Lizzie {Opening Night with Portland Center Stage}

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Growing up, my parents always prioritized taking us to the theater.  Plays. Musicals. Ballets.  You name it, I have probably gone.  I've seen large productions on Broadway, enjoyed community theater, and, been amazed by the shows that move from city-to-city.  I even remember driving out to Portland and seeing The Phantom of the Opera.  I was young.  Under the age of 10.  Sarah and Steph were living with teenage emotions.  My sisters and I were monsters.  Monsters in a mini-van.  Let me tell you, that is a VERY long drive, and, the only TVs that cars came with were the clouds.  My parents are saints.  I presume they shall be canonized any day now.  Don't worry, I'll be sure to blog about the ceremony and me fan-girling Pope Frankie.

What was the point??  Oh, yes, I love, Love, LOVE going to the theater.

Well, last week I had the opportunity to go to the opening night of Lizzie at The Armory, and, I have to admit I have never seen a show like it.  It was a twist of history and rock music.  Throw in a love story, some really smart humor and a few very serious adult themes.  The result?  A musical about the infamous Lizzie Borden.

What I thought I knew!

Lizzie Borden killed her entire family with an ax via #FittyWhacks {Not really true}

This happened in the late 1800's. {Fact}

Lizzie was hung for her crimes. {Falsehood}

What did I learn??

Mr. Borden and his wife {Lizzie's Stepmother} were killed. Presumably by 40- and 41- whacks, respectively.  

{What 40-Whacks looks like}

Lizzie Borden was acquitted.  What does that mean?  Despite being found guilty by the general public, the courts said there was a shadow of a doubt, and, therefore she could not be found guilty. 

Lizzie lived for a very long time and managed a rather large fortune.   

Why go to the play and not just read the Wikipedia page on Miss Borden??

The cast of four ladies is beyond impressive!!!!!  Seriously, these women are bad asses!

The music!!  I don't think I have ever been to a musical and was unfamiliar with the songs beforehand.  I attended this event having never heard any of the tunes.  The original pieces are pretty fantastic.  This song is my favorite

{Bloggers Backstage}

The set design is amazing.  We had the opportunity to go backstage after the play and learn what it takes to put on the production every night.  These folks are really, really talented 

The first act of the play really sets the scene.  By the end of the first half I absolutely believed and understood Lizzie's mental state.  JUSTIFIED!!

{The Gorgeous Lobby}

The Armory is an absolutely stunning space!!

{Backstage; learning about how much work goes into each performance and how passionate they are about putting on an ethical show}

Portland Center Stage is a part of Actors' Equity.  What does that mean?  "Equity seeks to advance, promote and foster the art of live theater as an essential component of our society.  Equity neogiates wages and working conditions and provides a wide range of benefits, including health and pension plans, for its members."

Things to Know

{My friend Alex joined me for the evening}

There are some pretty heavy adult themes.  There is also a good amount of swearing.  Probably best to leave the kids at home for this one.  

{Things are about to get real!}

This isn't your typical musical.  Within the first ten minutes I knew things were going to get intense.  The first half of the play is pretty heavy.  The second half is the perfect ending, though!

There is a really great love story!!

Martha Chartreuse readers have been offered a really fantastic discount!!!  Go here to order tickets and use the code PDXBLOGS for $10 off each ticket!!! 

Check out other reviews here, here, over there and here.



  1. That is an awesome recap. And I totally agree on loving that song you linked - so fun!!

  2. I'm with you plays, musicals, ballets... I love them all. This one looks especially fun!

  3. oooh LOVE lizzie! ps: anaconda history, the maid, who was the only other person in the house (this may be a false fact, she might have just been on the scene...anyway) moved to anaconda and lived in the house on the corner of locust and 6th! we will do the walking tour soon! xoxo