History Main / Assassins

15th Aug '14 10:51:03 AM Willbyr
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* ''Theatre/{{Assassins}}'' the Creator/StephenSondheim play

to:

* ''Theatre/{{Assassins}}'' ''Theatre/{{Assassins}}'', the Creator/StephenSondheim play
15th Aug '14 10:50:52 AM Willbyr
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You seem to have reached a disambiguation page. If you reached this page in error, please fix the wick that lead you here.

* For the trope about people who kill other people for a living see ProfessionalKiller or, for an organization of them, MurderInc.
* For the Creator/StephenSondheim play about assassins see {{Theatre.Assassins}}.
* For the unrelated 1995 action film see {{Film.Assassins}}.

to:

You seem to have reached a disambiguation page. If you reached this page in error, please fix The term "assassin(s)" can refer to:

* ''Theatre/{{Assassins}}''
the wick that lead you here.

Creator/StephenSondheim play
* ''Film/{{Assassins}}'' the unrelated 1995 action film

For the trope about people who kill other people for a living living, see ProfessionalKiller or, for an organization of them, MurderInc.
* For the Creator/StephenSondheim play about assassins see {{Theatre.Assassins}}.
* For the unrelated 1995 action film see {{Film.Assassins}}.
MurderInc.

----
9th Mar '14 2:09:37 PM Aiguille
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* For the StephenSondheim play about assassins see {{Theatre.Assassins}}.

to:

* For the StephenSondheim Creator/StephenSondheim play about assassins see {{Theatre.Assassins}}.
11th Nov '12 2:31:55 PM Aiguille
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* For the trope about people who kill other people for a living see ProfessionalKiller.

to:

* For the trope about people who kill other people for a living see ProfessionalKiller.ProfessionalKiller or, for an organization of them, MurderInc.
26th Feb '12 3:27:28 PM shimaspawn
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* For the StephenSondheim play about assassins see {{Theater.Assassins}}.
* For the unrelated 1995 ActionFilm see {{Film.Assassins}}.

to:

* For the StephenSondheim play about assassins see {{Theater.{{Theatre.Assassins}}.
* For the unrelated 1995 ActionFilm action film see {{Film.Assassins}}.
26th Feb '12 3:27:05 PM shimaspawn
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''{{Assassins}}'', with a score and lyrics by StephenSondheim, is, to put it simply, a revue featuring the men and women who have killed (or attempted to kill) the President of the United States.

The show is narrated by the Balladeer, who comments on the assassins' actions and motivations. The various killers (including John Wilkes Booth, Charles Guiteau, John Hinckley, Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme, and Leon Czolgosz) interact throughout the play, regardless of time period. Their assassination attempts are represented like a carnival game -- a bell rings when they succeed, and a buzzer sounds when they fail.

The show is often seen as a dark reflection on the nebulous idea of "the American dream". The assassins are dispossessed, disenfranchised and disillusioned, but they still hold a disproportionate sense of entitlement because they are in America: the land where ''any'' kid can grow up to be president, the land where -- as the opening song puts it -- "everybody's got the right to their dreams". It also takes a sideways look at gun culture in America.

Notable in that the music largely mirrors popular music from the assassins' lifetimes. And also for the HUGE amounts of LyricalDissonance.

Not to be confused with ProfessionalKiller. Also not to be confused with [[Film/{{Assassins}} the film of the same name]].
----
!!This show provides examples of:

