catch a show the times finally have caught up with."
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AM New York
July 13th, 2017

"Kauffman made a lot of choices that I disagree with, such as encouraging the actors to scale down the tone of their performances...This is a difficult and challenging musical that works best in an intimate venue...As such, it was never going to work perfectly at City Center. For the most part however, this is a potent staging of a groundbreaking musical that contains many great performances—and I would urge anyone who appreciates serious musical theater to check out the production."
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Theatermania
July 13th, 2017

"Thought-provoking and timely...Theatergoers who have dodged the show in the past will want to make sure they don't let this production whiz past...Anne Kauffman's production, though it takes a moment to find its footing, ultimately drives home a strong political message with its emphasis not on the nine misfits and malcontents who tried to kill presidents, nor even on the presidents they wanted to kill, but rather on the gun-loving country that brought them into being."
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BroadwayWorld
July 15th, 2017

"Anne Kauffman's exciting and incisive concert mounting...Sondheim's score, rather slyly, contains some of his catchiest melodies, as characters sing in the popular styles of their times...Unusual for a musical, Weidman's book contains many scenes that stand alone without leading into songs, and Kauffman's keen naturalistic direction makes these moments stand out with just as much impact as the musical ones."
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Talkin' Broadway
July 13th, 2017

"Mostly thrilling, occasionally misfired production...As the man who killed Lincoln, Steven Pasquale is a marvel...The production itself, which is being directed by Anne Kauffman, is not without its flaws...But for a myriad of reasons, none of which its creators could have anticipated, 'Assassins' has become a show for our time. This is why, along with a number of very strong performances, especially that of Pasquale, this production ought to be a very hot ticket."
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Theater News Online
July 20th, 2017

"The true message of the musical comes through loud and clear in Anne Kauffman’s beautifully cast and thoughtfully conceived production...Far from a simple morality play, 'Assassins' is one of musical theater’s most complex works, as it humanizes (to some degree) these troubled souls...Moreover, for all its darkness, Weidman and Sondheim provide genuine opportunities for light and laughter...The time is always for 'Assassins,' especially when it’s done with this much conviction!"
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