Press Release: Assassins (BirdLand Theatre)

BirdLand Theatre with Talk Is Free Theatre Presents:

Last years critically acclaimed and award winning production returns to Toronto

Birdland Theatre with Talk Is Free Theatre is pleased to announce Sondheim’s ASSASSINS, the winner of the 2010 Dora Award for Outstanding Production of a Musical, returns to The Theatre Centre from January 6th – 23rd, 2011. Tickets are now on sale through Arts Box Office by phone at 416-504-7529 or online at

“This production of Assassins is a sharp-edged treat from start to finish. Miss it at your peril.”
John Terauds, The Toronto Star

Part vaudeville extravaganza, part exposé, and wholly electrifying, Assassins is a dark and controversial Tony Award-winning musical about the American dream gone awry. This wickedly comic one-act historical “revusical” lays bare the lives of nine individuals who assassinated, or tried to assassinate, various presidents of the United States. From John Wilkes Booth to Lee Harvey Oswald, Sondheim and Weidman bend the rules of time and space, taking us on a nightmarish rollercoaster ride in which assassins and would-be assassins from different historical periods meet, interact and in an intense final scene inspire each other to harrowing acts all in the name of the American Dream.

“…an absolutely delirious theatrical experience.”
J. Kelly Nestruck, The Globe and Mail

Under the sensational direction of Adam Brazier, The Theatre Centre will once again be transformed into the thrilling and nightmarish world of the American assassin. Featuring a large cast of Canada’s top musical theatre talent, including the return of Dora nominated Paul McQuillan as John Wilkes Booth and Trish Lindstrom as Squeaky Fromme. Joining original cast members Graham Abbey, Jay Davis, Martin Julien, Steve Ross, Christopher Stanton, Jonathan Tan, Alicia Toner, and Geoffrey Tyler, is Alex Fiddes (Why We Tortured Him, Hammertheatre; Icarus Redux, Toronto Fringe Festival) and Lisa Horner (multiple seasons at The Stratford Theatre Festival and The Shaw Festival).

“If you love musical theatre and somehow manage to miss this show, you just might feel like shooting yourself. Assassins is to die for.”
John Coulbourn, The Toronto Sun

Rounding out the artistic team is Musical Director Reza Jacobs known for his work with the Shaw Festival and Talk Is Free Theatre. Set Designer Beth Kates (Bigger Than Jesus, Songs for a New World, Music for Contortionists) will be transforming The Theatre Centre into a derelict fairground. Gareth Crew (the Stratford Theatre Festival and Variations on a Nervous Breakdown) will be providing the lighting design.

“A killer musical show.”
Robert Cushman, The National Post

Birdland Theatre is a Toronto-based theatre company founded in 2004 by Artistic Director Zorana Kydd. Committed to ensemble collaboration through its work with guest artists, sponsors and the community, Birdland Theatre aims to promote the art of live theatre through dynamic productions, intensive actor training and outreach programs. Their productions explore humanity and the human condition well maintaining the highest standards in every aspect of their creative work. The company received 5 Dora Awards (9 nominations) for its hit production The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, which was named one of NOW Magazines Top 10 Shows of the Decade. BirdLand Theatre has also presented The Pillowman (with the Canadian Stage Company), Frankie and Johnny and The Ride Down Mt. Morgan. They are currently producing the world première of a new work, SoulSeek, at The Walmer Centre Theatre.

“…I am on my knees begging you to see this show. It’s theatre at its best controversial, provocative, disturbing, and yes, entertaining.”
Paula Citron, Classical 96.3 FM

Talk Is Free Theatre is an artist-driven, award winning theatre company based in Barrie. The company was founded in 2003 by Artistic Producer Arkady Spivak and has produced nearly fifty productions concentrating largely on new and neglected work. Most recently, Talk Is Free Theatre workshopped Jerry Herman’s forgotten musical Dear World, starring Andrea Martin. This fall, the company is headed to Serbia, England and Russia with its recent production of The Tale of Ivan vs. Ivan. As well, the Canadian musical Emily, twice produced by TIFT, was a selection finalist in the prestigious Festival of New Musicals of the National Alliance of Musical Theater (NAMT) in New York this year. Talk Is Free Theatre recently produced a fundraising benefit of The Producer’s (in concert) in support of the Actors Fund of Canada. The show stared local theatre critics, personalities and members of various arts service and funding organizations. The event raised $36,000 in a once-in-a-lifetime musical extravaganza.

Show Information for Assassins:
Venue:                       The Theatre Centre
100-1087 Queen Street West
Previews:                   January 6 & 7, 2011
Opens:                       January 8, 2011
Closes:                       January 23, 2011
Performances:          Wednesday – Monday at 8 PM; Saturday and Sunday at 2 PM
Tickets:                       All tickets are $35

Tickets are available through Arts Box Office by phone at 416-504-7529, online at, in person, or at the door.

For more information please visit or