* ActingForTwo: In the 2004 revival, the Balladeer and Lee Harvey Oswald were played by [[NeilPatrickHarris the same actor.]] Many productions since have followed suit.
* AffablyEvil: Charles Guiteau is a jolly, optimistic guy who attempted rape and assassinated a president.
* AGoodWayToDie: Booth and Guiteau very much believed they were martyrs and that they sacrificed themselves to save the country.
* AllGirlsWantBadBoys: Squeaky Fromme is in love with "Charlie" Manson.
* AmbitionIsEvil: The show implies that even though "everybody's got the right to their dreams", you shouldn't necessarily try to achieve them when they're impossible.
* AmericanAccents
* AmericanDream: That of the cynical flavor.
* AnachronicOrder: The timeline jumps everywhere. Not counting the in-between character building scenes, the assassinations/attempts are presented in the order of Lincoln, [=FDR=], [=McKinley=], Reagan, Garfield, Ford, Nixon, Kennedy. Historical order was Lincoln, Garfield, [=McKinley=], [=FDR=], Kennedy, Nixon, Ford, Reagan--but that doesn't really fit with a proper dramatic structure.
* AnachronismStew: Characters from vastly different historical eras are seen interacting with each other.
* AndThereWasMuchRejoicing: Happens among the assassins at the end when Lee Harvey Oswald shoots JFK. The chorus... [[TearJerker not so much]].
* AntiVillain: The play makes the assassins very sympathetic in some regards, especially Czolgosz.
* [[MurderIsTheBestSolution Assassination Is The Best Solution]]
* AssassinOutclassin: Naturally, the targets of the failed assassinations.
* AssholeVictim: RichardNixon, RonaldReagan, WilliamMcKinley, and, eventually, [[spoiler: the audience.]]
** Arguably, [[spoiler: The Balladeer in the revival productions where the Assassins take him down and turn him into Oswald.]] He deliberately avoids granting any validity to the Assassins' claims that they're the result of the dark-side of the American dream-instead dismissing them as crazy attention-seekers and malcontents and thereby perpetuating the cycle of desperation, disillusionment, and apathy that created them in the first place.
* BadSanta: Byck, in the sense that he isn't actually Santa Claus. [[spoiler: Because there isn't any Santa Claus!]]
* BalladOfX: The Ballads of Booth, Guiteau and Czolgosz.
* BeliefMakesYouStupid: The show depicts how belief in any ideology, even that of liberty, can cloud one's judgement and lead them to do things they would otherwise never have considered.
* BerserkButton: Try not to remind Leon Czolgosz of the job where he boiled his lungs, fried his skin with burning glass, watched his friends die, and got paid six cents an hour just to make some lousy bottles. And whatever you do, DON'T break one of those bottles right in front of him.
* BigNo: Zangara at the end of "How I Saved Roosevelt."
* BlackComedy
* BloodOnTheseHands: The successful assassins manage to distract themselves of this by claiming to be heroes.
* BondingOverMissingParents: Fromme and Moore.
* BookDumb: Arguably, Sam Byck. He is very eloquent and capable of crafting surprisingly poetic metaphors, but he doesn't understand megatonnes or holes in the ozone layer.
* BookEnds: The show begins and ends with "Everybody's Got The Right".
* BreakingTheFourthWall: Zangara yells at the audience during "How I Saved Roosevelt" for laughing.
* BSODSong: "The Ballad of Guiteau", particularly Guiteau's last solo section.
* CampStraight: Guiteau, who despite his mannerisms is still attracted to Sarah Jane Moore.
* CloudCuckoolander: Sara Jane Moore.
** Squeaky and Guiteau as well.
* ConfusedBystanderInterview: Half of the song "How I Saved Roosevelt" is bystanders who witnessed the attempted assassination of Roosevelt talking to the press, and inflating their own importance in the event.
* ContractOnTheHitman
* CrapsackWorld: The show depicts America as one.
* CrazyEnoughToWork: Zangara's plan to get rid of his stomach ache by assassinating the president of the United States.
** Most of the assassins' plans boil down to "I want something, killing the president will help me get it". How crazy this idea is in context varies from assassin to assassin.
* CrowdSong: "How I Saved Roosevelt".
* CryForTheDevil: The three ballads are used effectively in this way, but the one that seems to get the audience's sympathy most is "The Ballad of Booth".
-->''Let them curse me to hell, leave it for history to tell/What I did, I did well, and I did it for my country/Let them cry 'dirty traitor!', they will understand it later/The country is not what it was . . . [[SoundOnlyDeath *BANG*]]''
* CurseCutShort: In the opening:
-->'''Booth/Proprietor:''' ''Free country!''
-->'''Booth:''' ''Means you don't have to sit--''
-->'''Proprietor''' ''That's it!''
-->'''Booth:''' ''--and put up with the sh-''
-->'''Company:''' ''Everybody's got the right to some sunshine!''
* CutSong: "The Flag Song", which was later used in ''Road Show'' with altered lyrics.
* TheCynic: Czolgosz.
* DarkReprise: "Everybody's Got The Right". After the events of the show, the song gains new meaning.
* DeadToBeginWith: Booth.
* DeathIsNotPermanent: Used symbolically; the assassins don't die, because their acts have made them immortal.
