BWW Review: LIZZIE Rocks the Borden House at The Human Race Theatre Company
Get your tickets for LIZZIE at The Human Race Theatre Company. Right Now. This is the most exciting show that I have seen in a long time. You won't be disappointed.
LIZZIE, with music by Steven Cheslik-Demeyer and Alan Stevens Hewitt, lyrics by Steven Cheslik-Demeyer and Tim Maner and book by Tim Maner, revisits 1892 and the story of Lizzie Borden and the murder of her father and stepmother in Fall River, Massachusetts. This time, the story comes in the form of a very clever punk rock musical. If you are like me, you are quite curious about how these things fit together but I was pleasantly surprised because it does all fit. In fact, it seems like it should be the way the story has been told all along. Lizzie makes the perfect punk rock "heroine". With the rest of the ensemble, you are treated to an excellent cross between a rock concert at a great club and a remarkable piece of theatre.
A recently planned Off Broadway production of LIZZIE has been postponed indefinitely but you have the opportunity to see the show right here in Dayton, before it gets there. This is the perfect opportunity for you to get out to see a show at The Human Race, especially if you have never seen a show there before. LIZZIE caps off a season that has taken me from Pete Rose to Lizzie Borden and the quality of every performance is top notch. We are incredibly blessed in Dayton to have this exceptional theatre company.
While the show is titled LIZZIE, this show is actually a perfectly constructed ensemble of four women: Lizzie (Deanna Giulietti), Lizzie's best friend Alice (Michaella Waickman), Lizzie's sister Emma (Natalie Bird) and their maid, Bridget (Leslie Goddard). They start off the musical strong with the ensemble number, "The House of Borden" and continue with other ensemble pieces "Shattercane and Velvet Grass", "The Soul of the White Bird" and "Thirteen Days in Taunton". Leslie Goddard's Bridget is the perfectly on point comic relief in "The Fall of the House of Borden", Natalie Bird's Emma gave us amazingly controlled power with "What the F*ck Now Lizzie", Michaella Waickman's Alice demonstrates a lovely combo of power and delicate beauty with "This is Not Love" and Deanna Giulietti's Lizzie was just awesome throughout. She hit all of the right notes between power, vulnerability, insanity and resolve. The chemistry between the four is dazzling.
As always, the set by Ray Zupp made great use of the Human Race space and I loved how it helped to integrate the rocking band so seamlessly. There are not enough words for how much I loved the costumes by Liz Bourgeois. Hints of 1892, hints of punk and a lot of leather completely fit the attitude of the musical. Lighting by John Rensel and Sound by Brian Retterer round out the exquisite technical team.
Tickets are still available for performances this week on Tuesday and Wednesday at 7 PM, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8 PM and closing performance on Sunday at 2 PM. Please be advised that this show contains references to abuse, murder and sexual situations. Get your tickets at www.ticketcenterstage.com, on phone at 937-228-3630 or in person at the box office in the Wintergarden of the Schuster Center, corner of Second and Ludlow streets, downtown. Don't miss it.Photo courtesy of Scott J Kimmins