Assassins

Producers haven't been able to coax a new musical from Stephen Sondheim, but they occasionally do convince him to write a few new songs.

Producers haven't been able to coax a new musical from Stephen Sondheim, but they occasionally do convince him to write a few new songs. The CD of the Tony Award-winning revival of "Assassins" has one of these, the ravishing "Something Just Broke." Written after the original production, it is recorded here for the first time. Ostensibly about the grief caused by the assassination of John F. Kennedy, its lyrics describing "something we have to weather, bringing us all together" call to mind more recent national tragedies. Rare for Sondheim, this soaring ensemble number seems to come more from the heart than the head. Fans of the 1991 recording knew the score was smart and funny, but this new recording is also touching.—MS