Way back in 2015, local musical theater company Ray of Light Theatre put on a well received production of Lizzie: The Musical, a rock opera based on the story of notorious family-murderer Lizzie Borden that has yet to see a New York premiere despite almost opening off-Broadway two years ago.
Now, in a fundraising effort — as well as an effort to give audiences another chance to see the production — Ray of Light Theatre is screening a filmed version of that 2015 production tonight (January 21), and you can buy tickets here for $25. The screening begins at 6 p.m., and it will feature appearances by original cast members, as well as a Q&A with the creative team of Steven Cheslik-DeMeyer (composer/lyricist), Alan Stevens Hewitt (composer/orchestrator), and Tim Maner (lyricist/bookwriter).
Lizzie originated as a student production in Cleveland, Ohio, that moved to Playhouse Square’s 14th Street Theatre in Cleveland in 2012. Director Victoria Bussert, who’s the head of the musical theater department at Ohio’s Baldwin Wallace University, then took the show on tour in Denmark, London, and Chicago, but a 2019 off-Broadway production in New York was scrapped due to “unforeseen circumstances,” as Deadline reported. There had also been plans to bring Lizzie to Broadway by 2020.
The musical tells the story of Borden, who was tried and acquitted for axe-murdering her father and stepmother in 1892 in Fall River, Massachusetts. A 1984 novel called Lizzie suggested that Borden was having a lesbian affair with the family’s maid, Bridget “Maggie” Sullivan, which then led to the murders when the stepmother discovered the affair — and this appears to have formed part of the musical’s plot as well.
The Ray of Light production starred Jessica Coker, Elizabeth Curtis, and Melissa Reinertson, who will all take part in the stream tonight, hosted by Broadway star and Ray of Light alum James Monroe Iglehart (Broadway’s Aladdin, Hamilton).
Below, the trailer for the Ray of Light event, which starts at 6.