Something to Kill For

Almost uniformly, the performers are better at acting. For much of the intermissionless revue, they stand in position against scenic designer Karen Hoffman's nifty star-spangled wall of jigsaw puzzle cutouts of the Presidents they're inextricably bound to, and they hold forth compellingly in character. Standouts include Mark Merchant's handsome devil of a Booth. With furrows and snears, Mark Roberts works up Samuel Byck into a tricky dick of a lather. But the best scenes are between Jentry Brown's fanatical Fromme and Jennifer Doctorovich's flighty Moore.

Yet the momentum continually comes to a screeching halt as the scenes move from dialogue to song and back. Also quite distracting is that, for no discernible reason, Muth has various characters sit in the audience from time to time.

The most realized moment in Assassins is when Fromme pulls out a picture of Manson, his face shining dementedly. "They'll hate you with a passion," Oswald is promised at one point. Yes and no.

Assassins plays through April 9 at Theater LaB, 1706 Alamo, 868-7516.

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