On ‘Assassins,’ Aaron Says, “I Was Excited to Play More of a Man”

December 3, 2014 • Category: Articles & Interviews, Assassins, General News 0

The Hollywood Reporter has published a great, new article on Aaron Tveit talking about Assassins and taking on the role of John Wilkes Booth. In the piece, he speaks of how he never dreamed of playing this particular role, but that the Menier Chocolate Factory’s offer made him rethink his days of singing the Balladeer’s parts. “I’ve played a lot of younger men, kind of kids, onstage,” he says, “so I was excited at the chance to actually play more of a man.”

The New York native’s recent relocation to London for the Menier production is also brought up, in which Aaron recalls the spirit of live theater throughout London — even inside pubs. But don’t worry: that doesn’t mean his heart has left NYC. “London’s a great place to be for a while,” he clarifies, “but I always say one of the best things about leaving New York is you get to come back.”

Check out an excerpt of the article below before heading to the source for the full piece:

[Aaron Tveit’s] only relationship to the show was through the cast album. He’s relished researching the era during this process, saying history was his favorite subject in school and he’s always been fascinated by the Civil War. But looking at the time period from the Confederate side is new territory for him.

“You start to kind of empathize with Booth in a way, and then you have to step back and say, ‘Wait a minute,'” says Tveit. “Yes, he was fighting against these things, but he did a stupid, terrible thing. The lure of the piece and the production is that it makes you think about the other side of history.”

SOURCE: THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

‘Assassins’ Press Night + Official Reviews

December 2, 2014 • Category: Assassins, Gallery, General News, Public Appearances, Stage Work 0

Last night (December 1st), the Menier Chocolate Factory in London held its press night for Jamie Lloyd’s Assassins. Aaron Tveit stars in this revival of the Stephen Sondhein/John Weidman musical, portraying Abraham Lincoln murderer John Wilkes Booth. Photos from the press night after-party have been added to the gallery, with hopefully more to come. You can also view many more images from the evening at Dan Wooller’s site.

The Twitter buzz over this “audacious” revival of Assassins has been incredibly positive since previews started back in November, so it’s no surprise official reviews have been raving as well. ATN has featured the Aaron-specific praise on the Assassins page; you can also read some highlights regarding Aaron’s performance below, from three separate five-star reviews:

“Aaron Tveit is both elegant and provocative as John Wilkes Booth.”
LONDON EVENING STANDARD

“It is interesting… how Sondheim ennobles the beliefs of the original assassin John Wilkes Booth, he of Abraham Lincoln fame – a marvellous performance from Aaron Tveit – in the glorious ‘aria’ section of ‘The Ballad of Booth,’ and how ‘Another National Anthem’ for those who have slipped through the cracks conveys both anger and fervour.”
THE ARTS DESK

“[T]hree characters stand out at the front – Broadway import Aaron Tveit as John Wilkes Booth, Jamie Parker as a folk balladeer who becomes Lee Harvey Oswald, and Simon Lipkin as the clown-faced fairground proprietor. The recurring presence of each – sternly principled, lyrical and haunted, by turns – brings this show into a fierce focus that is rarely experienced.”
THE STAGE

Congratulations to the cast, crew, and creative on this wildly successful vision of Assassins!

‘Assassins’ Production Photographs

December 1, 2014 • Category: Assassins, Gallery, Stage Work 0

While one solo shot debuted a few days ago, there are now several other production photographs from the Menier Chocolate Factory’s Assassins. You can see some of director Jamie Lloyd’s vision shine through in these group images, where we get our first views of Aaron Tveit’s castmates in costume. As an even bigger treat: these three new pictures are HQ!

Aaron Talks ‘Assassins’ to The Times

November 30, 2014 • Category: General News 1

Aaron Tveit made The Times (UK) headline in a feature article by writer Sam Marlowe. In it, he discusses his current project – his role as John Wilkes Booth in the Sondheim-Weidman revue musical, Assassins, now playing at London’s Menier Chocolate Factory – and how the production forces audiences to empathize with these negative figures in American history. Also noteworthy is Aaron pointing out the American Dream parallel between Catch Me If You Can‘s Frank Abagnale Jr and the figures depicted in Assassins.

