East West Players, the nation’s longest-running Asian American theatre and the largest producer of Asian American theatrical works, is returning to in person production with the award-winning Broadway musical Assassins, February 17 through March 20. Opening night is set for Sunday, February 20, 2022, at 5:00pm. With music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, and book by John Weidman, Assassins is directed by East West Players’ Producing Artistic Director Snehal Desai, and musical direction by Marc Macalintal.
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, Assassins is the twelfth Sondheim musical mounted by East West Players in its fifty-six-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.
“After an unprecedented 23 months, East West Players is looking forward to reopening our doors with Assassins. On what was to be opening night in March 2020, we made the difficult decision to halt production. We are thrilled audiences will finally get the chance to see this electrifying and intoxicating production whose resonance has deepened and intensified over the course of the last two years,” says EWP’s Producing Artistic Director and director of Assassins Snehal Desai. “We are also moved that this re-opening production continues the longstanding relationship East West Players has with the incomparable Stephen Sondheim as we honor his legacy.” East West Players’ production of Assassins will be the first Los Angeles production of one of the late composer-lyricist’s works since his recent passing this November.
The cast of Assassins is headlined by Gedde Watanabe (Original Broadway Cast of Pacific Overtures, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum and La Cage Aux Folles at East West Players) as Charles Guiteau, Joan Almedilla (Broadway national tour of The King And I, and recently starring as Donna Sheridan in East West Players’ Mamma Mia!) as Sara Jane Moore, and Adam Kaokept, making his East West Players debut, (Broadway: Miss Saigon Revival and Disney’s Aladdin Original Cast) as Balladeer/Lee Harvey Oswald. The cast also features Trance Thompson* as John Wilkes Booth, Max Austin Torrez* as The Proprietor, Christopher Chen* as Samuel Byck, George Xavier* as Leon Czolgosz, Astoncia Bhagat Lyman as Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme, Arvin Lee as John Hinckley, Jr., Aric Martin as Giuseppe Zangara, Kym Miller* as Emma Goldman. Andrea Somera, Jalen Lum, Michael Cavinder* and Maya McGowan round out the ensemble.
The creative team includes: Snehal Desai (Director), Marc Macalintal (Music Director), Preston Mui and Jasmine Rafael (Movement Directors), Stephanie Lim (Dramaturg), David Murakami (Projections Designer), Stephanie Nguyen (Costume Designer), Anna Robinson (Scenic Designer), Wesley Charles Chew (Lighting Designer), Cricket Myers (Sound Designer), Glenn Michael Baker (Property Designer), and Brandon Hong Cheng* (Stage Manager).
Performance times from Thursday, February 17th through Sunday, March 20th are 8 PM Thursday to Saturday, with 2 PM matinees on Saturday, and 5pm performances on Sunday. Ticket prices range from $50 to $75. A Pay-What-You-Can performance is scheduled for Monday, February 21st at 8PM.
Tickets may be purchased online at eastwestplayers.org or by calling (323) 609-7006. At time of purchase please mention any wheelchair/accessible seating needs. Student, senior, and group discounts are available. Dates, details, and ticket prices are subject to change.
Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer, an Award winning filmmaker and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. Her short film, When the World Was Young, written and directed by Garth Kravits, recently garnered a 2021 DisOrient Film Audience Choice Award for Best Short Narrative. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman. She stars in and served as Executive Producer for the short independent films Hide and Seek, Balancing Act, Rom-Com Gone Wrong, Belongingness and When the World was Young. She is also the Executive Producer for The Cactus, The Language Lesson, The Writer and Cream and 2 Shugahs. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers, musicians and corporations.
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