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
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:
Congratulations to the cast, crew, and creative on this wildly successful vision of Assassins!
“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
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
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.
As announced by the Daily Mail columnist, Baz Bamigboye, Aaron Tveit will make his UK stage debut in Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman’s revue-style Assassins. Directed by Jamie Lloyd (2014’s Richard III), the revival is to take place at London’s Menier Chocolate Factory starting in November.
Aaron recently spoke to Bamigboye about his return to live theater, stating, “I saw Hedwig And The Angry Inch, and I wanted to leave my seat and join in.” Last year, in May, Aaron performed several sold out cabaret shows at New York’s 54 Below. But Assassins will be the first stage musical Aaron has been in since Catch Me If You Can closed in 2011. “I’ve been dying to do a Sondheim show and dying to work in the UK,” he said to the Daily Mail. “Now I get to do both.”
An official synopsis of Assassins, from the Chocolate Factory website, reads: “Thirteen people have tried to kill the president of the United States. Four have succeeded. These murderers and would-be murderers are generally dismissed as maniacs and misfits who have little in common with each other, and nothing in common with the rest of us. Assassins suggests otherwise…”
Aaron will lead the production as John Wilkes Booth, the man behind President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination. Carly Bawden, Simon Lipkin, Mike McShane, Andy Nyman, David Roberts, and Catherine Tate are already set to star, with further casting to be announced.
Assassins starts November 21st and runs through March 7th; previews and their fixed prices (£30-38) end on Nov. 29th. You can still purchase tickets at Menier Chocolate Factory’s website, which are currently set from £35-43. Aaron is attached to the full run of the show.
Last night (September 29th), Aaron Tveit joined other artists at the “Sundance…Sings!” concert, hosted by New York’s Symphony Space. The event celebrated composers and lyricists who have spent time at the Sundance Institute Theatre Lab, a developmental retreat founded by Robert Redford that aids in the creation of new work; an array of talent helped showcase the music and songs of productions such as Spring Awakening and Grey Gardens.
At the event, Aaron Tveit performed “Poison in My Pocket” from the 2014 Tony Award: Best Musical winner, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder. For that performance, he was joined with Catherine Walker (who will soon be playing Phoebe D’Ysquith on the Broadway production of Gentleman’s Guide) and Tony winner Shuler Hensley. As a solo act, Aaron delivered a beautiful rendition of “Love to Me” from The Light in the Piazza. Visit Symphony Space’s website for a full program.
Photos from the evening have been added to the gallery, including Aaron singing his two numbers as well as a backstage shot with the whole ensemble.
The final episode of “Graceland” season two aired on Wednesday night, leaving audiences on the biggest cliffhanger yet. The breathtaking finale saw the various missions established by the Graceland household fall apart, causing unexpected carnage and chaos. Although a season three hasn’t been officially confirmed, do you have any predictions on where the show will go next? (Please be aware that comments will likely have spoilers — read at your own discretion.)
Additionally, Zap2it recently spoke to Aaron Tveit about his character, Mike Warren, and the arc he faced throughout season two. There’s also some personal predictions and hopes from Aaron about season three that’s worth checking out. An excerpt is provided below, but please visit the source for the full article.
“It’s been so much fun for me to see the student become the teacher, but really this idealist becomes a cynic. To do good undercover work and to get things done you do have to compromise things,” Tveit says of Mike’s character arc this season. “Mike was just doing his job and in my opinion, doing a great job. The fact that other people were personally caught up in his wake — that wasn’t his concern.”
SOURCE: ZAP2IT (SPOILERS)
Off the heels of a street naming ceremony, Playbill.com has released a new interview with Aaron Tveit in which they talk about the honor. And with two episodes of “Graceland” left in season two, it’s no surprise they delve a little bit into the USA Network show — including transitioning from stage to small screen and whether or not there are plans for Aaron’s character, Mike Warren, to sing.
