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Friday 5(+1): LIZZIE's Stellar Women On Why You Need To Come See Their Show

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New Musical Takes on the Legend of Lizzie Borden

Friday 5(+1): LIZZIE's Stellar Women On Why You Need To Come See Their Show

For the next three weekends, Street Theatre Company takes over Darkhorse Theater for the Nashville premiere of Lizzie: The Musical, running October 22-Novemberr 6.

Friday 5(+1): LIZZIE's Stellar Women On Why You Need To Come See Their Show Lizzie is a rock opera that reimagines the story behind the infamous Lizzie Borden - the primary suspect for the brutal murder of her father and stepmother in 1892 - with a cast of four powerhouse women, a quartet of Nashville's best-known young actors who bring the characters to life under the direction of Leslie Marberry, who makes her STC directorial debut.

The show melds a19th century true-crime story with a high energy rock score. Together, the four women tell the story of why Lizzie Borden took an axe and gave her mother 40 whacks and why when she saw what she had done gave her father 41.

In addition to the four women onstage, the creative team and crew backstage and offstage is mostly female.

Marberry and her four leading women - Caitlyn Porayko, Delaney Amatrudo, Mileah Milstead and Hannah Arn - give some insight into what makes them the right actors for the jobs in Lizzie in today's Friday 5(+1) and offer some advice to potential ticket-buyers on why they can't miss what promises to be the most-talked-about new musical of the Halloween season in Nashville theater.

Friday 5(+1): LIZZIE's Stellar Women On Why You Need To Come See Their Show Caitlyn Porayko (Alice)

What was your first live onstage introduction to theater? My first experience with live theatre was when I was four. My family and I were living in Jersey, just across the river from NYC. My parents took me to see Beauty and the Beast, and I remember asking my mom how the actors made it through the entire show with no mistakes. My mom told me that they probably did make mistakes and that we just didn't see them because the actors are so professional, and I turned to her and told her that I wanted to do that one day. I remember it very vividly.

What is your favorite pre-show ritual? I don't really have a specific pre-show ritual. I think it really depends on the show and what I need each night to feel prepared to tell that unique story. I have tried to incorporate more focusing and breathing exercises into my pre-show routines, though, because after several years without live theatre, it can be nerve-wracking getting back on stage every night, and I want to make sure I set myself up for success each time!

What's your most memorable "the show must go on" moment? I used to work on a live show in Hong Kong Disneyland, and one day, Rapunzel accidentally lost some of her infamous long blonde locks onstage. . .but the show must go on!

What is your dream role? Oh gosh. . .where do I start? I have been dreaming of playing Christine in Phantom of the Opera since I was four or five. I would also love to play Natalie in next to normal again someday or Anna in Frozen, but my absolute dream would be if Disney turned Enchanted into a musical and I could play Giselle!

Who is your theatrical crush? I have a major theater crush on Ginna Claire Mason, who plays Glinda in Wicked on Broadway. I grew up training at the same studio as her here in Nashville, and she has gone on to land some of my dream roles. I always looked up to her when I was little, and she is such a lovely human with so much talent, and I have always really admired her on so many levels.

Why should people come see LIZZIE? Why shouldn't people come see Lizzie?! This show is so much fun, and it's just in time for spooky season! What I find awesome about this show is that it can be told/interpreted differently any time you see it or produce it, and I think we've really worked together to create an incredible story that we want to share with everyone.

Friday 5(+1): LIZZIE's Stellar Women On Why You Need To Come See Their Show Delaney Amatrudo (Lizzie)

What was your first live onstage introduction to theater? My parents were all performers, so it's hard to say for sure. My earliest specific memory is probably of sitting in the front row of the tour of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella when I was four or five years old.

What is your favorite pre-show ritual? For this show? Using my vocal steamer!

What's your most memorable "the show must go on" moment? I think I've used this answer a thousand times, but I'll never forget when someone had their car stolen from the parking lot in the middle of a performance of Circle Players' production of Footloose many years ago.

What is your dream role? I've been very lucky to have played a lot of my dream roles, but if Wicked ever comes calling, I'll be out the door before you can say "Congratulations."

Who is your theatrical crush? The entire cast and crew of STC's Lizzie!

