Hashish Fantasy, From Assassins (Day 31)

Project 194 reaches its first big milestone today – one month of daily posts! That deserves a celebration, and that’s what the plan is for tonight: a gathering of a dozen close friends for fun, fellowship and a little salon-style concert in the living room. You shouldn’t feel left out, though – you’ll see some concert footage from the event in the days ahead.

Jed Harris, Susan Cash, Tom Spinella and Catherine Roberts in Assassins

Jed Harris, Susan Cash, Tom Spinella and Catherine Roberts in Assassins

And it feels like a party
And you want to have a good time
So why get tense if it don’t make sense?
You should forget about the consequence
If the logic is slippery, then let it slide!
You can always go along for the ride.

Today I’m posting the opening number from Assassins, the musical I wrote that, since its 1979 premiere at Theatre Express, has turned out to be the most valuable piece of intellectual property ever to emanate from my overheated imagination. The song is called Hashish Fantasy, and it’s a montage of soliloquies spoken and sung by a procession of assassins and would-be assassins from history. The unifying device is the legend of the Man of the Mountains, whose minions (called “hashishim,” the root of the modern-day word “assassins”) were willing to do his murderous bidding because he kept them high on hash. The mysterious figure of the Fat Man was an ominous silent presence in the musical that I wrote and Bill Turner staged. (Maybe an excess of hashish explains why all my photos from that production are out of focus!)

The title page of the 1979 program

The title page of the 1979 program

Reading them with the benefit of hindsight, the reviews for Assassins in Pittsburgh seem strangely prophetic. In the Tribune (1/23/79), Evey Lehner wrote “Gilbert has come up with an idea for a theatrical experience that is innovative and could turn into a remarkable piece, with work.” As it turned out, more experienced artists than me provided the work, and the result was indeed a remarkable piece. Tonight I’ll be performing two songs from my 1979 opus at the party; I hope my singing won’t be too much of a buzzkill!

One thought on “Hashish Fantasy, From Assassins (Day 31)

  1. Pingback: In My Room, from Assassins (Day 34) | Notes from a SAVI Savant

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