While I'm gushing over Assassins (and avoiding my pre-production work on High Fidelity), I have to mention two elements that brought everything else together -- the lighting and the set.
David Carr and Jeff Breckel created such a wonderfully dark fantasy environment for this unusual show, from the strangely skewed target dominating the center of the stage, to the nightmarishly crooked carnival podium that leaned over to become a nightmarishly crooked bar in the saloon, to the Lichtenstein-esque pop art panels hanging above the assassins, one with a gun pointed at the audience, one with a comic book "POW," and a third with a red (blood-soaked?) woman screaming. Holy shit. This was one of those sets that was so perfectly in synch with both the material and with my approach to the show.
And then there was Steve Moore's lighting, truly one of the most beautiful lighting designs New Line has ever had, with beams of light slashing through the action (thanks to copious amounts of stage haze, courtesy of the ever-helpful Rep), shadows, shapes, bold, weird colors. This was expressionistic lighting to go with an expressionistic show. And it was truly beautiful, genuinely artful lighting. This Moore dude is fucking terrific! I hope he comes back to play with us some more...
These smart, exciting, inventive designers gave our show exactly what it needed -- the feeling of non-reality and also emotion. Musicals are, after all, about emotion before all else, but it's only the best designers who can evoke emotion in their designs. And these three guys nailed it.
Bravo, boys. And thank you.
Long Live the Musical!