Why should people come see LIZZIE? The hill I am most willing to die on is that new musicals deserve all our love and support. You never know when a new piece of theatre will become one of your favorites. Lizzie provides the perfect opportunity to support a new, contemporary musical that lets its all-female cast shine with no holds barred. It's a remarkable vehicle for a remarkable group of women.

Friday 5(+1): LIZZIE's Stellar Women On Why You Need To Come See Their Show Mileah Milstead (Bridget)

What was your first live onstage introduction to theater? The first show I ever saw in person was Beauty and the Beast at Cumberland County Playhouse. I was blown away by the spectacle, and I still remember how I felt during the moment of the Beast's transformation. I've been obsessed ever since!

What is your favorite pre-show ritual? I always have a mint or chew gum before going onstage. It started as not wanting to have bad breath for an intimate scene, but now I equate mintiness with focus and it helps me step into character!

What's your most memorable "the show must go on" moment? When I was playing Cinderella in Into the Woods, my dress refused to zip up during a quick change. I had to go into the Act 1 Finale and needed to be there for Cinderella and the Prince's solo, so I had to nonverbally try to communicate to him to hold my dress together from the back. He scrunched the fabric together and we had to modify the choreography so my back wasn't showing to the audience.

What is your dream role? If I had to choose just one, I would probably say Persephone from Hadestown!

Who is your theatrical crush? I am obsessed with Renee Rapp. Her vocal control is out of this world!

Why should people come see LIZZIE? The story and music on their own are incredible, but this is by far the most talented cast and crew I've ever worked with. Everyone comes in, does the work, supports each other, and belts their faces off. I'm still in shock at how lucky I am to be involved with this performance and I already miss these amazing women I'm honored to call my castmates!

Friday 5(+1): LIZZIE's Stellar Women On Why You Need To Come See Their Show Hannah Arn (Emma)

What was your first live onstage introduction to theater? As part of the ensemble cast in Annie.

What is your favorite pre-show ritual? This is my first show in years (I will not reveal how many years) and I honestly don't remember creating any in my previous shows so we will have to wait and see what becomes my ritual during Lizzie. But I have a feeling that for this show and role I'll be listening to Fall Out Boy's song "The Phoenix" to channel some inner rage

What's your most memorable "the show must go on" moment? I honestly can't remember any from my musicals, but I do remember playing at a festival with a precious band and the guitar player's string broke and cut his ear mid set and he continued rocking it out with blood dripping down. Pretty rock n roll if you ask me!

What is your dream role? My dream role is Jenna in Waitress.

Who is your theatrical crush? I'm so boring and honestly don't have one. I have three kids under three so there's no time for crushes right now!

Why should people come see LIZZIE? The musical score alone is so freaking bad ass and rocking. But to top it off this cast and production team is beyond talented. I sit in awe at so many of our rehearsals at the vocal ability of my fellow cast members and knowledge they share from their varied backgrounds. I am honored to be a part of this thrilling story and the telling of it in rocking music form.

Friday 5(+1): LIZZIE's Stellar Women On Why You Need To Come See Their Show Leslie Marberry (Director)

What was your first live onstage introduction to theater? I remember dancing the robot on stage in sixth grade, but my first real role would've been Miss Hannigan [in Annie]. That experience made me truly love theatre. And yes, I have mad robot skills.

What is your favorite pre-show ritual? Circle-up as a whole is such a powerful experience. It's like a sports huddle at the top of the game. We pump each other up and get psyched for the show we're about to give. It always excites me whether I'm directing a show or in it.

What's your most memorable "the show must go on" moment? Everyone in this profession has experienced working through pain, illness, whatever. I'm no different. Our passion and drive gets us through it and our love for our craft, team and sharing important stories with the audience makes it worth it.

What is your dream role? Alison Bechdel in Fun Home is definitely a dream role of mine. It's such a beautiful show!

Who is your theatrical crush? This is a tough one, but Kristen Bell is lovely.

Why should people come see LIZZIE? Nashville's never seen anything like this. This story is full of murder, passion, and rock n' roll performed by four incredibly talented and bad ass women. Just in time for Halloween. You don't want to miss it!


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From This Author Jeffrey Ellis