Lizzie Borden, the Christopher McGovern-Amy Powers musical that takes a whack at retelling the story of the infamous hatchet murder in 1892 Massachusetts, is expected to be a part of Goodspeed Musicals' Norma Terris Theatre season in 2001, according to industry sources.
A spokesperson at Goodspeed Musicals would not confirm the staging at the nonprofit's developmental space in Chester, CT, but said the season is expected to be announced in the coming weeks. Playbill On-Line has learned Bill Castellino, who directed and choreographed a previous staging of it, will shepherd the Chester mounting.
The prestigious Goodspeed is devoted to revivals and new works on its main stage, The Goodspeed Opera House, in East Haddam, CT, and new or newly-revised works at the smaller Norma Terris. Three new works are expected in Chester in 2001.
Lizzie Borden, with book and lyrics by Amy Powers and Christopher McGovern and music by McGovern, had a world premiere staging in fall 1998 y American Stage Company in Teaneck, NJ, with Alison Fraser in the title role.
* Lizzie Borden — the cast album — is available in stores now. The world premiere musical presented Oct. 28-Nov. 22, 1998, by the American Stage Company in Teaneck, NJ, was recorded Dec. 5, 1998, with the cast of the "work-in progress" show. Composer Christopher McGovern previously told Playbill On-Line Lizzie Borden was still looking for development opportunities at other theatres (and now the Goodspeed seems to be providing that).
The music is documented on a single disc on the Original Cast Records label. In Teaneck and on disc, Alison Fraser (Secret Garden, Romance Romance) played the most infamous resident of Fall River, MA, accused of killing her wealthy father and her stepmother.
The disc includes 16 tracks: "Prologue/Even for August," "Quiet Little Town," "Before the Tea Party/The House on the Hill," "First Tea Party," "Every Time I Look at You," "Buttons," "Fly Away," "The Maggie Work," "Another Dinner," "Fly Away (Reprise)/Hot," "The Trial of Lizzie Borden Unwinds," "Oh How Awful! Oh How Sad!," "Ever Since August," "So Easily," "I Cry Alone," "Murder Morning/Verdict/The House on the Hill (Reprise)."
McGovern also wrote The Ugly Duck for Theatreworks/USA, and is the resident composer/lyricist for Stages of Imagination in Philadelphia. He has also music directed throughout the country. Powers penned additional lyrics for Sunset Boulevard.
The sensational Borden case in Fall River, MA., has previously inspired the Jack Beeson opera, Lizzie Borden and Agnes DeMille's ballet, Fall River Legend. There is also another Lizzie Borden musical with an all-female casting concept, Frozen River, by composer-lyricist Danny Musha and librettist-lyricist Stephen Wallem. That show has had developmental readings in New York and Chicago.
For more Lizzie Borden information, visit http://members.aol.com/bearluvva/index.html.
— By Kenneth Jones