The first occasion was the appearance of John Wilkes Booth, the actor who assassinated President Abraham Lincoln, in the Stephen Sondheim musical "Assassins" on Broadway last spring. The role was played by Michael Cerveris, who won a Tony Award in June for his performance in the recently closed show.
Actor Todd Cerveris, who conceived "The Booth Variations," cast his brother Michael in the same role in his show in a video portraying John Wilkes Booth, whose surviving writings inspired the new multi-media work. Much of the show deals with renowned tragedian Edwin Booth trying to reconcile his roles as the famous son of a famous father, actor Junius Brutus Booth, and the brother of a presidential assassin.
"The Booth Variations" includes videos, music by Will Johnson, Todd Cerveris as Junius and Edwin Booth, and two actors providing voice-overs for such characters as Edwin's wife, Mary, and Civil War photographer Matthew Brady.
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