Check out an excerpt of the article below. There are also scans from the print edition in the gallery, courtesy of Sarah (thank you again!).

“The Menier has a great rep in the States, and Jamie [Lloyd] is someone you want to work with,” [Aaron Tveit] says. “And I’ve always wanted to do theater in London.” Tveit, now 31, was just seven when Assassins premiered off-Broadway, and has never seen a production; among the Menier cast, only one (Mike McShane, playing Samuel Byck, the would-be killer of Nixon) is a US compatriot. What’s it like performing a show that’s so intrinsically American with a bunch of Brits?

“I feel like because we’re not in America, we can have a more objective view on it,” Tveit says. “The way things are in the States, especially since 9/11, anytime you speak out against certain things it can be viewed as un-American. They say that history’s written by the victor, but this show asks you to look at the other side, and try to empathize with these crazy people.”

Booth, who was a successful actor and part of a Maryland theatrical dynasty, is, Tveit says, something of a hate figure in America. Confederate and fiercely pro-slavery, onstage he was reportedly mesmerizing: a raven-haired, scenery-chewing scene-stealer. “Yah, he’s viewed in the States as a terrible, terrible person,” Tveit explains. “Yet he’s from theater royalty. He lived in the shadow of his brother, Edwin, who had the real craft and intelligence, but apparently John was this very physical figure who would force the audience to fall in love with him and command the stage. I’ve been having a lot of fun with that.”

SOURCE: THE TIMES

First Production Photo from ‘Assassins’

November 28, 2014 • Category: Assassins, Gallery, Stage Work 0


A couple of killers sat by my feet; a few more were scattered among the audience at the Menier Chocolate Factory.

I am referring (luckily) to the bad guys from Assassins: the musical about nine of the 13 people who have taken aim and fired at a U.S. president.

I saw the musical, created by Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman, on Saturday — which happened to be the 51st anniversary of the day John F. Kennedy was shot by Lee Harvey Oswald in Dallas, Texas. Weidman was also at the Chocolate Factory and he lauded director Jamie Lloyd’s sublime, potent production.

“It’s unlike any I have seen before,” he enthused, adding that Lloyd had used the Menier’s space brilliantly. The cast is superb, including the nine “mutant X-Men” (as Lloyd has referred to them): Carly Bawden, Stewart Clarke, Mike McShane, Harry Morrison, Andy Nyman, Jamie Parker, David Roberts, Catherine Tate, and Aaron Tveit — with Simon Lipkin as the proprietor who aided and abetted the villains.

Menier artistic director David Babani said he hoped Sondheim would be at the official first night on Monday. If not, he’ll catch it later in the run.

SOURCE: DAILY MAIL (BAZ BAMIGBOYE)

Aaron On a ‘Wicked’ Movie Idea and Empathizing with ‘Assassins’

November 28, 2014 • Category: Assassins, Stage Work 0

In a new article with Digital Spy, Aaron Tveit talks about Assassins and playing the role of John Wilkes Booth. “You find yourself really empathizing with these characters,” he says, before following it with an elaboration on the production in general: “Then you snap out of it and think, ‘That’s nuts, how can I be feeling that?’ It offers a very fair perspective about these characters.”

There’s also talk about a Wicked movie adaptation, the first time Aaron has publicly commented on his potential involvement. His response to reprising Fiyero, this time on screen: “It would definitely be something I’d be interested in, were it to come up.” Did you hear that, Hollywood?

Check out an excerpt of the article below before heading to the source for the full piece:

Tveit will soon make his West End debut as John Wilkes Booth in Jamie Lloyd’s revival of Assassins by Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman. Catherine Tate, Andy Nyman, and Jamie Parker are also among the ensemble cast, which follows 13 infamous individuals who attempted to kill the US President.

“When you hear the idea you say, ‘OK, well how’s that gonna happen?’,” he said of the musical. “Once you get into the show, you find yourself really empathizing with these characters, because you see what makes them tick and that they’re all damaged people.

“Then you snap out of it and think, ‘That’s nuts, how can I be feeling that?’ It offers a very fair perspective about these characters.”

Speaking about his castmates, he continued: “It’s quite an incredible group. We’re telling it as an ensemble piece where none of us ever really leave the stage.

