East West Players, the nation’s longest-running professional theater of color and the largest producing organization of Asian American artistic work, has announced the cast and creative team for its spring 2020 production of the award-winning Broadway musical “Assassins.”
With music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by John Weidman, it will be directed by EWP Producing Artistic Director Snehal Desai, with musical direction by Marc Macalintal.
“Assassins” begins performances on March 12 and runs through April 5, 2020.
A darkly comic Tony Award-winner that examines the motives of the nine notorious Americans who took their shot at the president of the United States, some successfully, “Assassins” is the 12th Sondheim musical mounted by East West Players in its 54-year history of producing theatre in Los Angeles. This wickedly subversive spectacle explores the national fixation on celebrity and its violent intersection with the American Dream.
The cast of is headlined by Gedde Watanabe (original Broadway cast of “Pacific Overtures,” and “La Cage Aux Folles” at EWP), Joan Almedilla (Broadway national tour of “The King and I”), and Adam Kaokept (“Miss Saigon,” “Disney’s Aladdin”), making his EWP debut.
Watanabe will take on the role of Charles Guiteau, who in 1882 was hanged for the fatal shooting of President James A. Garfield 11 months earlier.
Kaokept will portray John F. Kennedy’s killer, Lee Harvey Oswald, and Almedilla will play the part of Sara Jane Moore, the unsuccessful assassin of Gerald Ford in 1975.
Other notorious figures in the musical include Lincoln assassin John Wilkes Booth (Trance Thompson), William McKinley assassin Leon Czolgosz (George Xavier), would-be Ford assassin Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme (Astoncia Bhagat), would-be Ronald Reagan assassin John Hinckley, Jr. (Arvin Lee), would-be Richard Nixon assassin Samuel Byck (Christopher Chen), and would-be Franklin D. Roosevelt assassin Giuseppe Zangara (Aric Martin).
The cast also includes Max Austin Torrez, Kym Miller, Andrea Somera and Jalen Lum.
The creative team also features projections designer David Murakami, stage manager Brandon Cheng, and sound designers Christian Lee and Cricket Myers.
All performances of “Assassins” will be staged at the David Henry Hwang Theater at the Union Center of the Arts, 120 Judge John Aiso Street in Little Tokyo. Previews will be March 12 through 15, with shows Thursday to Sunday. Opening night is Thursday, March 19, and both preview and regular performance ticket prices range from $50 to $70.
Tickets may be purchased online at www.eastwestplayers.org or by calling (213) 625-7000.