In this darkly humorous musical review, Stephen Sondheim (music and lyrics) and John Weidman (book) depict nine misfit men and women who attempted (four of them successfully) to assassinate American Presidents. While every nation has its assassins and would-be assassins, only in America, the authors suggest, do disturbed and disturbing individuals act not because they hope to influence national politics, but because they are wrapped up in a malignant sense of entitlement. Feeling betrayed by the failed promise of American democracy and the American Dream, they strike out at the symbol for America: the American President. Assassins spans several musical styles and many decades in a dizzying series of musical and theatrical inventions that culminate in the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
Assassins guide sections