Most of you probably know the nursery rhyme “Lizzie Borden took an Axe, Gave her mother forty whacks, when she saw what she had done, she gave her father 41.” And it is something you can hear again and again on this rock musical concept album. This two disc set is a re-imagining of the Lizzie Borden Murders and Trial, we journey through Lizzie’s turbulent and abusive home life with her father and stepmother. Her close bond to her sister Emma, and her neighbor turned lover Alice. And learn how all of this leads up to the eventual axe-murder of her father and stepmother.
The show begins with a hauntingly creepy rendition of the classic rhyme “Forty Whacks”, which includes children giggling and singing. It was truly haunting to hear because it was so familiar to the ear already. And we have to appreciate that the writers didn’t try to shy away from the Rhyme that we all know, instead they embraced it and book ended the show with the haunting tune.
(Carrie Manolakos- Lizzie Borden)
One of the best parts of this album is that it seriously showcases women in the rock genre. Rock has been a huge trend for Broadway in the past few years, but Carrie Manolakos and Storm Large are rock GODDESSES. They are melt your face off rockers, like in “Gotta Get Out Of Here”, where Manolakos’ initial wail of the title lyric is enough to make any usual theatre goer want to head bang. But they can turn on a dime and sing a lovely and frightening ballad like “This Is Not Love”, which Manolakos sings about her incestuous relationship with her father.
(Storm Large- Emma Borden)
Ryah Nixon can keep up with these rocker ladies, and seriously kill a ballad. From “If You Knew” we see Nixon as a sweet songstress as she sings of hidden love. But later in the act when we get to “Will You Stay?” we really hear her vocal range, which is incredible. And although the song has some interesting lyrics which compare the two lovers to a pear and a rose, the song really gave Nixon room to shine, and may just be one of our favorites off the album because of it.
(Ryah Nixon- Alice Russell)
“Burn The Old Thing Up” really showcased the Borden sisters with gorgeous harmonies, it really gave them quiet moments to shine through and the women just truly sounded gorgeous through out it. And another amazing song that showcased these women as a group was “Questions Questions”, where we really got to see how strong these women could be as a unit, while completely contrasting the chaos the the story is falling into.
(Carrie Cimma- Bridget “Maggie”)
Overall the album was exciting to listen to with the heavy rock drums and electric guitar, and it is refreshing to listen to a story about four women, and really see that an all female cast can truly succeed in carrying a dark and fascinating story all on their own. It’s hard to find all female casts in general, especially one that is this incredibly powerful.
LIZZIE was created by Steven Cheslik-DeMeyer, Tim Maner, and Alan Stevens Hewitt. The album was engineered by Anthony “Rocky” Gallo, who has worked with John Legend, Norah Jones, Jon Bon Jovi, and many others. And the album was mastered by Dave McNair who mastered David Bowie’s album The Next Day.
If you want to learn more about LIZZIE the Musical check it out on the web: www.lizziethemusical.com
On Facebook: www.facebook.com/lizziemusical
On Twitter: @LizzieMusical