The Ax and the Whacks

Mix 80s feminist and queer politics with blood, murder, goth rock and four talented female belters and you get Lizzie the musical, based on a well known bit of American history and mythology. It gets off to a spirited start with the familiar nursery rhyme and takes flight with all the trappings of a full blown rock extravaganza – wild lights and loud, hard hitting musical numbers. The namesake of this gory little treat, Lizzie Borden, is portrayed as defiantly struggling against the many injustices and hardships women of her time were subjected to. And though she has to suffer through being considered a pariah, she emerges from the ordeal of her trial for murder victorious. There are tender moments that revolve around a lesbian liaison with one of the 4 women in the play that stands in for rumored relationships she had after she was exhonerated. We’ll never know for sure if she actually did take an ax to her stepmother and father, but there are plenty of reasons why she would have wanted to. A crackling Out of the Box Theatre Company production.