Speaking of singing, Aaron also talks about hopeful plans in the future, like performing in classic revivals and wanting to perform with more orchestras around the nation. In the meantime, he’ll get some of his concert fix this Saturday, as he’ll be performing with the Pasadena Pops in Michael Feinstein’s “New York! New York!” show.
Check out an excerpt of the article below before heading to the source for more:
After starring in two brand-new musicals, Tveit, who said he’s a fan of the classic musical catalog of Carousel, West Side Story, and South Pacific, among others, said he would like to perform in a revival. He also is “dying to do a play,” listing David Mamet and Martin McDonagh as two of his favorite playwrights.
“New musicals are really hard, to be completely honest,” he said. “Everyone’s taking a big chance and it’s a lot of hard work — which is also so exciting to get to be a part of something. But doing a revival, you’re working on a [known] property. You have to figure out a new way to do it or a fun way to do it. Those musicals are revived and are classics for a reason.”
On Sunday, August 31st, Aaron Tveit was in his hometown of Middletown, NY to help with the Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine grand opening ceremony. His duty was to act as keynote speaker for the event, in which he used his passionate experience to talk to inaugural medical students receiving their white coat.
Speaking to TWC News at the event, Aaron stated: “I see how my work affects people in a positive way and I think that’s what [medical students] are going to be doing on a daily basis. So I thought that’s how it tied together; the passion you do for a living can help other people.”
“I was lucky enough to follow my dreams and into my profession, and a lot of these doctors are probably doing that,” said Tveit.
The opening ceremony was held for the opening of Touro College’s osteopathic medicine wing, which was previously Horton Hospital — where Aaron was born. Middletown mayor Joe DeStefano said using Aaron as a speaker and representative at the event “couldn’t be a better fit” and that it was important to acknowledge successful natives of the town.
Following the opening and white coat ceremonies, Aaron hit the streets in front of the Paramount Theater. There, he received quite an honor: a street devoted entirely to him. Called “Aaron Tveit Way,” the new name replaces the South Street portion in front of the Paramount. Because Aaron had performed at the theater as a teenager, his honorary street name’s location seems even more appropriate.
Mayor DeStefano joined Aaron – and the Tveit family – to unveil the sign amidst flashing cameras along with throngs of fans and friends (including Aaron’s former music teacher, Greg Bennett) lining the barricade in support. Photos from the event can be seen in the gallery.
“Never in a million years would I have expected something like this,” Aaron said at the street sign unveiling. “It’s pretty great.”
August 29, 2014 • Category: General News 4
While some celebrities receive keys to a city, Aaron Tveit’s New York hometown is taking it a step further by honoring him with his very own street name.
The event – which takes place at the Paramount Theatre on Sunday, August 31st – will primarily serve as the grand opening for the Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine, a new medicine school held at the former Horton Hospital, where Aaron was born. (“It’s not about me,” the ever-humble Aaron stated.) Students will recite the oath of osteopathic physicians before engaging in a “coating ceremony,” serving as a symbol to their dedication in the medical field.
Aaron will act as a keynote speaker at the opening, where he’ll talk about passion and how it spans from Broadway to the medical community. “I know they’re going into this because they’re passionate about helping people,” he said. According to Times Herald-Record, Aaron also stated that he was pleased the old Horton Hospital would be used as a school rather than demolished, a reason why he was happy to host the event.
Following the opening ceremony, Middletown will honor Aaron with a very special addition to the town: they’ll be renaming the portion of South Street in front of the Paramount Theatre – where Aaron performed at as a teenager – to Aaron Tveit Way. Speaking to Playbill, Aaron said of his new street, “It’s just utterly mind-blowing. I never would have expected that in a million years. I’m so grateful and flattered.
“I still can’t wrap my head around that, to be completely honest,” Aaron continued in his Playbill interview. “It’s an incredible thing. My hometown is awesome, and I still have a lot of pride there. I’m still very much still tied there.”