Assassins – Original Cast Recording 1990
The shooting gallery at a carnival. The assassins enter one by one and are encouraged by the Proprietor to solve their personal problems by picking up a gun-Everybody’s Got The Right. The Ballad Of Booth is introduced by the Balladeer, who throughout the show sings us our history and drifts through assassinations as an almost-professional witness to American catastrophe. He observes John Wilkes Booth in the hours following the shooting of Abraham Lincoln as Booth takes shelter in a tobacco barn with his confederate David Herold. Miami, Florida. February, 1933. An assassination attempt is made on the life of Franklin D. Roosevelt by a thirty-three-year-old immigrant, Giuseppe Zangara. How I Saved Roosevelt alternates between a group of bystanders speaking into radio microphones and the would-be assassin Zangara in the electric chair, moments before his execution. (Both the statements of the five bystanders and Zangara’s observations are based on fact.) The Gun Song begins with McKinley assassin Leon Czolgosz contemplating the meaning and power of a recently acquired weapon. He is joined by Booth, Garfield assassin Charles Guiteau and Sara Jane Moore, who attempted to assassinate President Gerald Ford. At the end of the song they leave Czolgosz standing alone, determining his course of action. The Ballad Of Czolgosz, presented by the Balladeer, tells the story of the assassination of President William McKinley during a public reception at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York, in 1901. Czolgosz wrapped a handkerchief around his gun so that he would appear to have injured his hand and stood quietly in line until he was face to face with the President. Unworthy Of Your Love is sung by John Hinckley, who tried to assassinate President Ronald Reagan, and Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme, who tried to assassinate President Gerald Ford. (“Jodie” refers to movie actress Jodie Foster, and “Charlie” to mass-murderer Charles Manson.) The Ballad Of Guiteau finds Charles Guiteau, President James Garfield’s assassin, standing at the foot of the gallows. He starts by reciting a poem, I Am Going To The Lordy, which (in historical fact) he had composed that very morning. The Balladeer describes the trial and subsequent execution as Guiteau, an irrepressible optimist, cakewalks up and down the gallows steps. All of the assassins join together for Another National Anthem, not as angry individuals but as an embryonic group with a common purpose. November 22, 1963. Lee Harvey Oswald, a stock boy in the sixth floor store-room of the Texas School Book Depository, is interrupted as he prepares to commit suicide. In front of the famous photograph of Jack Ruby shooting Oswald, Everybody’s Got The Right returns by way of summary and in conclusion.
Proprietor: William Parry Leon Czolgosz: Terrence Mann John Hinckley: Greg Germann Charles Guiteau: Jonathan Hadary Giuseppe Zangara: Eddie Korbich Samuel Byck: Lee Wilkof Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme: Annie Golden Sara Jane Moore: Debra Monk John Wilkes Booth: Victor Garber Balladeer: Patrick Cassidy David Herold: Marcus Olson Bartender: John Jellison Bystanders: Joy Franz, Lyn Greene, John Jellison, Marcus Olson, William Parry Emma Goldman: Lyn Greene Fairgoers: Lyn Greene, John Jellison, Marcus Olson, William Parry, Joy Franz, Michael Shulman James Garfield: William Parry James Blaine: John Jellison Hangman: Marcus Olson Warden: John Jellison Billy: Michael Shulman Gerald Ford: William Parry Lee Harvey Oswald: Jace Alexander