* DecadeDissonance: Used for effect in the score.
* DecapitatedArmy: PlayedWith, Booth believes that having killed Lincoln, the Civil War can finally end.
* DespairEventHorizon: Most of the assassins have already passed this point by the time they come onstage. {{Lampshaded}} by Booth when Oswald tries to justify killing himself.
* TheDitz: Sarah Jane Moore's characterization essentially boils down to this.
* DividedStatesOfAmerica: Booth says Lincoln "threw the 'U' out of 'USA'".
* DrivenToSuicide: John Wilkes Booth (but it doesn't stop him from being in the rest of the show).
* DudeWheresMyReward: The beginning of "Another National Anthem".
* DyingAlone: Booth and Zangara.
* TheElevenOClockNumber: "Another National Anthem".
* EloquentInMyNativeTongue: Zangara, which is used to gorgeous dramatic effect in "Take a Look, Lee".
* FaceDeathWithDignity: Booth is the only one to do this.
* FatBastard: Sam Byck. So very, very much.
* FunnyForeigner: Subverted with Giuseppe Zangara in two ways: first, as he mentions in "How I Saved Roosevelt," he's a (naturalized) American citizen. Second, in the scene where he begs Oswald to go through with killing Kennedy, he chooses to speak Italian, with the other assassins translating for him, proving he's more [[EloquentInMyNativeTongue eloquent in his native tongue]]. It's also oddly referenced with Czolgosz: according to the script, he was "born in the middle of Michigan," making him an American citizen, but he comments that he comes down in history as a "deranged immigrant."
* TheGhost: Half the Presidents.
* GriefSong: "Something Just Broke", where the American people grieve for the victims of the assassinations.
* GunmanWithThreeNames: {{Lampshaded}} in a chilling moment between John Wilkes Booth and Lee Harvey Oswald.
--->'''Booth:''' Why do all these rednecks have three names? James Earl Ray! John Wilkes Booth!
--->'''Oswald:''' Lee Harvey Oswald!
* HandsOnApproach: Guiteau gets ''very'' handsy with Sarah Jane Moore while giving her shooting tips.
* HannibalLecture: Near the very end of the show. The sequence labelled November 22, 1963 is where John Wilkes Booth and company convince Lee Harvey Oswald to assassinate JFK.
* HotBlooded: Booth and Zangara, in slightly different ways.
* IAmSong: "Unworthy of your Love" is an interesting example, as it is more about Hinckley and Fromme's disturbed insecurity than about their love interests. It is essentially an IAmSong masquerading as an IWantSong.
* IneffectualSympatheticVillain: Moore and Hinckley.
* ImperialStormtrooperMarksmanshipAcademy: Sarah Jane Moore, by her own admission.
-->I couldn't hit William Howard Taft if he was sitting on my lap.
* InsaneEqualsViolent
* InsaneTrollLogic: John Wilkes Booth is a master of this, being the originator of this entire sick tradition.
** After Zangara complains that nothing practical he's done has helped his stomach problems John Wilkes Booth asks if he's tried killing President Roosevelt.
--->'''Zangara:''' You think that help?
--->'''Booth:''' It couldn't hurt.
** This particular exchange between Booth and Oswald.
--->'''Oswald:''' I didn't come here to shoot the President!
--->'''Booth:''' He didn't come here to get shot.
* InstantMarksmanJustSqueezeTrigger: Set to music in "The Gun Song".
* InteractiveNarrator: The Balladeer.
* IWantSong: Dark version: "Everybody's Got the Right".
* LargeHam: Charlie Guiteau
* {{Leitmotif}}: Several. A good example would be the vamp in the opening when the proprietor tells the assassins to kill the president, a slowed down version of which appears again when Emma Goldman (possibly) does the same to Czolgosz. It also appears when the assassins try to convince Lee Harvey Oswald to kill JFK.
** Another example is the "c'mere and kill a president" theme, which is heard again when the assassins are all chanting how they can "connect" in a free country, which subconsciously tells us exactly how they believe they can get around doing that.
* LemonyNarrator: The Balladeer
* {{Lolicon}}: Often overshadowed by the inherent silliness of a SillyLoveSong sung to a celebrity is the fact that in "Unworthy of your Love", Hinckley is singing to a [[FridgeHorror 13 year old girl]].
** Actually, she was 18. He fell in love with her after seeing {{Taxi Driver}}. She was a Yale freshman at the event of the shooting.
* LonersAreFreaks: John Hinckley.
* LoveMakesYouEvil: John Hinckley and Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme, as seen in "Unworthy of Your Love".
* LyricalDissonance: Pretty much every single song. The music invokes every kind of warm, homespun Americana you can think of, while the lyrics turn that vision of America on its head.
* MidwordRhyme: "How I Saved Roosevelt contains a mid-''letter'' rhyme, which when written down looks sort of like:
-->We'd have been left
-->Bereft
-->Of FD
-->R
* MoralityBallad: The three ballads dedicated to Booth, Czolgosz, and Guiteau.
* MurderBallad: The three assassins with eponymous ballads (see above) are the only three successful assassins, before Oswald in the final scene.
* MusicalPastiche: Nearly every song.
* TheMusicMeister: The Balladeer has elements of this. Also, to a lesser extent, the proprietor.