“It’s a group of people who are used to being out and front in shows, and a lot of people are used to playing leading parts in shows, so for all of these people to come together and work as one unit has been so amazing.”

SOURCE: DIGITAL SPY

“Graceland” Renewed for Third Season

November 13, 2014 • Category: Graceland, Television News 1

If you’ve been holding your breath for this announcement since September, you can finally breathe a sigh of relief: USA Network has renewed “Graceland” for a third season, ordering another 13 episodes of the Jeff Eastin series. Although there is no current air date, it should hit U.S. TV screens once more in the summer of 2015.

USA Network’s president, Chris McCumber, addressed an elephant in the room in the season three announcement. “This season of ‘Graceland’ took viewers on a wild ride with unexpected character twists, and a heart-stopping cliffhanger that left a lead character’s fate in question,” he said, speaking specifically of Aaron Tveit’s Mike Warren. “Jeff Eastin and the talented ensemble cast deliver on all levels, and season three will undoubtedly continue to keep us on the edge of our seats.”

Creator Jeff Eastin has a long-standing relationship with USA; his other show, “White Collar,” is currently airing its sixth and final season, after running on the network for five years. Speaking on behalf of that relationship, Nancy Cotton, senior VP of programming at Fox Television Studios, said, “FTVS truly values the long and fruitful relationship we have with Jeff and USA. We could not be more excited to bring USA viewers another thrilling season of ‘Graceland.'”

A hearty congrats to the cast, crew, and creatives of “Graceland” on this wonderful news!

‘Assassins’ Rehearsal Photos

November 5, 2014 • Category: Assassins, Gallery, Stage Work 1

Official rehearsal photos from Assassins have been released, showing a sneak peek of the cast from the upcoming Menier Chocolate Factory’s production in action. In all the photos, we see Aaron Tveit – who plays John Wilkes Booth – appropriately wielding a gun. His co-star and fellow lead Catherine Tate is also pictured in the full set of pictures, available courtesy of West End Frame.

Four HQ photos of Aaron have been added to the gallery. Previews for Assassins begin November 21st; tickets are still available at Menier’s website.

“I cannot begin to express my gratitude,” says Aaron

October 22, 2014 • Category: ATN Exclusive, Site News 7

Are Aaron Tveit’s fans the greatest, or what? From around the world, you guys came out by the hundreds to leave beautiful and inspiring birthday messages, proving how much of an impact Aaron has left globally — which is simply amazing!

I want to personally thank everyone who took some time out of their day to leave a message on the site. Like last year, they were forwarded to Aaron; and once again, he has sent ATN a letter to post on the site, expressing his gratitude to you, his faithful fans. Read his note exclusively here on ATN:

Hey everyone!!
Wow. You are all AWESOME
First I have to say thank you to Kristina for organizing this birthday message project once again!
And you guys..
I really don’t even know what to say. I am so moved and touched and humbled reading all of these messages. I usually just have my head down and go about my day and work, but to have a moment to hear from you all, and receive your birthday wishes and all the amazing things you have to say…
Really stops me in my tracks!
To read your letters, see your artwork, watch your videos, read your cards and collages and poems, and to think of the time and effort you all put in to get these in for MY birthday..
What a thing.
I cannot begin to express my gratitude.
Thank you. Thank you!
Aaron

Happy 31st Birthday, Aaron!

October 21, 2014 • Category: ATN Exclusive, General News 386

Happy Birthday, Aaron! For most people, it would be pretty tough to top a year when a street was named in their honor — but, let’s be honest, most people don’t have a Stephen Sondheim production in their pending repertoire. To jump into Assassins after a three-year hiatus from live theater is a marvelous introduction into 31, hopefully acting as an indicator of Things To Come in the next year. Especially after being further wowed by your portrayal of Mike Warren in season two of “Graceland,” I can say with certainty that those seeing you as John Wilkes Booth in the coming months are in for a treat; and even if they can’t make it to a show, your fans – the self-appointed Tveitor Tots – wait with baited breath for more professional endeavors on the distant horizon.

Speaking of your fans, they are a truly amazing bunch. Like last year, they’ve shared stories and posted beautiful birthday messages from around the globe — and hopefully they will serve as a perfect present to you. I hope your day is super fantastic and that you’ll once again enjoy the passionate support from your fans.

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