Step right up! Come one, come all to a veritable carnival of passionate urges!
BOLD Theatre present their latest production, the Tony Award-winning Assassins, by composer/lyricist Stephen Sondheim (Sweeney Todd, Into the Woods, West Side Story).
Part vaudeville extravaganza, part exposé, and wholly electrifying, Assassins is a dark and controversial musical comedy about the American dream gone awry.
Director Kyle Chuen says Assassins follows the lives of nine real-life individuals who assassinated, or tried to assassinate, various presidents of the United States, from John Wilkes Booth to Lee Harvey Oswald.
"Gun laws, political corruption, social and cultural uprisings, all eyes are always on what's happening in America.
"You only have to scroll through last year's Twitter and Facebook feeds to relive the injustice the whole world felt, regardless of which side you sat on.
"Now imagine you feel so strongly about it, it's made you want to go and shoot a president," Chuen says.
Even the writer of the show makes no apologies. "There are always people who think that certain subjects are not right for musicals ... we're not going to apologise for dealing with such a volatile subject. Nowadays, virtually everything goes," says Sondheim about Assassins.
Musical direction is under the experienced baton of Nick Braae, fresh from his success with Chicago for Hamilton Operatic Society.
"The music for Assassins is very typical of Stephen Sondheim," Braae says.
"There's a strong sense of writing the qualities of the characters into the songs themselves. The entire score is a panorama of traditional American styles - folk, bluegrass, marches, jazz, smooth '70s pop - reflecting the eras of the different assassins.
"Originally written for a full orchestra, this production of Assassins will feature a four-piece band that will create the sound of a quirky and offbeat jazz ensemble - maybe like what one would find at the dingy carnival setting where all the characters meet."
BOLD Theatre producer Charlotte Isaac says it is great to finally see Assassins ready to take to the stage, with huge support in the form of advance ticket sales.
"We cast Assassins early last year but then Covid arrived and everything stopped. We feel very fortunate that all our talented cast were still available for the new dates and look forward to staging this show and thank everyone for their patience. It will be worth the wait," Isaac says.
Assassins features an all-local cast with a mix of theatrical veterans, rising stars and newcomers, and is produced by local theatre group BOLD Theatre (Urinetown, Dogfight, God of Carnage, Old, Bold and Going Nowhere).
What: Assassins (Recommended for ages 16+)
When: Friday, August 27 - Saturday, September 4, 7.30pm.
Where: The Meteor Theatre, Hamilton