Lizzie Borden returns to Playhouse Square
It was a hot summer day in 1892 when Andrew Borden and his wife were brutally murdered with an ax in a small New England town. The prime suspect was Borden's 32-year-old daughter, Lizzie.
The punk-rock musical about the accused ax murderer heads to Playhouse Square this weekend, starring four music theater students from Baldwin Wallace University and directed by Victoria Bussert. Lizzie has become a passion project for Bussert in recent years, having staged it in Europe and Cleveland. Later this year she brings it to her hometown, Chicago.
Over the years Bussert's become quite the Lizzie Borden expert.
"I think I've read everything there is that's been published. So I can definitively say that I have no idea who did it," she jokes.
The trial gained national attention following Lizzie Borden's acquittal less than a year after the murders.
"One of the reasons the real Lizzie Borden was acquitted was that the 12-male jury said that a woman couldn't have done this," Bussert explains.
The gruesome double-murder takes on new meaning in this feminist production featuring music inspired by the underground punk-rock movement from the 1990's Riot Grrrls.
Bussert sees Lizzie as the perfect production for aspiring, female music-theater students.
"If I could I would program it every year at Baldwin Wallace. I love how it impacts actresses," Bussert admits.
Bussert first staged Lizzie in Playhouse Square five years ago and this production marks the 10th anniversary of Baldwin Wallace University staging musicals at Playhouse Square.
Lizzie is onstage at Playhouse Square's Ohio Theater April 28-30.
Listen to Dan Polletta's interview with Victoria Bussert Wednesday, April 26 at 12:33pm & 1:52pm during Here and Now featuring the Sound of Applause on 90.3.