Assassins the Musical

Kara Green, Staff Writer

Assassins the musical was released in 1990. This musical is based around the stories of many different assassins, including but not limited to, John Wilkes Booth and Lee Harvey Oswald. The music tells the stories of the motives of the assassins in musical fashion. The music was composed by Stephen Sondheim and based on a book by John Weidman. The music as fantastic and inspired. This was caused by and enhanced by the music and the storyline. Along with the history that was linked into the storyline.

The music in the show was, at first glance, subpar. It wasn’t my favorite musical and definitely took a minute to like it. And as far Sondheim musicals went, I wasn’t impressed. But I tried my best to look further into the topic and was surprised. In Sondheim’s genius, he modeled the music from the musical off of the time periods in which the assassinations (or attempted assassination) occurred. It wasn’t the classic music that I anticipated but after I listened to it for a bit, it began to grow on me.

Another good part of the musical was the storyline. When you think of a classical broadway musical, you don’t think of assassins singing. The Ballad of Booth was one song that was extremely interesting. It tells of his claims against Lincoln and the counterclaims against Booth. This song was one example of the storytelling through the music. Another portion of this that was amazing was the historical standpoint. I am a history nerd and I love the political side of assassins and their motives. Hearing history and musicals combined in a musical that wasn’t Hamilton was fantastic.