This is one strange musical. There, I said it. So I can understand why so many people vehemently or mildly dislike Stephen Sondheim’s Assassins. I truly can, but I have to admit my love of Sondheim’s wit and lyrics, along with his unique musical sensibility always wins me over. He is able to create something out of the oddest idea, that is just so fascinating. Assassins which first was scheduled to make its Broadway debut in September of 2001 had the very worse timing you could possibly imagine. The content was seen as too perplexing in light of the attacks on September 11th, 2001, so the opening was postponed until the spring of 2004, hoping the world would be ready for a show that would explore the numerous assassination attempts on American Presidents.
The timing is still a perplexing affair. After the magnificent but unfairly protested Julius Caesar that graced the Delacorte Theatre in Central Park, Assassins resonates on a very different level. The Public Theater envisioned Caesar as a Trump-like buffoon and proceeded to have him assassinated by Brutus for the ‘good of the country’. In the New York City Center’s Encore! Off-Center’s production, there are many a moment when the character tries to sell a similar scenario, with far too many parallels to our modern day situation. At times, it feels dangerous (and I mean that in the best of all possible ways) and hilarious at the same time. I had seen the perfect and slick Roundabout revival back in 2004 starring Michael Cerveris (John Wilkes Booth) and Neil Patrick Harris (as both the Balladeer and Lee Harvey Oswald), and fell in love with the insanity of it all. This time round, it doesn’t seem to click and punch in the same manner. Some characters don’t seem as funny as before, so I’m wondering: Is it Anne Kauffman’s direction of this production? Or is it is because we are hearing this musical at this specific time and place, with that man as the President?
The Balladeer on the other hand, played by Clifton Duncan (Encores!’s Lost in the Stars), is strong as one of many singing the marvelous song, “Another National Anthem” but is a bit shaky in his vocal capacity when performing the Ballads. He starts out powerfully when he joins Pasquale’s Booth in the exquisite “The Ballad of Booth”, but wavers in his strength and presence with John Ellison Conlee’s Guiteau to sing the Ballad of his story, the murder of President Garfield in 1881. With an assist from the entire cast, he performs the odd “The Ballad of Czolgosz” quite well, chronicling the assassination attempt on President McKinley in 1901, but is not as solid as one would hope. Shuler Hensley (Broadway’s Young Frankenstein) as Leon Czolgosz and Alex Brightman (School of Rock) as Guiseppe Zangara who failed in his assassination attempt of President Roosevelt in 1933 are wasted a bit here. This is one of the curses of being in an Encores! production. Every part, big and small, tends to be filled by someone amazing, so those stars that get the lesser roles end up leaving us wanting more.
So You Wanna Be A Rockette….Open Auditions Are Here
Are you at least 18 years old, between 5’5 5 feet, 10 1/2 inches tall in stocking feet? Are you proficient at jazz and tap. The choreography of the dance numbers is demanding, complex, and rigorous in its precision. You need first-rate technique. If you do audition registration for the Radio City Rockettes, ensemble and more is officially open for the 2023 Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes presented by QVC. Audition to be a part of New York City’s favorite holiday tradition and register today.
Dancers auditioning for the Radio City Rockettes will also be considered for Rockettes Conservatory, the dance company’s invite-only, week-long training intensive, which serves as the main talent pipeline for the line.
The auditions will be held April 20th with call backs April 21 and April 22. For male identifying dancers who sing that audition is April 26.
Female Identifying Dancers*, Voice Ensemble and Principal Roles will be cast through invited agent calls only – there will be no open call audition for these roles.
*Includes gender expansive identities (trans, non-binary, gender non-conforming and gender queer.)
The Radio City Rockettes are a world-renowned dance company known for their athleticism and iconic precision style combining elements of ballet, jazz, and tap, as well as techniques of modern and contemporary dance. In addition to the Christmas Spectacular, the Rockettes perform annually in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and the Christmas in Rockefeller Center tree lighting, and have appeared on some of the biggest events in entertainment, including the Tony Awards, the MTV VMAs, the NYC Pride Parade, and “Saturday Night Live.” Most recently, the Rockettes were featured in the Hallmark movie “A Holiday Spectacular” and performed with Mariah Carey in her holiday special filmed at Madison Square Garden, “Mariah Carey: Merry Christmas to All!”
As a Rockette, dancers have access to excellent benefits, including year-round health insurance, a competitive 401K, and a tuition assistance program for accredited and approved courses, as well as a reimbursement plan for many voice, dance, technique, wellness, and fitness classes.
Did you Know Andrea Bocelli and Hauser Performed Live In Times Square?
Celebrating the release The Journey: A Music Special from Andrea Bocelli, Andrea Bocelli and Hauser performed Melodramma Live in Times Square.
Combining world-class musical performances with intimate conversations across the awe-inspiring Italian countryside, The Journey: A Music Special from Andrea Bocelli is an exploration of the moments that define us, the songs that inspire us, and the relationships that connect us to what matters most. You can see this film produced by Fantom events April 2 – 9. You can get tickets here.
Watch Bocelli and his wife Veronica travel on horseback along Italy’s Via Francigena, an ancient road traveled by pilgrims for centuries in the footsteps of the apostles and saints. Along the way, they are joined by friends Michael W. Smith, Tori Kelly, Tauren Wells, and TAYA for world-class musical performances in some of Italy’s most magnificent venues and majestic locations.
Following a blessing from the Pope, Bocelli’s children Matteo and Virginia make appearances in this amazing adventure, as well as musicians and singers Katherine Jenkins, Clara Barbier Serrano, 2Cellos, 40 Fingers, and many others.
T2C Talks With Rajesh Bose on Life Of Pi’s Opening Night and More
Lolita Chakrabarti’s Life Of Pi, the new drama is adapted from the novel by Yann Martel makes its Broadway debut tonight at the Gerald Schoenfeld theatre. T2C talked with Rajesh Bose who plays Pi’s father.
Rajesh is an actor who has worked regional and Off-Broadway. He performed with The Bedlam Theatre Company in The Crucible and Pygmalion, Henry VI forNAATCO), Against The Hillside for the Ensemble Studio Theatre, Indian Ink at the Roundabout, Oslo at St. Louis Rep, Mary Stuart at the Folger Theatre, Guards at the Taj for Capital Stage, Disgraced at Playmakers Rep, Huntington Theatre, Long Wharf Theatre winning the Connecticut Critics Circle Award and an IRNE Nomination. The Who & The What at Gulfshore Playhouse and The Invisible Hand at the Westport Country Playhouse and Hartford TheaterWorks.
Rajesh’s film and television roles include “Quantico”, “Blue Bloods”, “Elementary”, “Blacklist”, “Damages”, “Nurse Jackie”, “Madame Secretary”, “The Good Wife”, “Law & Order: SVU”, “Criminal Minds”, the series finale of “The Sopranos”, and the Academy Award nominated film Frozen River.
T2C wish the Life of Pi and very happy opening.
Video by Magda Katz
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