Assassins (Classic Stage Company)
Ends Jan 29
Assassins (Classic Stage Company)
86

Assassins (Classic Stage Company) NYC Reviews and Tickets

86%
(51 Reviews)
Positive
100%
Mixed
0%
Negative
0%
Members say
Great acting, Great singing, Absorbing, Intelligent, Clever

Sondheim's dark, TONY-winning musical comes to CSC in a new star-studded production. 

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Member Reviews (51)

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70
Very well done on all levels.

See it if You love Sondheim and don’t mind a musical glorifying sick people.

Don't see it if You want a feel good musical.

90
Necessarily unsettling, Effective staging, Outstanding cast, Provocative, Darkly-humorous

See it if a fan of anyone in the cast, Stephen Sondheim’s work, or unusual premises for musicals. This one is jarring: morbid contents, catchy music.

Don't see it if dark comedy is not your cup of tea; uncomfortable with “light”-sounding approaches to serious topics like assassination, suicide, violence. Read more

84
Intense, Great singing, Great acting, Clever

See it if You want to see an excellent pared down version of Assassins, packed with many top notch Broadway and Off Broadway actors. All excellent!

Don't see it if You don’t want to see a dark show about very sad events in American history. Lots of guns.

88
Must see, Clever, Great staging, Great singing

See it if you are a true Sondheim fan and want to see one of his more underrated shows given the treatment it deserves with a all-star cast.

Don't see it if you don't like or appreciate dark story lines. This show deals with some dark material and is definitely not for everyone. Read more

82
Quirky, Not your typical musical theatre topic!, Great singing, Great acting, A very doyle production

See it if Are a Sondheim or Doyle fan: great example of mingling their work. Like macabre history and/or fine individual performances & musicianship.

Don't see it if Desire a linear, traditional story line. Have trouble with guns and gunshots. Dislike Sondheim's less melodic work.

85
Must see, Relevant, Hilarious, Great singing, Great acting

See it if you're a fan of the show, Sondheim, or want to see a funny but blistering take on the darkness in people in dark times.

Don't see it if you're not a fan of Doyle's minimalism or don't enjoy dark humor.

88
Entertaining, Quirky, Great acting, Ambitious

See it if you want to see an incredible cast in an extremely intimate setting doing Sondheim. Really interesting premiums with a great score.

Don't see it if You do not want to watch a musical all about murder. Specifically every attempted specifically presidential assassination.

88
Ambitious, Riveting, Resonant, Great singing, Absorbing

See it if you love Sondheim. A must-see for true believers. Nicely staged, excellent cast, strong musical performances. I like the use of masks.

Don't see it if the idea of a musical about shooting Presidents repulses you. It's definitely odd, but it doesn't glorify them. But it's not for everyone.

Critic Reviews (15)

The New York Times
November 14th, 2021

"The production lacks the power to unsettle despite a fine cast of killers and wannabes who changed, or at least made, history gunning for presidents."
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Time Out New York
November 14th, 2021

"Assassins remains fascinating...The most discomfiting thing about watching Assassins now is the extent to which the isolated mindsets whose dots the musical connects through 120 years of U.S. history have cohered into movements since the show was written. “The country is not what it was,” sings Booth somberly, and many people now would agree. The other national anthem, as the song predicts, is getting louder every year."
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Variety
November 14th, 2021

"Director John Doyle’s electrifying staging of “Assassins,” Stephen Sondheim’s macabre masterpiece about our national infatuation with fame and our appetite for violence, is a revival to die for — figuratively, of course."
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The Observer
November 17th, 2021

"I can’t be the only Sondheim nerd sick of respectful, minimalist approaches. Give us full orchestras, monumental design, directors eager to wrestle with convention; scale up, you cowards. Don’t relegate the full sonic and dramatic force of the past century’s greatest musicals to the concert hall or opera house. Or if you’re going to do it in a small venue like CSC, freak the hell out of us. No, those who long for an Assassins to disrupt our peace will have to wait until the next civic atrocity. Take discomfort in the fact that this ominous triumph will always wait for us in the dark, finger on the trigger."
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AM New York
November 14th, 2021

"Are the protesters who violently stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6 the contemporary descendants of the men and women who assassinated and attempted to assassinate the Presidents of the United States? This is the disturbing query posed at the end of Classic Stage Company’s eagerly-anticipated Off-Broadway revival of Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman’s one-of-a-kind 1990 musical “Assassins,” a nonlinear, critical-minded, and darkly comic examination of American assassins and would-be assassins."
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Theatermania
November 14th, 2021

"The theater suffers from serious sound balance issues, with the music occasionally drowning out the lyrics (a grave matter in any musical, but especially in wordy Sondheim). Doyle's staging also exudes a frustrating inertia that shouldn't exist in a musical so tightly written. Some of that derives from spatial awkwardness, as the actors move from one boxy formation to another, like trainees in a marching band. This may be meant to convey the stifling, militaristic conformity of American society, but it only convinced me that Doyle needs to meet a good choreographer."
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Lighting & Sound America
November 15th, 2021

The good news for the theatre is the bad news for us: Assassins is back, as bilious and brilliant as ever, offering its uncanny funhouse-mirror reflection of America at its most cankerous and paranoid.. John Doyle's production has its weaknesses, but a shortage of stunning performances is not one of them. Prepare to be shaken.
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New York Stage Review
November 14th, 2021

"The heavy-handedness continues from scene to scene: There’s precious little of the vaudevillian sketch-style ambience you might remember from previous productions. Hard to do when actors are stopping to put on American flag masks every few minutes."
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New York Stage Review
November 14th, 2021

"Assassins, Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman’s darkly comic pageant of all-American mania and madness, is back, now at the Classic Stage Company in the hands of the great Sondheim minimalist John Doyle. With a fresh urgency, an extraordinary cast, and a characteristically unshowy staging, it is a thrilling return."
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TheaterScene.net
November 18th, 2021

While the actors give excellent performances, the revival lacks emotion and heart which is strange considering the number of characters who die or who are wounded in the course of the show. It is as though they (and we) are numbed by so much depiction of killing.
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Front Row Center
November 16th, 2021

"Assassins is a particular piece. There is only one prop common to all of the characters: a gun. It is their strength, their sword, their sword arm for that matter. Because they welcome it, and everything for which is stands, they can and will murder – or at least try. But murder, in this case is not a blip on the monitor."
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Exeunt Magazine
November 15th, 2021

"A jumbled production brings down the first rate cast in this revival of Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman’s musical."
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New York Theater
November 14th, 2021

“Assassins” is certainly clever…The historical figures, largely obscure, remain fascinating. The new revival at Classic Stage Company features a pitch-perfect cast overflowing with talented, hip New York stage actors…[But it’s] more unsettling than entertaining… When the Republican Party is full of would-be assassins and their elected enablers, is this the moment for a show that turns these past national traumas into a clever pastiche musical revue?
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New York Theatre Guide
November 15th, 2021

"5 stars!...Rifles and revolvers get plenty of play. That said, missing this show would be a shame — if you can snag a ticket. Set to open 19 months ago but delayed by the pandemic, director and designer John Doyle’s take on this darkly humorous slice of history is tight, insightful, and impeccably performed. It aims, fires, and hits the mark."
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The Wrap
November 14th, 2021

"It’s the musical that gets scarier...Steven Pasquale and Will Swenson are two of Broadway’s favorite leading men in musicals. In “Assassins,” they get to shuck off those Ken Doll roles to play, respectively, an elegant John Wilkes Booth and a loopy Charles Guiteau."
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