* ObsessionSong: "Unworthy of Your Love", a duet between John Hinckley and Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme about their respective obsessions, Jodie Foster and Charles Manson. Both sides are of the passive type.
* OneSceneWonder: The Proprietor, depending on the production, may randomly pop up throughout the musical but he only gets to sing at the opening number.
** The current licensed score has him singing in two songs, however. Emma Goldman and Lee Harvey Oswald are more clear-cut examples.
* OneSteveLimit: Averted, there are two John's (Booth and Hinckley), and two Charlie's if you count [[TheGhost Charles Manson]]
* ThePollyanna: Charles J. Guiteau, who, even when waiting to be executed, is compelled to "look on the bright side".
* PresidentEvil: Well, from the assassins' point of view.
* RageAgainstTheAuthor: The song "Another National Anthem" has elements of this, culminating in the Assassins ''running the Balladeer off the stage'' (in the original version) or turning him into ''one of them'' (in the revival, where he becomes Lee Harvey Oswald).
** Also, a minor reflexive example: one of Sam Byck's tirades is aimed at Leonard Bernstein and Byck angrily quotes the lyrics of ''WestSideStory'' back at him. Those lyrics were, of course, written by Stephen Sondheim.
* RecklessGunUsage: Sarah Jane Moore is written to be played with no regard for the proper operation or storage of her .38 revolver. She accidentally discharges it no less than five times during the course of the show, once while it's still in her hand bag, narrowly missing Squeaky Fromme, once into the air when she's supposed to be clicking the hammer of an unloaded weapon in "The Gun Song," once when startled with her finger prematurely on the trigger, damaging Charles Guiteau's hearing in the process, and twice during two separate scene change blackouts, with the lights coming up on her scene the second time to reveal she's just [[IJustShotMarvinInTheFace accidentally shot her own dog]].
-->'''Sara Jane''': [[CrowningMomentOfFunny ''Shit, I shot it!'']]
* RummageFail: Sarah Jane Moore and the "really great gun".
* ShoutOut: The first line the balladeer sings in "The Ballad of Guiteau" is a shout out to the American folk song "Charles Guiteau".
* ShownTheirWork: All over the place, in subtle ways.
** Most notably, Guiteau's "Going to the Lordy" bit in his ballad is taken from lyrics the real Guiteau wrote shortly before his execution.
** Displayed in the final scene with Lee Harvey Oswald, when Booth proves his supernatural nature by telling Oswald a brief version of Oswald's life story.
** Another example: a band was playing marches by John Philip Sousa at the event where Zangara made his attempt on FDR's life. Zangara's number, "How I Saved Roosevelt", features several Sousa marches woven together.
** In the "Ballad of Booth", John Wilkes Booth's dying words are that "the country is not what it was", which are taken from his final diary entry.
* SillyLoveSongs: Expertly pastiched with "Unworthy of Your Love" (see above).
* SirSwearsALot: Moore and Byck, to a lesser extent Fromme.
* StalkerWithACrush: Hinckley and Fromme. See above.
* [[TheReasonYouSuckSpeech The Reason You Suck Song]]: The Balladeer's half of all the ballads and "Another National Anthem," mocking the gathered assassins of their aspirations, telling them they just shed a little blood each. The Balladeer is ''not'' impressed by the rhetoric of the assassins and makes that blatantly clear.
* ThrowTheBookAtThem: During "November 22,1963", "This is stupid. Up here on the sixth floor, what would I do? Throw school books at him?"
* TriggerHappy: All the protagonists, of course. In particular, Czolgosz, Booth, Moore and Guiteau sing a paean to the power of guns.
* TriumphantReprise: After Oswald shoots Kennedy, we hear a large version of the previous "Hail To The Chief" waltz theme.
* TrueCompanions: The assassins themselves.
* VillainousBreakdown: Guiteau at the end of "The Ballad of Guiteau" when it ''finally'' dawns on him that he's about to be hanged.
-->''I am going to the Lordy''
-->''I am so glad''
-->''I am going to the Lordy''
-->''I am so glad''
-->''I have unified my party!''
-->''I have saved my country!''
-->''I shall be'' '''REMEMBERED!'''
* VillainProtagonist: Everyone except the Balladeer. [[spoiler: Also, in the revival, the Balladeer]]
* VillainSong: Ironically, in a show full of 'villains', the only song that really fits this ''might'' be "Everybody's Got the Right". Also, possibly "Another National Anthem"
* TheVillainSucksSong: The aforementioned ballads.
* VoiceTypes: Surprisingly, almost the entire spectrum is represented, at least with the men.
** Fromme: Mezzo/pop Belter
** Sarah Jane Moore: Mezzo
** Zangara: Tenor
** Balladeer: Folk tenor
** Guiteau: Tenor/high baritone
** Hinckley: Pop Baritone
** Booth: Baritone
** Czolgosz: Bass-baritone
** Proprietor: Bass
** Byck: Comic baritone
* WhoShotJFK: Referenced in the final scene, with the characters convincing Lee Harvey Oswald to go through with the shooting.
* YoureInsane: Lee Harvey Oswald says this when he's told to shoot the president.
* YourTerroristsAreOurFreedomFighters

