The Battle of Booth & the Balladeer: In Sondheim and Weidman's Assassins

Seán Geizer


“Balladeer” in Stephen Sondheim and Jonathan Weidman's 1990 off-Broadway musical Assassins. The musical features historical figures that either assassinated or attempted to assassinate Presidents of the United States of America. Although there is no linear plot, the scenes progress in approximate chronological order from John Wilkes Booth to Lee Harvey Oswald. The special connection between Booth and the Balladeer in terms of staging, song content, and dialogue, is examined in detail. Also examined are the implications of the 2004 Broadway staging, in which the same actor play the Balladeer and Oswald. Analysis of lyrics, music and dialog is presented as evidence.


American; Musical; Theater

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