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by Daryl Wallis

So, you think you know your Sondheim trivia? You think you know just about everything there is to know about the man and his works, do you? This is the place for you. Before you go on too much longer here, make sure you're ready to buckle down and spend some time, for if you are to succeed with these, you will have to rely on more than you're keen sense of Sondheim trivia to allow you to prevail in the end!

Simple? Simple? Simple?
Simple as A - B - C

You are Dr J. Bowden Hapgood, freshly appointed as assistant to Dr Detmold's Sanitarium for the Socially Pressured. While the Cookies were waiting to take the miracle cure, they got lost in the crowd and fled for the town. Amongst the inmates now missing are the nine U.S. Presidential Assassin characters (as opposed to the U.S. Presidential character Assassins, of which there seems to be too many to count! Simple? Simple? Simple? Simple as one - two - three cheers for the red white and blue....). It is your task to correctly find the missing Assassins and put them in the correct groups so they can be sent to the correct correction facility.

Word has got around that the Assassins have headed into town to seek advice on where to travel on to so as to avoid capture. Each Assassin seeks out the guidance of a particular character from other Sondheim shows. This character will sing one of their songs which contains their suggestion for a good place to escape to. Chief of Police Magruder has filed his report on the first sightings of the Assassins in the town. It reads as follows:

Police Department of the Miracle Town
'Hail the Miracle - Praise the Miracle'
Report Prepared By Chief Magruder

Leon Czolgosz has been seen at the docks in poetic discourse with a fisherman named Manjiro.

John Hinckley was last heard of buying a new set of guitar strings at the music store and was seen conversing with a timid fellow named Henrik Egerman who was ordering new cello strings that he indicated that he would pick up 'later'.

Charles Guiteau has returned to his pulpit where he discovered Amy nervously rehearsing her marriage vows.

Giuseppe Zangara unsuccessfully sought refuge in the Italian Consulate where he was seen deep in conversation with a frail nervous woman named Fosca.

Sam Byck was observed trying to buy a ticket in an airline office where he spoke to the off duty April.

Squeaky Fromme bumped into Solange La Fitte outside the local Chanel shop.

Sara Jane Moore was seen in vigorous debate with the manager of the local KFC franchise, one Mrs Lovett. (Personal note - must ask for Mrs Magruder about those special herbs and spices!! Hmm-hmmm!!)

John Wilkes Booth naturally enough returned to the theatre where he was viewed in earnest discourse with Mrs Nordstrom regarding the new play in town, Woman Of The World.

Lee Harvey Oswald was reported depositing schoolbooks at the Lake Forest Academy where he ran into Frank Jr who was busily preparing his (soon to be cut) valedictorian speech.

Some of these characters may offer an Assassin multiple options for escape. To confirm which options the Assassins took, look for a pattern formed within the list of destinations where the Assassins are heading. This pattern will allow you to arrange the Assassins into three equal groups once you have intercepted these fugitives in the correct locations and brought them back to town.


The places where the Assassins are now heading consist of 3 Place Names, 3 General Place Descriptions and 3 Specific Locations.


One of the characters advising the Assassins was overheard detailing the ideal location for escape via dialogue cues between songs rather than in lyrics per se.

Simple? Simple? Simple? Simple as do you do like me?

Now once you have located your Cookies in the correct places and placed them into three groups you must determine which group is which?! You have a copy of Dr Detmold's Classification of Calculating and Crazy Cookies which tells you that the Assassins fall into three major categories...

1. Sane but extremely dangerous. Recommended for incarceration in the local prison.

2. Insane and to be returned promptly to the Cookie Jar.

3. Insane but with excellent hair! Suitable for transfer to Fogg's Mental Asylum.

Your task is to classify your three groups by type and name, and then transport them to the appropriate institute. To work out which group is which you need to find one further Sondheim character (including lyrics only shows) whose lyrics will designate the status of each group. You will find that the list of group names to be attached to the correct group will help you find this additional character.

In one of the insane groups, the additional character might be found hanging around the place in town where one of the Assassins in that group received their advice.

In another insane group, the new character could be celebrating his new freedom by taking a holiday at the location where one of the Assassins from this group was trying to escape to.

In the one sane group, the character might be found pirouetting near the location where one of the Assassins from this group received their advice.


The names of each of the groups to be attached correctly are:

Group Won Singular Sensation

Group Un

Group I

At the end of Part 2 you should have been able to give the correct name to each group and worked out which group is sane. One more step is required however to discern the follicle particulars of the two insane groups....

Simple as 1 2 3, 1 2 3, 1 2 3


By now you should have the Assassins organised into one sane and two insane groups. The final task is to determine which of the two insane groups are going to receive a close haircut before the day is out! To achieve this aim, all you have to do is solve this little Cookie rhyme.

There's a Cookie with some flair,
Who once found love and knew her/his hair,
She/he looks around, she/he knows the plot,
She/he knows her/his group, good hair, has got.

So find the Cookie that I mean,
With her/his mates both mean and lean,
That's the group which jogs to Fogg's
The rest return by car to Jar!

Just remember - When you're in, you win!

Now, once you figure out the the answers to the puzzle, we know you'll feel much better. Then you can go on to

Discuss this in Finishing the Chat,'s discussion forum.

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Assassins is about how society interprets the American Dream, marginalizes outsiders and rewrites and sanitizes its collective history. "Something Just Broke" is a major distraction and plays like an afterthought, shoe horned simply to appease. The song breaks the dramatic fluidity and obstructs the overall pacing and climactic arc which derails the very intent and momentum that makes this work so compelling...”
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“I found [the Sondheim Celebration's Company] to be completely delightful. Almost all of the numbers excited and energized me, and most of the scenes were about as pitch-perfect as you can get. I just sat there with a big smile on my face the whole show.

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