An excellent review of Assassins from Chris Daniels at The Show Report.
Here are some excerpts from the review:
In the presentation of “Assassins” that opened this past Friday night at the Long Beach Landmark Theatre, it is the comedy that works best. Director Megan O’Toole has toned down the violent factor substantially with the replacement of the usual “guns” used in the show with items like mallets and juggling balls for bullets. The beginning scenes are portrayed instead with killers toting rubber mallets, centered around a neon-lit, high striker, ring-the-bell hammer game.
Some of the segments of the show are hilarious indeed. Emily Morgan, lighter than air, and a witchy Maddie Levy make a very animated sociopathic Lucy-and-Ethel pair as Sara Jane Moore and Lynette Fromme, would-be killers of Gerald R. Ford. When Moore’s make-shift “gun” fails to discharge, she thinks fast and throws the balls at him instead.
But there is no mistaking the show’s serious intentions and its confidence in pursuing them.
The ensemble cast is vocally exceptional, with especially thrilling contributions from Jay Dysart (“Texas School Book Depository”) as Booth, Owen Lovejoy (“The Ballad of Czolgosz”) as Czolgosz, Corey Shaw (“America”) as Samuel Byck, young Sammy Schwarz (“I Shot My Dog”) as the Boy, and Bobby Brannon (“The Ballad of Booth”) as the Balladeer.– Chris Daniels, The Show Report
And Director O’Toole has an off-center, love-obsessed Hinckley (Mark Waters) singing a beautiful folk-rock ballad called “Unworthy of Your Love” to a heedless Jodie Foster; and then when it becomes a duet with Ms. Fromme (known as Squeaky) charmingly singing to a Charles Manson, the squirmy, tragic pathos in the air becomes weighty.
Still, when Giuseppe Zangara (Charlie Carlos), in his inchoate crime against Franklin D. Roosevelt, calls himself an “American nothing,” or when the nine assassins sing together about “another national anthem” that applies to the likes of them, you may feel, as I did, the rumblings of our unsettled country in your bones. “Assassins” is the report of that unsettlement, as well as the bang.– Chris Daniels, The Show Report
Lucas Dysart excels as Lee Harvey Oswald, proving a lynchpin of modern history, the production’s most harrowing and effective final scene.– Chris Daniels, The Show Report