A no-holds-barred rock musical about history’s most famous ax murders. Check out the video trailer below.
July 13-Aug. 20, 2017. Now extended! New shows at 8 p.m. Fri-Sat and 2 p.m. Sun., Aug. 25-27.
Music by Steven Cheslik-DeMeyer and Alan Stevens Hewitt.
Lyrics by Steven Cheslik-DeMeyer and Tim Maner; book by Tim Maner.
Additional music by Tim Maner; additional lyrics by Alan Stevens Hewitt.
Based on an original concept by Steven Cheslik-DeMeyer and Tim Maner.
Orchestrations by Alan Stevens Hewitt.
Why you should see LIZZIE
Because it tells the story of Lizzie Borden as you’ve never heard it before — with a rock attitude.
Because how cool is musical theater inspired by Grace Slick, Heart and late-’80s queer politics?
Because this is a rare sighting of Ms. Lizzie — our production is the South Bay premiere.
Because we’re rockin’ a live band: Katie Coleman on keyboard, Francisco Hernandez on guitar, Robin Snyder on cello & chimes, Andrew Lawrence on bass and Brietta Greger on drums.
Because this show has been a hit in San Francisco, Portland, London and Denmark. (One reviewer called the show “hårdkogt” and “energimættet.” Yep.)
“Lizzie Borden took an ax . . .” You know the children’s rhyme, but do you really know the story of Lizzie Borden? The Massachusetts spinster was put on trial for dispatching her parents with a hatchet in the summer of 1892, but was later acquitted of the crime. This rock musical with a riot-girl attitude tells the tale of Lizzie as you’ve never heard it before: a story of revenge, sexual repression, anger, despair and ultimate release.
What people are saying about our show
“This is one killer musical, and the City Lights cast totally slays it.” -Sam Hurwitt, The Mercury News
“City Lights Theater Company has a knack for picking interesting, timely, and downright fun stories to bring to the stage, and LIZZIE is no exception. All in all, LIZZIE is a dark, intense and acerbically funny exploration of the fine line between female empowerment and murder.” -Tad Malone, Metro
“Both transcending and fully indulging in the hype and speculation that have followed Borden more than a century after her acquittal.” -Lily Janiak, San Francisco Chronicle
“Spectacular unrestrained voices, underlined by a rocking band.” –Bright Lights of America: Insights from an Aussie expat
The show’s creators.
Immediately after graduating from NYU/Tisch/Playwrights Horizons, Tim founded tiny mythic theatre company, where LIZZIE began. A few years later, tiny mythic became the award-winning NYC arts center HERE. His producing/presenting history there spanned a decade and hundreds of productions. Tim has created over twenty original works as a writer and director. He is currently working on The Life & Hard Times of Hester Prynne, a new musical adaptation of The Scarlet Letter.
Steven has been telling stories for decades as a writer, songwriter, performer, and filmmaker, including the 1980s and 90s New York indie theater and music scenes, neo-vaudeville duo Y’all, and a feature documentary, Life in a Box. Current work: a new musical, The Life & Hard Times of Hester Prynne (adapted from The Scarlet Letter), and an autobiographical musical based on his high school diary and the life of Horatio Alger. Steven is a MacDowell Fellow.
Alan Stevens Hewitt
While procrastinating his piano practice as a child in Philadelphia, ASH used to devise elaborate funhouse rollercoasters. At a certain point he discovered girls and The Beatles. Meanwhile, oboist dad allowed him an electric bass as long as he also played the big bull fiddle in the orchestra. Adventures with both (and more) eventually led to NYC. Somewhere along the line he saw Sweeney Todd, Hedwig, and Berg’s operas, and got a degree in composition. For a brief period he co-owned a nightclub in Chelsea. He lives in a former livery house in the Hudson Valley and enjoys motorcycling.
More information and special events
LIZZIE runs July 13-Aug. 20, 2017. No performance July 16. The Aug. 5 show is part of our “Axes & Ohhhhs!” fundraising party — join us!
Showtimes: Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m., Sundays at 2 p.m., and three 8 p.m. Wednesdays (Aug. 2, 9 and 16).
Tickets: $19-$44. Discounts for seniors (55+), students, educators and groups of 10+. ($2 surcharge for phone and in-person purchases; closing weekend is also subject to a $2 increase.) Recommended for ages 14 and up due to strong language and adult themes. The run time is about 1 hour and 40 minutes, including a 15-minute intermission.
Parking and seating:
Parking is provided for $5 on most dates across the street at Notre Dame High School (call for availability for your performance). View an interactive parking map of downtown San Jose for more options. Seating is general admission, and the theater is wheelchair-accessible.
Pay What You Can Night: Thursday, July 13, 8 p.m.
$19 Preview Night: Friday, July 14, 8 p.m.
Opening Night (with a post-show party catered by Cafe Stritch) Saturday, July 15, 8 p.m.
Sunday, Aug. 6: A talkback with the cast following the 2 p.m. matinee.
Our nonprofit partner for this production is History San Jose. Check out the theater back wall for a fascinating exhibit about dangerous California women of the 19th century. Attend the Friday, July 28, performance to lend your support to HSJ; that night, we’ll donate 25% of the revenue from regular-priced single-ticket sales to the organization.