----

to:

''{{Assassins}}'', with a score and lyrics by StephenSondheim, is, You seem to put it simply, a revue featuring the men and women who have killed (or attempted to kill) reached a disambiguation page. If you reached this page in error, please fix the President of wick that lead you here.

* For
the United States.

The show is narrated by
trope about people who kill other people for a living see ProfessionalKiller.
* For
the Balladeer, who comments on the assassins' actions and motivations. The various killers (including John Wilkes Booth, Charles Guiteau, John Hinckley, Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme, and Leon Czolgosz) interact throughout the play, regardless of time period. Their assassination attempts are represented like a carnival game -- a bell rings when they succeed, and a buzzer sounds when they fail.

The show is often seen as a dark reflection on the nebulous idea of "the American dream". The
StephenSondheim play about assassins are dispossessed, disenfranchised and disillusioned, but they still hold a disproportionate sense of entitlement because they are in America: see {{Theater.Assassins}}.
* For
the land where ''any'' kid can grow up to be president, the land where -- as the opening song puts it -- "everybody's got the right to their dreams". It also takes a sideways look at gun culture in America.

Notable in that the music largely mirrors popular music from the assassins' lifetimes. And also for the HUGE amounts of LyricalDissonance.

Not to be confused with ProfessionalKiller. Also not to be confused with [[Film/{{Assassins}} the film of the same name]].
----
!!This show provides examples of:

