Lizzie Borden at Portland Center Stage

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Opening night results are in on LIZZIE. Plus a backstage tour of some of the more grizzly aspects of the rock opera. Listen to our review and watch the backstage video.


We saw opening night on Friday and reconvened today to talk over key points, fave bits and caveats of which there are plenty. You leave feeling very rocked, disturbed and curious to know more about who this character and her family were all about. LIZZIE is an astonishing mystery brought to life in so many ways.

Opening night offered a special backstage moment that Robert shot and Teri “enjoyed”.  Take a look below.

The story of the legendary ax murder is brought to a unique life in a West Coast premier of LIZZIE at Portland Center Stage. It will rock your world with the help of some amazing Portland musicians who are ready to kill it!

“Lizzie Borden took an axe….”

So opens the the infamous skipping-rope rhyme of the time. Some say it was created to help sell papers on this first tabloid story to take the country by storm. To this day it is a mystery unsolved. Do the creators of the musical have a take on what did happen?

Check out our video interviews AND enter for a chance to win a pair of tickets (see below)!

Lizzie Borden at Portland Center Stage

Mary Kate Morrissey as Lizzie Borden in “LIZZIE” at Portland Center Stage. Photo: Patrick Weishampel

First of a bit of background on the creative side of the rock-show retelling of the bloody legend of a Victorian hometown girl, Lizzie Borden. She inspired the jump-rope rhyme and TV movies of the week and lived out her life as America’s first infamous tabloid star. The creators of the musical told us the actual events, swirling backstories and written reports were so dramatic in and of themselves, the musical practically wrote itself!

LIZZIE features music and lyrics by Steven Cheslik-DeMeyer; books, lyrics, and additional music by Tim Maner; with music and additional lyrics by Alan Stevens Hewitt. The creators drew from the history of Lizzie Borden for inspiration and raw material, using actual dialogue from the infamous trials in the lyrics. LIZZIE is inspired by the great rock spectacles of the 70s (Ozzy Osbourne, Alice Cooper, Kiss) along with generations of women rockers (Grace Slick, Tina Turner, Heart, Patti Smith, Joan Jett, Wendy O. Williams, the Riot Grrls). LIZZIE’s sound owes less to Andrew Lloyd Webber and Stephen Sondheim, and more to Heart, Nirvana, Led Zeppelin, the Beatles, Radiohead and the Runaways.

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For more about LIZZIE, tickets, and showtimes go to  PORTLAND CENTER STAGE   And enjoy our conversation with Steven and Tim, below.

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