Entertainment :: Music

Lizzie

by Steven Bergman
Contributor
Thursday Oct 10, 2013
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One of the most famous of killers in Massachusetts’ history was the axe-wielding Lizzie Borden, a femme fatale acquitted of the double murder of her father and stepmother in 1892. Such a violent crime is sensible fodder for a guitar blasting, heavy metal and punk tinged rock opera, and creators Steven Cheslik-deMeyer, Tim Maner and Alan Stevens Hewitt have seized the story by the throat, creating a brand new stage piece / concert presentation of Borden and her tale.

"Lizzie" is a well-constructed telling of the "House of Borden," as the opening song dictates, where trouble abounds from the beginning inside its four walls. The three writers have done justice to the abused protagonist (performed by singer and Broadway actress, Carrie Manolakos), who is featured along with her sister, Emma (played by Storm Large, who was featured on the reality show, "Rock Star: Supernova"), neighbor Alice Russell (Ryah Nixon) and the Bordens’ maid, Bridget (Carrie Cimma). The four women all know how to belt out a rock riff, and through their high-energy vocals, we are introduced to the events leading up to the brutal killing and the trial afterward.

The piece has all the elements you would expect of a rock-musical about a gruesome murder, centered around a cast of four women, from child-abuse to sibling rivalry and lesbianism, all told through such titles as "Gotta Get Out Of Here," "Somebody Will Do Something," "Will You Lie?" and "What the F@#&, Lizzie?" Backed by a seven-piece band that clearly knows its way through the blistering score, all four get equal chances to show off their chops, and though it remains unclear how the piece reads on stage, it makes for an impressive listen.

"Lizzie"
Carrie Manolakos / Storm Large
CD and digital formats
Broadway Records

Steven Bergman is a Composer / Playwright / Performing Arts Educator based outside of Boston, MA.

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