NEW YORK — An Auburn native’s musical will take another step toward Broadway this month.
“Oswald” will be performed in concert style Aug. 19 at 7 p.m. at The Green Room 42 in Manhattan.
Stars from several hit Broadway musicals will sing 12 songs from the score in a 90-minute show.
“We’re going to basically do the radio version of the show … letting New York really hear ‘Oswald’ for the first time,” said Josh Sassanella, an Auburn native who co-wrote the show with fellow Broadway performer Tony LePage.
“The lineup is chock-full of Broadway stars. It is really exciting,” Sassanella said.
In its Friday article about the Aug. 19 performance, Playbill describes “Oswald” as “a new musical examining the assassination of President John F. Kennedy Jr. and the conspiracy theories that ignited following the death of his killer, Lee Harvey Oswald.” It tells the story from the viewpoint of Oswald’s widow, Marina.
Sassanella said the show was well-received during a staged reading earlier this year in Dallas, where the story takes place.
“We wanted to keep the momentum going,” Sassanella said. He and LePage decided, “Why don’t we have all our talented friends come sing the music from the show?”
The singers will include Tony-nominated lead actor Reeve Carney from “Hadestown,” which won the Tony award for best musical this year. Others bring credits from “Ain’t Too Proud,” a story of the Temptations singing group; “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical,” “Frozen,” “Bandstand,” “Jersey Boys,” “The Cher Show” and “Kinky Boots.” Several of the performers worked with Sassanella in the casts of “Rock of Ages” and “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark.”
“We’ve got a bunch of people who are at the top of their game right now,” Sassanella said.
He described The Green Room 42 as “a really, cool, intimate space” with 135 seats. Tickets for the “Oswald” show sold out quickly.
The musical begins with Jack Ruby shooting Oswald, recreating one of the most-watched live news events in history. Then the stage goes dark.
“When the lights come up, two guys get up. One guy‘s the guy that did it — one guy’s the guy that didn’t do it,” Sassanella said earlier this year. Two actors portray Oswald, telling different versions of events.
“The Beatles are big influence on how I wrote this show” musically, he said. It fits the era, because the JFK assassination occurred Nov. 22, 1963, just days before The Beatles began breaking onto the American scene.
Sassanella is aiming toward a developmental production of “Oswald” this fall as the next step.
“This concert’s certainly going to help” the show’s future, he said. “The team is getting bigger and bigger every day. Our little snowball is turning into an avalanche right now.”