LIZZIE : Resources for the press

by Steven Cheslik-DeMeyer, Tim Maner and Alan Stevens Hewitt
directed by Lisa Mallette
musical direction by Katie Coleman; choreography by Christine Herrera
July 13-Aug. 20, 2017: Thursday-Saturday at 8 p.m., Sundays at 2 p.m.
8 p.m. Wednesdays on Aug. 2, 9 and 16. Now extended to Aug. 27! New shows: 8 p.m. Fri.-Sat., Aug. 25-26; and 2 p.m. Sun., Aug. 27.
Download high-res photos. Scroll to the bottom of the page for info on past shows.
[image: Sharon Lita and Hayley Lovgren]

Has Lizzie Borden (Hayley Lovgren, right) found a lover or an alibi — or both — in her sensuous neighbor Alice (Sharon Lita)? Photo by Steve DiBartolomeo, taken at the Fallon House in San Jose.

LIZZIE makes her South Bay debut at City Lights Theater Company

“My name is Lizzie Andrew Borden. Not Elizabeth, Lizzie.
Andrew. After my father. I was so christened.
I am innocent. I leave it to my counsel to speak for me.”

SAN JOSE, CA (June 21, 2017) – “Lizzie Borden took an ax…” You know the children’s rhyme, but do you really know Lizzie’s story?

This summer, City Lights tells the tale with LIZZIE, a Goth-rock musical with a live band, coming to the South Bay for the first time. Written by Steven Cheslik-DeMeyer, Tim Maner and Alan Stevens Hewitt, the show takes its inspiration not only from the 19th century but also from Radiohead, Bikini Kill and late-’80s queer politics. The overall picture is one of revenge, sexual repression and ultimate release.

The show runs July 13-Aug. 20 at 529 S. Second St. in San Jose, with Lisa Mallette directing. Performances are Thursday-Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2, with three 8 p.m. Wednesday shows: Aug. 2, 9 and 16 (no show on July 16). For details and tickets, go to or call 408-295-4200.

LIZZIE debuted in New York in 1990 as “a four-song experimental theater-rock show hybrid,” as its original creators Maner and Cheslik-DeMeyer called it. Later, Stevens Hewitt came on board, and in 2009 the three-man creative team brought the fleshed-out LIZZIE to the The Living Theatre on the Lower East Side, where it earned three Drama Desk nominations.

With a few more songs and a new finale, LIZZIE got its own studio album in 2013. The show had a European premiere in Denmark (sung in Danish) in 2014, and a hit production at San Francisco’s Ray of Light Theatre in 2015. It’s earned many raves along the way. “Finally, a rock musical you’d wanna mosh to,” The Village Voice wrote. “An eerie hybrid of rock club and a turn-of-the-century New England parlor … deliciously watchable,” said The New York Times.

City Lights’ nonprofit partner for the show is History San Jose. Part of the proceeds will benefit HSJ, and HSJ curators are creating an exhibit for the theater back wall about dangerous California women of the 19th century. HSJ is also lending one of its venues, the historic Fallon House, for City Lights’ “Axes & Ohhhhs!” Aug. 5 fundraiser. This event features a dinner at the house (with a blood-orange ale brewed for the occasion), along with a LIZZIE performance and a post-show dance party at the theater.

Lizzie: Hayley Lovgren (Saratoga)
Emma: Amy Soriano-Palagi (Napa)
Bridget: Chloë Angst (Fremont)
Alice: Sharon Lita (Cupertino)

Sheila Townsend is understudying all four roles.

Lisa Mallette (Director) is in her 16th season at City Lights and 13th as executive artistic director. She has directed many CLTC shows, including The Elephant Man, West Side Story, Build, Amadeus, The Rocky Horror Show (2013), and the world premiere of Spacebar: A Broadway Play by Kyle Sugarman. Mallette has also appeared many times on the City Lights stage, in shows including Ideation, The Language Archive, August: Osage County and Dead Man Walking. A 2014 recipient of the Silicon Valley Creates Artist Laureate Award, she is a member of Theatre Bay Area’s board of directors and chair of its Theatre Services Committee. A native of San Francisco, she lives on the Peninsula with her two daughters.

Katie Coleman (Music Director) is a Bay Area native, graduate of University of the Pacific’s Conservatory of Music, and a newcomer to City Lights. Recent MD credits include [title of show], Assassins, and Bat Boy (Los Altos Stage Co.); Next to Normal (Jewel Theatre); Monty Python’s SPAMALOTChicago, Into The Woods, and …Hollywood/Ukraine (Palo Alto Players); and Funny Thing…Forum (Foothill Music Theatre). She has also played keyboard and rehearsal piano for Best of Broadway Under The Stars with Transcendence Theatre Company, as well as for Wicked and Lion King during their national-tour stops in SF.

Christine Herrera (Choreographer) began her career at 7 when she performed in San Jose Cleveland Ballet’s The Nutcracker, and in 2006 was chosen by Andrei Bossov to perform in Russia, creating the role for Fall in Bossov’s The Four Seasons. Christine has choreographed many Bay Area musicals, including City Lights’ 2016 run of Green Day’s American Idiot, and is a recipient of the Leigh Weimers Emerging Artists Award. At Los Gatos Ballet, she oversees the syllabus for Pre-ballet 1 through Level 2 classes and the Leaps and Bounds program, and manages the Youth Choreography Project.

Designers: Ron Gasparinetti (Scenic), Pat Tyler and Melissa Sanchez (Costumes), Nick Kumamoto (Lighting and Video), George Psarras (Sound Design), Miranda Whipple (Props).

Sponsors and Supporters: The Shubert Foundation, Silicon Valley Creates, Applied Materials Foundation, the City of San Jose Office of Cultural Affairs, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and many other individuals, corporations, and foundations.

City Lights’ 2017-18 season starts in September with Stupid Fucking Bird, a modern riff on Chekhov. It continues with the Jane Austen-esque holiday play Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley; the Civil Rights-era drama Alabama Story; Shakespeare’s controversial The Merchant of Venice; the romantic comedy The Siegel and the vibrant Lin-Manuel Miranda musical In the Heights. Details at


WHAT: The Goth-rock musical LIZZIE tells the tale of Lizzie Borden as you’ve never heard it: with a riot-girl attitude and a live band. Written by Steven Cheslik-deMeyer, Tim Maner and Alan Stevens Hewitt.

WHEN: July 13-Aug. 20, 2017
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 San Jose’s Cafe Stritch): Saturday, July 15, 8 p.m.
Showtimes: Thursday-Saturday, 8 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m.; and three 8 p.m. Wednesdays, on Aug. 2, 9 and 16. No performance on July 16.

WHERE: City Lights Theater Company, 529 S. Second St., San Jose, CA 95112

TICKETS: Tickets are $19-$44, with discounts for seniors (55+), students/educators, and groups (10+). (There is a $2 surcharge for phone and in-person buys.) Closing-weekend tickets are increased by $2.

INFO: For tickets and details, go to or call 408-295-4200. The theater is wheelchair-accessible.

PRESS: For press passes or more information, contact City Lights marketing director Rebecca Wallace at or 408-295-4200. High-res photos can be downloaded at


Press resources for past City Lights shows