Who but Stephen Sondheim would dare to write a musical about U.S. presidential assassins? The man famous for that other grisly Broadway hit, Sweeney Todd, did just that with Assassins, mining the lives of everyone from John Wilkes Booth to Lee Harvey Oswald and even Colorado wannabe assassin John Hinckley for thought-provoking, darkly comic material. Is it difficult? You’d better believe it, but that didn’t keep Denver’s Equinox Theatre Company from taking on the show for the last production of its 2012 season.
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“It’s Sondheim, so you really can’t go wrong with it,” says Equinox founding member Deb Flomberg. “But it’s also incredibly tough for us. It pushes the envelope, for sure, and really encourages audiences to explore the why behind some of the darkest periods in American history. And it’s one of Sondheim’s most controversial pieces, which makes it perfect for us, because we like to do things that are a little edgy.”
With director Pat Payne and musical director Tim Kennedy at the helm, Assassins opens tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Bug Theatre, 3654 Navajo Street; it will run through September 15 with performances on Friday and Saturday nights. Admission is $18 (or $15 if purchased in advance online — “a real deal,” as Flomberg notes); a portion of the proceeds will be donated to Aurora shooting victims via the Colorado Organization for Victims Assistance. For information and reservations, call 720-984-0781 or go to www.equinoxtheatredenver.com.
Fridays, Saturdays, 7:30 p.m. Starts: Aug. 24. Continues through Sept. 15, 2012