* ActingForTwo: In the 2004 revival, the Balladeer and Lee Harvey Oswald were played by [[NeilPatrickHarris the same actor.]] Many productions since have followed suit.
* AffablyEvil: Charles Guiteau is a jolly, optimistic guy who attempted rape and assassinated a president.
* AGoodWayToDie: Booth and Guiteau very much believed they were martyrs and that they sacrificed themselves to save the country.
* AllGirlsWantBadBoys: Squeaky Fromme is in love with "Charlie" Manson.
* AmbitionIsEvil: The show implies that even though "everybody's got the right to their dreams", you shouldn't necessarily try to achieve them when they're impossible.
* AmericanAccents
* AmericanDream: That of the cynical flavor.
* AnachronicOrder: The timeline jumps everywhere. Not counting the in-between character building scenes, the assassinations/attempts are presented in the order of Lincoln, [=FDR=], [=McKinley=], Reagan, Garfield, Ford, Nixon, Kennedy. Historical order was Lincoln, Garfield, [=McKinley=], [=FDR=], Kennedy, Nixon, Ford, Reagan--but that doesn't really fit with a proper dramatic structure.
* AnachronismStew: Characters from vastly different historical eras are seen interacting with each other.
* AndThereWasMuchRejoicing: Happens among the assassins at the end when Lee Harvey Oswald shoots JFK. The chorus... [[TearJerker not so much]].
* AntiVillain: The play makes the assassins very sympathetic in some regards, especially Czolgosz.
* [[MurderIsTheBestSolution Assassination Is The Best Solution]]
* AssassinOutclassin: Naturally, the targets of the failed assassinations.
* AssholeVictim: RichardNixon, RonaldReagan, WilliamMcKinley, and, eventually, [[spoiler: the audience.]]
** Arguably, [[spoiler: The Balladeer in the revival productions where the Assassins take him down and turn him into Oswald.]] He deliberately avoids granting any validity to the Assassins' claims that they're the result of the dark-side of the American dream-instead dismissing them as crazy attention-seekers and malcontents and thereby perpetuating the cycle of desperation, disillusionment, and apathy that created them in the first place.
* BadSanta: Byck, in the sense that he isn't actually Santa Claus. [[spoiler: Because there isn't any Santa Claus!]]
* BalladOfX: The Ballads of Booth, Guiteau and Czolgosz.
* BeliefMakesYouStupid: The show depicts how belief in any ideology, even that of liberty, can cloud one's judgement and lead them to do things they would otherwise never have considered.
* BerserkButton: Try not to remind Leon Czolgosz of the job where he boiled his lungs, fried his skin with burning glass, watched his friends die, and got paid six cents an hour just to make some lousy bottles. And whatever you do, DON'T break one of those bottles right in front of him.
* BigNo: Zangara at the end of "How I Saved Roosevelt."
* BlackComedy
* BloodOnTheseHands: The successful assassins manage to distract themselves of this by claiming to be heroes.
* BondingOverMissingParents: Fromme and Moore.
* BookDumb: Arguably, Sam Byck. He is very eloquent and capable of crafting surprisingly poetic metaphors, but he doesn't understand megatonnes or holes in the ozone layer.
* BookEnds: The show begins and ends with "Everybody's Got The Right".
* BreakingTheFourthWall: Zangara yells at the audience during "How I Saved Roosevelt" for laughing.
* BSODSong: "The Ballad of Guiteau", particularly Guiteau's last solo section.
* CampStraight: Guiteau, who despite his mannerisms is still attracted to Sarah Jane Moore.
* CloudCuckoolander: Sara Jane Moore.
** Squeaky and Guiteau as well.
* ConfusedBystanderInterview: Half of the song "How I Saved Roosevelt" is bystanders who witnessed the attempted assassination of Roosevelt talking to the press, and inflating their own importance in the event.
* ContractOnTheHitman
* CrapsackWorld: The show depicts America as one.
* CrazyEnoughToWork: Zangara's plan to get rid of his stomach ache by assassinating the president of the United States.
** Most of the assassins' plans boil down to "I want something, killing the president will help me get it". How crazy this idea is in context varies from assassin to assassin.
* CrowdSong: "How I Saved Roosevelt".
* CryForTheDevil: The three ballads are used effectively in this way, but the one that seems to get the audience's sympathy most is "The Ballad of Booth".
-->''Let them curse me to hell, leave it for history to tell/What I did, I did well, and I did it for my country/Let them cry 'dirty traitor!', they will understand it later/The country is not what it was . . . [[SoundOnlyDeath *BANG*]]''
* CurseCutShort: In the opening:
-->'''Booth/Proprietor:''' ''Free country!''
-->'''Booth:''' ''Means you don't have to sit--''
-->'''Proprietor''' ''That's it!''
-->'''Booth:''' ''--and put up with the sh-''
-->'''Company:''' ''Everybody's got the right to some sunshine!''
* CutSong: "The Flag Song", which was later used in ''Road Show'' with altered lyrics.
* TheCynic: Czolgosz.
* DarkReprise: "Everybody's Got The Right". After the events of the show, the song gains new meaning.
* DeadToBeginWith: Booth.
* DeathIsNotPermanent: Used symbolically; the assassins don't die, because their acts have made them immortal.
* DecadeDissonance: Used for effect in the score.
* DecapitatedArmy: PlayedWith, Booth believes that having killed Lincoln, the Civil War can finally end.
* DespairEventHorizon: Most of the assassins have already passed this point by the time they come onstage. {{Lampshaded}} by Booth when Oswald tries to justify killing himself.
* TheDitz: Sarah Jane Moore's characterization essentially boils down to this.
