Top row, from left: Gedde Watanabe, Joan Almedilla, Adam Kaokept, Trance Thompson
Middle row, from left: George Xavier, Christopher Chen, Astoncia Bhagat, Max Torrez
Bottom row, from left: Arvin Lee, Aric Martin, Kym Miller, Andrea Somera, Jalen Lum

East West Players, the nation’s longest-running professional theater of color and the largest producing organization of Asian American ar­tistic work, has announced the cast and creative team for its spring 2020 production of the award-winning Broadway musical “Assassins.”

With music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by John Weidman, it will be directed by EWP Producing Artistic Director Snehal De­sai, with musical direction by Marc Macalintal.

“Assassins” begins per­formances on March 12 and runs through April 5, 2020.

A darkly comic Tony Award-winner that examines the motives of the nine no­torious Americans who took their shot at the president of the United States, some successfully, “Assassins” is the 12th Sondheim musical mounted by East West Play­ers in its 54-year history of producing theatre in Los Angeles. This wickedly subversive spectacle ex­plores the national fixation on celebrity and its violent intersection with the Ameri­can Dream.

The cast of is headlined by Gedde Watanabe (origi­nal Broadway cast of “Pa­cific Overtures,” and “La Cage Aux Folles” at EWP), Joan Almedilla (Broadway national tour of “The King and I”), and Adam Kaokept (“Miss Saigon,” “Disney’s Aladdin”), making his EWP debut.

Watanabe will take on the role of Charles Guiteau, who in 1882 was hanged for the fatal shooting of President James A. Garfield 11 months earlier.

Kaokept will portray John F. Ken­nedy’s killer, Lee Harvey Oswald, and Almedilla will play the part of Sara Jane Moore, the unsuccessful assassin of Gerald Ford in 1975.

Other notorious figures in the musical include Lincoln assassin John Wilkes Booth (Trance Thompson), William McKinley assassin Leon Czolgosz (George Xavier), would-be Ford assassin Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme (Astoncia Bhagat), would-be Ronald Rea­gan assassin John Hinckley, Jr. (Arvin Lee), would-be Richard Nixon assassin Samuel Byck (Christopher Chen), and would-be Franklin D. Roosevelt assassin Giuseppe Zangara (Aric Martin).

The cast also includes Max Austin Torrez, Kym Miller, Andrea Somera and Jalen Lum.

The creative team also features projections designer David Murakami, stage manager Brandon Cheng, and sound designers Chris­tian Lee and Cricket My­ers.

All performances of “As­sassins” will be staged at the David Henry Hwang Theater at the Union Cen­ter of the Arts, 120 Judge John Aiso Street in Little Tokyo. Previews will be March 12 through 15, with shows Thursday to Sunday. Opening night is Thursday, March 19, and both preview and regular performance ticket prices range from $50 to $70.

Tickets may be purchased online at or by calling (213) 625-7000.

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