Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

Sondheim Kills Me 

Wednesday, Jun 27 2007
After writing Sunday in the Park With George (about Georges Seurat's famous painting A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte) and Into the Woods (about fucked-up fairy tale characters), Stephen Sondheim went and wrote a musical about a band of merry idealists: presidential assassins. Featuring nine killers, some on-target and some unsuccessful, the Americana-tinged Assassins is one the best musicals ever to grace the floorboards of this fine country. Luminaries like John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, and Leon Czolgosz (McKinley's killer) sing some of Sondheim's finest work. The dreamy "Unworthy of Your Love," for example, features John Hinckley and Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme singing an ode to Jodie Foster and Charles Manson, respectively. And the finale has all of the Oval Office-loathers meeting at the infamous Texas School Book Depository, goading Oswald into the history books. But don't get me wrong: This is neither a day at Dolores Park catching the amusing antics of the San Francisco Mime Troupe, nor is it wholly a satire of American politics. (I suspect the Bay Area has enough of that twee and tired fluff to last us well until the next century.) It concerns more than politics: Assassins is about the right to be happy.

About The Author

Brock Keeling


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment


  • Jack White at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium
    Jack White and his band performed at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium on Friday and Saturday nights in front of sold out audiences. Jack entertained his fans with music that included songs from his days with The White Stripes, and The Raconteurs, as well as hits from his solo albums; Blunderbuss and Lazaretto. Photography by Sugarwolf.
  • San Francisco Street Food Festival 2014
    The San Francisco Street Food Festival was another success this year. Dozens of vendors with original, unheard-of creations, such as deep fried mac and cheese on a stick, black pea paste pancakes, and Korean quesadillas. Then there was the comfort foods we've grown accustomed to, like creme bruleé, shrimp rolls, and pound cake. Photographs by Mabel Jimenez.

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed
  1. Most Popular