* DividedStatesOfAmerica: Booth says Lincoln "threw the 'U' out of 'USA'".
* DrivenToSuicide: John Wilkes Booth (but it doesn't stop him from being in the rest of the show).
* DudeWheresMyReward: The beginning of "Another National Anthem".
* DyingAlone: Booth and Zangara.
* TheElevenOClockNumber: "Another National Anthem".
* EloquentInMyNativeTongue: Zangara, which is used to gorgeous dramatic effect in "Take a Look, Lee".
* FaceDeathWithDignity: Booth is the only one to do this.
* FatBastard: Sam Byck. So very, very much.
* FunnyForeigner: Subverted with Giuseppe Zangara in two ways: first, as he mentions in "How I Saved Roosevelt," he's a (naturalized) American citizen. Second, in the scene where he begs Oswald to go through with killing Kennedy, he chooses to speak Italian, with the other assassins translating for him, proving he's more [[EloquentInMyNativeTongue eloquent in his native tongue]]. It's also oddly referenced with Czolgosz: according to the script, he was "born in the middle of Michigan," making him an American citizen, but he comments that he comes down in history as a "deranged immigrant."
* TheGhost: Half the Presidents.
* GriefSong: "Something Just Broke", where the American people grieve for the victims of the assassinations.
* GunmanWithThreeNames: {{Lampshaded}} in a chilling moment between John Wilkes Booth and Lee Harvey Oswald.
--->'''Booth:''' Why do all these rednecks have three names? James Earl Ray! John Wilkes Booth!
--->'''Oswald:''' Lee Harvey Oswald!
* HandsOnApproach: Guiteau gets ''very'' handsy with Sarah Jane Moore while giving her shooting tips.
* HannibalLecture: Near the very end of the show. The sequence labelled November 22, 1963 is where John Wilkes Booth and company convince Lee Harvey Oswald to assassinate JFK.
* HotBlooded: Booth and Zangara, in slightly different ways.
* IAmSong: "Unworthy of your Love" is an interesting example, as it is more about Hinckley and Fromme's disturbed insecurity than about their love interests. It is essentially an IAmSong masquerading as an IWantSong.
* IneffectualSympatheticVillain: Moore and Hinckley.
* ImperialStormtrooperMarksmanshipAcademy: Sarah Jane Moore, by her own admission.
-->I couldn't hit William Howard Taft if he was sitting on my lap.
* InsaneEqualsViolent
* InsaneTrollLogic: John Wilkes Booth is a master of this, being the originator of this entire sick tradition.
** After Zangara complains that nothing practical he's done has helped his stomach problems John Wilkes Booth asks if he's tried killing President Roosevelt.
--->'''Zangara:''' You think that help?
--->'''Booth:''' It couldn't hurt.
** This particular exchange between Booth and Oswald.
--->'''Oswald:''' I didn't come here to shoot the President!
--->'''Booth:''' He didn't come here to get shot.
* InstantMarksmanJustSqueezeTrigger: Set to music in "The Gun Song".
* InteractiveNarrator: The Balladeer.
* IWantSong: Dark version: "Everybody's Got the Right".
* LargeHam: Charlie Guiteau
* {{Leitmotif}}: Several. A good example would be the vamp in the opening when the proprietor tells the assassins to kill the president, a slowed down version of which appears again when Emma Goldman (possibly) does the same to Czolgosz. It also appears when the assassins try to convince Lee Harvey Oswald to kill JFK.
** Another example is the "c'mere and kill a president" theme, which is heard again when the assassins are all chanting how they can "connect" in a free country, which subconsciously tells us exactly how they believe they can get around doing that.
* LemonyNarrator: The Balladeer
* {{Lolicon}}: Often overshadowed by the inherent silliness of a SillyLoveSong sung to a celebrity is the fact that in "Unworthy of your Love", Hinckley is singing to a [[FridgeHorror 13 year old girl]].
** Actually, she was 18. He fell in love with her after seeing {{Taxi Driver}}. She was a Yale freshman at the event of the shooting.
* LonersAreFreaks: John Hinckley.
* LoveMakesYouEvil: John Hinckley and Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme, as seen in "Unworthy of Your Love".
* LyricalDissonance: Pretty much every single song. The music invokes every kind of warm, homespun Americana you can think of, while the lyrics turn that vision of America on its head.
* MidwordRhyme: "How I Saved Roosevelt contains a mid-''letter'' rhyme, which when written down looks sort of like:
-->We'd have been left
-->Bereft
-->Of FD
-->R
* MoralityBallad: The three ballads dedicated to Booth, Czolgosz, and Guiteau.
* MurderBallad: The three assassins with eponymous ballads (see above) are the only three successful assassins, before Oswald in the final scene.
* MusicalPastiche: Nearly every song.
* TheMusicMeister: The Balladeer has elements of this. Also, to a lesser extent, the proprietor.
* ObsessionSong: "Unworthy of Your Love", a duet between John Hinckley and Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme about their respective obsessions, Jodie Foster and Charles Manson. Both sides are of the passive type.
* OneSceneWonder: The Proprietor, depending on the production, may randomly pop up throughout the musical but he only gets to sing at the opening number.
** The current licensed score has him singing in two songs, however. Emma Goldman and Lee Harvey Oswald are more clear-cut examples.
* OneSteveLimit: Averted, there are two John's (Booth and Hinckley), and two Charlie's if you count [[TheGhost Charles Manson]]
* ThePollyanna: Charles J. Guiteau, who, even when waiting to be executed, is compelled to "look on the bright side".
* PresidentEvil: Well, from the assassins' point of view.
