March Monikers: “How I Saved Roosevelt”

Alex Brightman as Giuseppe Zangara in ASSASSINS
Alex Brightman as Giuseppe Zangara in Assassins

March 2022 at Musical Cyberspace is all about songs with people’s names in the title.

Stephen Sondheim’s brilliant musical, Assassins is a natural place to look for name songs because it deals with figures from history. In this case, the name mentioned is Roosevelt and the song deals with an attempted assassination on the then president-elect of the United States by Giuseppe Zangara. Alternating between Sousa-inspired passages in which bystanders boast how they saved Roosevelt from being assassinated and a chilling tarantella in which Zangara reveals his desire to kill the capitalists even though this will cost him his life.

This is not particularly a catchy bop that transfers to settings outside of the show, so all of the options for listening to the songs are from particular productions. Top of the list for me is Eddie Korbich and the original Off-Broadway company’s take on the original cast album of that first production, with Jeffrey Kuhn-led number from the Broadway album a close second. 

Keen to share your thoughts on “How I Saved Roosevelt”? Head on to the comment box at the end of this post.

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