Theatre Hawke’s Bay production of Assassins on from 24 June to 10 July is a chance for Hawke’s Bay audiences to experience this complex and innovative musical. It is not a widely known production in New Zealand. Although Stephen Sondheim is one of the greatest composers of musical theatre (West Side Story, Sweeny Todd, Into the Woods), his work is rarely performed here.
Assassins uses a revue-like structure to explore the lives and times of nine colourfully disturbed individuals through a fusing of song, theatrics and historical events.
Each character in the show attempted to kill a US president and half of them succeeded.
Assassins doesn’t ask how these catastrophic events occurred, but why – delving into the dark side of the American Dream and its exaggerating ideals of entitlement.
This is director Anthony Collier’s first show at Theatre Hawke’s Bay and he describes Assassins as “An incredibly challenging production that is very demanding of its cast – wonderfully this company is stunning.”
Collier has been involved in Hawke’s Bay theatre for many years and is the founder of the Napier Theatre Company. For this show with Theatre Hawke’s Bay he has brought together 20 of Hawke’s Bay best performers including some well known faces and exciting new faces.
“The production itself has a wide appeal, with the combination of dark humour and captivating drama mixed in. We’ve managed to stage this production in a way that has modernised it from its original production when it debuted 30 years ago, but without losing its core charm and innate message. It’s remarkable – and in some ways quite disturbing,” says Collier.
He has been working with Theatre Hawke’s Bay to bring Assassins to life for over two years (during the Trump era and pre COVID). Finally, with a two-story moving set and a vocal powerhouse cast, this production is ready to take aim at Hawke’s Bay audiences.
Director: Anthony Collier
Musical Director: Linda Gilchrist
Cast: Michael Sharp, Sam Draper, Sean Boston, Kelly Reid, John Graham, Simeon Ria, Lisa Eagle, Peter Berry, Daric Moore, Katrina Godderz, Antonio Della Barca, Hunter Thorne and Molly Nillson, Jack Garvey, Bridie Thomson, Carol Williams, Hayley Munro, Drew Broadley, Olga McClunie
Venue: The Playhouse, Theatre Hawke’s Bay
Performance Dates: Thursday 24 June – Saturday 10 July
Times: Thursday – Saturday 7.30pm. Saturday 4 July 2.00pm
Phone: 0508 484 253 (0508 iticket)
In Person: Hastings or Havelock North i-Sites