UNIVERSITY PARK | John Wilkes Booth. Lee Harvey Oswald. Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme.
Stephen Sondheim’s “Assassins” brings some of the most reviled figures in American history to Governors State University's Center for Performing Arts for two unforgettable performances.
“Assassins,” a bold, thought-provoking musical about nine people who killed, or attempted to kill, the president of the United States, will be presented by the Southland Area Theatre Ensemble at 7 p.m. Friday and 8 p.m. Saturday.
Sondheim, one of the world’s great stage composers, wrote the music and lyrics for “Assassins,” which forces the viewer to consider the motivations of people who are generally portrayed as monsters. Wilkes, the murderer of Abraham Lincoln. Oswald, John F. Kennedy’s acknowledged killer. Fromme, the would-be assassin of Gerald Ford. Notorious personages come to life as complex human beings who may just be a product of American political culture.
“Assassins” has been acclaimed as a monumental theater work since it was first presented in London in 1992. The show finally came to Broadway in 2004 and was rewarded with Tony Awards for Best Revival, Best Actor in a Musical, Best Orchestration, Best Lighting Design and Best Director.
At GSU Center, audience members will be seated on-stage with the actors, providing an up-close experience that intensifies the show’s spectacular action and score.
Performers in “Assassins” are Steve Greist, of Chicago; Nate Krug, of Crete; Brad Senffner, of Clifton; Meghan Hoyt, of Dyer; Gloria Petrilli, of Chicago Heights; Max Hillman, of Joliet; Korey Tarhan, of Chicago; Billy Vitucci, of Frankfort; Tyler McMahon, of Kankakee; Stacie Knefelkamp, of Bourbonnais; Christopher Kelley, of Flossmoor; Heather Prince, of Cedar Lake; Jack Reed, of Homewood; Joe Clair, of Chicago; Bryn Dolan, of Homewood; and Melina Vitucci, of Frankfort.
“Assassins” is directed by J.R. Rose, of Tinley Park. Steph Jones, of Tinley Park, is stage manager; Greg Owens, of Monee, is music director; Rebecca DeDecker, of Wheaton, is choreographer; Judith E. Felix, of Joliet, is in charge of props; and Diana Principie, of Crete, is in charge of costumes.
Tickets for "Assassins" are $27. To purchase tickets, or for further information, contact the GSU Center box office at www.centertickets.net or (708) 235-2222. The box office is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday and two hours prior to performances.
Multibuy/Megabuy packages are available at GSU Center. Choose any three or four shows and receive the Multibuyer discount. Choose any five or more shows and receive the Megabuy discount. In addition to the big savings, package holders receive ticket exchange privileges with 72-hour notice or more, priority seating, and more. Packages are available for purchase through the box office only and are not available online.
SLATE was established in 2009 as an artistic collaboration between the Center for Performing Arts, local theater educators, and veterans of area community theater companies. For more information about SLATE, visit www.slatetheatre.org.
GSU Center is located on the campus of Governors State University, 1 University Parkway.