Thursday, July 17, 2014


I saw my fourth production of Assassins last night and decided to do a longer comic. The show tells the stories of nine American Presidential assassins. Some are presented as comical loons. Some are presented as tragic victims of poverty or mental illness.

The libretto refuses to state a clear lesson or moral stance. Somecite this as a weakness in the book. While the show doesn't provide any answers I find my lesson in the contrast between the songs “Another National Anthem” and “Something Just Broke.” In the first the assassins decide if they can’t win understanding they’ll settle for attention.

They might not want to hear it,
But they listen,
Once they thinks it's gonna stop the game...

In the second the chorus of witnesses remember everything about the incident but the assassins themselves and insist that they’ll do all they can to forget.

Fix it up fast,
Till it's just smoke.
Till it's only "Something just passed"—

Every time I see this show the news stories of U.S. violence have only escalated. But there are always plenty who are willing to ignore and forget… tacitly allowing history to repeat. The assassin’s claim they’ll be in every school book but the only reason I know who most of them are… is because of this musical.

The Boublil and Schonberg series will resume tomorrow.

No comments:

Post a Comment