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Review: An Epic Remount Brings New Life to LIZZIE at Jobsite Theater

The production runs through August 6.

By: Jul. 16, 2023
Review: An Epic Remount Brings New Life to LIZZIE at Jobsite Theater  Image
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“In the House of Borden, there’s a lock on every door...”

Rage! Sex! Betrayal! Bloody Murder!

Sounds like the makings of a good time right?

What if the good time is focused on a retelling of myth, lore, and just pure rock & roll?

This and more is at the core of Lizzie, a rock musical written by Steven Cheslik-deMeyer, Tim Maner, and Alan Stevens Hewitt.

Onstage now through August 6th at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts, where their resident theatre company Jobsite, remounts the production last seen in Jaeb in 2016. Slightly different from the previous production, and contained to a smaller venue, the Shimberg Playhouse at the Straz Center comes alive with sounds of Sex, Betrayal and Murder set to the score of Rock & Roll, and maybe one or two axes.

The plot of the story for all intents and purposes takes place in the summer of 1892. Andrew Borden and his wife are brutally murdered in their house and the main suspect, their youngest daughter Lizzie Borden. The show’s story explores the days leading up to the murder and Lizzie’s extremely controversial acquittal.

The four women making up this incredible company are Colleen Cherry (Lizzie Borden), Heather Krueger (Emma Borden), both return from the 2016 mount, and are newly joined by Kandyce Walker (Alice Russell Borden’s Neighbor), and Katherine Yacko (Bridget Sullivan Housekeeper), respectively.

Having last experienced the show in 2016 during the Halloween season, its a different juxtaposition viewing its power in the heat of summer. It makes the story more specific in time and place.

From top to bottom, this cast blows the roof off of the Shimberg with outstanding vocals and powerful stage presence.

As Lizzie Borden, Colleen Cherry is truly in her element. Living a rock girl fantasy with all the angsty aggression behind every turn, every note, every solitary step. She takes you on an epic tour-de-force that needs to be experienced. Having witnessed her epic turn in 2016, this was on the top of my list of shows to see, and as always Colleen showed up and showed out for one of the most stunning leading female performances I have seen to date.

As Emma Borden, Heather Krueger is the perfect match to Colleen’s dastardly devilish Lizzie. Her vocals are unmatched, and she is always spot-on from start to finish. Having recently seen her in The Great American Trailer Park Musical at Stageworks, it was nice to see her back in this angsty, grungy element. Always a joy to watch Heather in her element, and the combination of her Emma with Colleen’s Lizzie is something monumental, almost lightning captured in a bottle, and one I could witness again and again.

As the Borden’s neighbor Alice Russell, Kandyce Walker is a marvel. A welcomed addition to the company bringing strong presence and powerhouse vocals that round out the harmonies beautifully.

This devilish foursome rounds out with Katherine Yacko, as Bridget Sullivan the Housekeeper. Making her Tampa debut in this incredible roller-coaster musical. No stranger to Shakespeare, Katherine takes on a different role here, and is a welcomed addition to the Company, filled with amazing stage presence, you experience her moment to moment right along with her, and it makes for a thrilling debut.

Technically stunning in every moment Jobsite’s production of Lizzie never misses a wack. All puns aside, with exceptional Set Design by Brian Smallheer and the in tandem workings of Jo Averill-Snell’s lighting design, you get the feeling of brood and foreboding, creating an otherworldly adventure, and a searing render of what time might have looked like to Lizzie and company. With Costumes and Choreography (Adapted) by Heather Krueger this fierce foursome look stunning and move cohesively throughout the world of the show. Stage Management team of Vivian Rodriguez and Josephine Midulla Reller keep the world of the show spinning at a rapid pace, and help achieve a blistering 1 hour and 45-minute rock extravaganza that will leave you breathless. Jeremy Douglass and his Band; Elwood Bond (Drums), Tom Kersey (Cello), Rebekah Pulley (Guitar), Kenny Walker (Bass), and Mark Warren (Guitar), flawlessly accompany the ladies of 1892.

Of course all comes back to the incomparable work of one Mr. David Jenkins, Artistic Director of Jobsite, and our Master of Ceremonies if you will. Creating a searing, cut- throat re-mount of an already stellar production in a much smaller venue, is no easy task, but David and Associate Director Spencer Meyers drive the ax-blade home and deliver a striking, and jarring, no-holds-barred production that will remain burned into my memory for some time.  Already well on its way to a sold-out run, David Jenkins, Jobsite and company have struck gold at the hands of Lizzie Borden, and for that, I am forever humbled to bear witness to its greatness.

More recently I stumbled across a book much like the premise of our Lizzie Borden’s story. Bestselling Author Riley Sager released his latest novel The Only One Left. It’s story, set in 1983 tells the tale of home health nurse, who has been given the daunting task of becoming a live in aide for the towns most controversial “murderer,” Lenora Hope. For in this book, the reader, and our heroine learn of Lenora Hope, who is now reduced to a school yard chant,

“At Seventeen, Lenora Hope

Hung her sister with a rope

Stabbed her father with a knife

Took her mother’s happy life,

“It wasn’t me,” Lenora said

But she’s the only one not dead...”

For those who haven’t read it, the question remains...did she do it...?

Very interesting that I might happen to stumble on such a book a mere week prior to the opening of the remount of Jobsite’s Lizzie.

So what are you waiting for? Head on over to the Straz Center’s ticketing website at, or by visiting for more information on purchasing tickets to LIZZIE! This is one show, you must not miss, for it cannot be held over past August 6th.

Make your mind up if Lizzie did it or not, by visiting 1892, Fall River, Massachusetts.

Go ahead, you don’t want to keep her waiting.



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