Assassins (Birdland Theatre and Talk is Free Theatre) back until February 13, 2011

By Sam Mooney

The cast of Assassins

Assassins is back until February 13th at The Theatre Centre on Queen West. If you haven’t seen this production from Birdland Theatre and Talk is Free Theatre there’s still time. It’s been playing to sold-out houses so don;t leave it until the last minute, get your tickets and enjoy a fabulous night of theatre.

I loved it. I went because the Megan’s review of Assassins was so terrific. And then I went again because I loved it so much the first time. And loved it just as much the second time. I’d go a third time but I don’t want to hog the tickets. Fabulous cast, fabulous production.

Where were you when you heard that JFK had been assassinated?

My daughter said “…it must have made you think about where you were when you heard that Kennedy had been assassinated” And, of course, it did. I also realized that for Megan’s generation JFK is Kennedy. My generation witnessed the assassination of 2 Kennedys, President Kennedy in 1963 and his brother Robert (RFK) in 1968.

I had a very clear memory of hearing about President Kennedy’s death. I was living in Port Elizabeth (South Africa) and attending a Catholic girls’ school. It was first thing in the morning and class had barely started when the Mother Superior came into the classroom. We knew something had to be wrong, she never came into the classroom.

She walked to the front of the class, whispered something to the nun who was teaching us and handed her a note. She then went over to Debbie – whose father was the American Consul in Port Elizabeth – and asked her to come outside.

After they left Sister said ” I have some very sad news, President Kennedy has been shot and killed in Dallas” and then she started to cry. None of us had ever seen a nun cry. Somehow it added another level of seriousness to the news.

Here’s the thing, I don’t think it could have happened that way unless we had classes on Saturday. Kennedy was killed on a Friday – November 22, 1963 – at 12.30 pm central time. That’s 8.30 pm in Port Elizabeth. Debbie’s parents were away and she was boarding. I’m pretty sure there was no radio in the dorm. It makes sense that we didn;t hear the news until the next morning.

It’s Saturday morning that’s confusing. I remember sports at school on Saturday morning but I don’t remember classes. Did we have classes and I’ve just forgotten? Did I make this up and believe it for all these years?

Unless someone from my 1963 class at St Dominic’s Priory in Port Elizabeth somehow reads this and gets in touch with me to clarify, I’ll probably never know.


– Assassins is playing until February 13, 2011 at The Theatre Centre (100-1087 Queen Street West)
– Showtimes are Wednesday – Monday at 8 PM; Additional Matinees: Saturday and Sunday at 2 PM
– All tickets are $35 and available through Arts Box Office by phone at 416-504-7529, online at, in person, or at the door.
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