City Theater Company drops the axe on the 24th season this September with Lizzie, a blistering rock opera based on the 19th century legend surrounding notorious accused murderess Lizzie Borden. Four women front a six-piece rock band to tell a timeless tale of murder and mayhem.
Lizzie marks the CTC debut of Darby Elizabeth McLaughlin in the title role, alongside Jill Knapp of popular band Hot Breakfast!, Kyleen Shaw (Hair) and Grace Tarves (La Cage Aux Folles, Hair). The band features CTC pit alums Caty Butler, Meghan Doyle, Jon Luther (Hair); Noelle Picara (Xanadu), Joey Lopes (Come Together), and Sheila Hershey (The Dead.)
Michael Gray, CTC's Producing Artistic Director, directs. He's been looking forward to putting up this piece for some time. Says Gray “I first heard about Lizzie from a D.C. couple I met at a bar in Philly about five years ago. They were home for the holidays. The gentleman worked for the NEA and traveled the country to review work funded by the agency. I asked him which of these shows had been his favorite in the past year—he said that of the hundreds of productions he had the privilege of seeing, Lizzie was his favorite. I was intrigued.”
Music Director Joe Trainor came on board soon after, lured by the compelling score. “There's a chaotic momentum in this material that underscores the mayhem before, during, and after the murders. The music, like the whole story, is always on the verge of running off rails as we imagine what it must have been like for these four women to live during these events.”
Gray agrees. “I was intrigued by how the story was told by four women (though 'men’ were always present) and how the music (rock, thrash, punk) was used to capture their rage—the years of abuse and neglect, and the loneliness and betrayal that led to the horrific murders. It’s compelling to see one woman, in a time when single women had little status, take control of her narrative. That’s the story we are excited to portray.”
Directed by Michael Gray. Music directed by Joe Trainor. Assistant directed by Frank Schierloh. Scenic and lighting design by Vicki Neal and Richard Kendrick. Costumes by Kerry Kristine McElrone and Lauren Peters.
Lizzie features music by Steven Cheslik-DeMeyer and Alan Stevens Hewitt, lyrics by Steven Cheslik-DeMeyer and Tim Maner, a book by Tim Maner, additional music by Tim Maner, and additional lyrics by Alan Stevens Hewitt. The musical is based on an original concept by Steven Cheslik-DeMeyer and Tim Maner.
TICKET DETAILS: General admission $28. VIP tickets $40, includes two complimentary drinks and CTC swag. Military with ID $25; student with ID $20, and youth 15 and under $15. Production runs Friday, September 8 through Saturday, September 16, 2017. All shows 8:00 p.m. except one 2:00 p.m. matinee Sunday, September 10. All shows at The Black Box, 4 South Poplar Street, Wilmington, DE 19801. Tickets available now at city-theater.org