* RageAgainstTheAuthor: The song "Another National Anthem" has elements of this, culminating in the Assassins ''running the Balladeer off the stage'' (in the original version) or turning him into ''one of them'' (in the revival, where he becomes Lee Harvey Oswald).
** Also, a minor reflexive example: one of Sam Byck's tirades is aimed at Leonard Bernstein and Byck angrily quotes the lyrics of ''WestSideStory'' back at him. Those lyrics were, of course, written by Stephen Sondheim.
* RecklessGunUsage: Sarah Jane Moore is written to be played with no regard for the proper operation or storage of her .38 revolver. She accidentally discharges it no less than five times during the course of the show, once while it's still in her hand bag, narrowly missing Squeaky Fromme, once into the air when she's supposed to be clicking the hammer of an unloaded weapon in "The Gun Song," once when startled with her finger prematurely on the trigger, damaging Charles Guiteau's hearing in the process, and twice during two separate scene change blackouts, with the lights coming up on her scene the second time to reveal she's just [[IJustShotMarvinInTheFace accidentally shot her own dog]].
-->'''Sara Jane''': [[CrowningMomentOfFunny ''Shit, I shot it!'']]
* RummageFail: Sarah Jane Moore and the "really great gun".
* ShoutOut: The first line the balladeer sings in "The Ballad of Guiteau" is a shout out to the American folk song "Charles Guiteau".
* ShownTheirWork: All over the place, in subtle ways.
** Most notably, Guiteau's "Going to the Lordy" bit in his ballad is taken from lyrics the real Guiteau wrote shortly before his execution.
** Displayed in the final scene with Lee Harvey Oswald, when Booth proves his supernatural nature by telling Oswald a brief version of Oswald's life story.
** Another example: a band was playing marches by John Philip Sousa at the event where Zangara made his attempt on FDR's life. Zangara's number, "How I Saved Roosevelt", features several Sousa marches woven together.
** In the "Ballad of Booth", John Wilkes Booth's dying words are that "the country is not what it was", which are taken from his final diary entry.
* SillyLoveSongs: Expertly pastiched with "Unworthy of Your Love" (see above).
* SirSwearsALot: Moore and Byck, to a lesser extent Fromme.
* StalkerWithACrush: Hinckley and Fromme. See above.
* [[TheReasonYouSuckSpeech The Reason You Suck Song]]: The Balladeer's half of all the ballads and "Another National Anthem," mocking the gathered assassins of their aspirations, telling them they just shed a little blood each. The Balladeer is ''not'' impressed by the rhetoric of the assassins and makes that blatantly clear.
* ThrowTheBookAtThem: During "November 22,1963", "This is stupid. Up here on the sixth floor, what would I do? Throw school books at him?"
* TriggerHappy: All the protagonists, of course. In particular, Czolgosz, Booth, Moore and Guiteau sing a paean to the power of guns.
* TriumphantReprise: After Oswald shoots Kennedy, we hear a large version of the previous "Hail To The Chief" waltz theme.
* TrueCompanions: The assassins themselves.
* VillainousBreakdown: Guiteau at the end of "The Ballad of Guiteau" when it ''finally'' dawns on him that he's about to be hanged.
-->''I am going to the Lordy''
-->''I am so glad''
-->''I am going to the Lordy''
-->''I am so glad''
-->''I have unified my party!''
-->''I have saved my country!''
-->''I shall be'' '''REMEMBERED!'''
* VillainProtagonist: Everyone except the Balladeer. [[spoiler: Also, in the revival, the Balladeer]]
* VillainSong: Ironically, in a show full of 'villains', the only song that really fits this ''might'' be "Everybody's Got the Right". Also, possibly "Another National Anthem"
* TheVillainSucksSong: The aforementioned ballads.
* VoiceTypes: Surprisingly, almost the entire spectrum is represented, at least with the men.
** Fromme: Mezzo/pop Belter
** Sarah Jane Moore: Mezzo
** Zangara: Tenor
** Balladeer: Folk tenor
** Guiteau: Tenor/high baritone
** Hinckley: Pop Baritone
** Booth: Baritone
** Czolgosz: Bass-baritone
** Proprietor: Bass
** Byck: Comic baritone
* WhoShotJFK: Referenced in the final scene, with the characters convincing Lee Harvey Oswald to go through with the shooting.
* YoureInsane: Lee Harvey Oswald says this when he's told to shoot the president.
* YourTerroristsAreOurFreedomFighters

----
unrelated 1995 ActionFilm see {{Film.Assassins}}.
26th Feb '12 3:18:58 PM shimaspawn
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Not to be confused with CareerKillers. Also not to be confused with [[Film/{{Assassins}} the film of the same name]].

to:

Not to be confused with CareerKillers.ProfessionalKiller. Also not to be confused with [[Film/{{Assassins}} the film of the same name]].
25th Feb '12 6:34:59 AM ashwintrisal
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--->'''Zangara''' You think that help?
--->'''Booth''' It couldn't hurt.

to:

--->'''Zangara''' --->'''Zangara:''' You think that help?
--->'''Booth''' --->'''Booth:''' It couldn't hurt.
25th Feb '12 6:33:10 AM ashwintrisal
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* DecaptiatedArmy: PlayedWith, Booth believes that having killed Lincoln, the Civil War can finally end.

to:

* DecaptiatedArmy: DecapitatedArmy: PlayedWith, Booth believes that having killed Lincoln, the Civil War can finally end.
2nd Dec '11 8:58:04 AM Micah
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Added DiffLines:

* InstantMarksmanJustSqueezeTrigger: Set to music in "The Gun Song".
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.Assassins