Truly superb . . . the script is fascinating. Jill Dalton is an astonishingly talented actress–she changes her mood and characters in a split second. The play should get the Pulitzer.
Charles Alexander, writer Time Magazine
LIZZIE BORDEN LIVE!
a solo play
Written and performed by Jill Dalton
Directed by Jack McCullough
Music by Larry Hochman (Tony/Emmy winner)
LIZZIE BORDEN LIVE! was commissioned by the East Lynne Theatre Company in Cape May, NJ. It premiered on August 1st 2007 for a successful five-week run garnering stellar reviews and standing ovations.
Ms. Dalton received
THE JACOBY AWARD
THE CAPE MAY GAZETTE, January 17, 2008
CAPE MAY THEATER COMPANY, CAPE MAY, NJ (2007)
Dalton enacts a Lizzie such as never before been portrayed anywhere in stage, screen or literature. Her accomplishment may be by far the most accurate, the most thoroughly researched, and the most brilliantly complex Lizzie created for dramatic purposes.
Richard Behrens, The Hatchet: A Journal of Lizzie Borden and Victorian Studies
Dalton runs the gamut of emotions in the play from a supposedly mild Christian woman to that of a ruthless murderer.
Jacob Schaad, Jr, Cape May Gazette
Dalton is nothing less than superb in her depiction of the character, as her Lizzie is alternating sweet, innocent, witty, and savagely murderous. The audience is left to decide which Lizzie is the real one.
Ed Wismer, Cape May Star and Wave
CANYON MOON THEATRE, SEDONA AZ. (Oct. 2008)
Lizzie goes to Sedona!
Dalton gives a performance enacting the humanity, humor irony, and sadness of a woman who’s had time to reflect on horrific events.
Susan Johnson, Red Rock News
I loved Sedona. The land of red rocks, vortexes, and magical sunsets.
People come to see Lizzie expecting to find a monster and instead they find themselves.
Jack McCullough, director Lizzie Borden Live!
Haunting the performance is music written by Tony and Emmy-award winning orchestrator and composer, Larry Hochman…
Susan Johnson, Red Rock News
And special thanks to the talented and generous photographer, Gene Egan, who took these amazing photos of Lizzie, and gave them to me out of the kindness of his heart. They served me well.
THE COLUMBUS THEATRE, Providence, RI (Nov. 2008)
Next Lizzie travels to Providence, RI. A mere ten miles from where the murders took place in Fall River, MA.
With a masterful, sometimes humorous, and always compelling portrayal, Miss Dalton has taken the two-dimensional picture most of us have of Lizzie Borden and fleshed her out into a living, breathing, complex human being–sometimes frightening–sometimes sympathetic. The audience was spellbound – and all too soon it was over. This is one not to miss.
Shelly Dziedzic, Lizzie Borden: Warps and Wefts
Since the November shows had sold out we decided to come back to the Columbus in time for the Ides of March. Unfortunately, the global financial collapse had just occurred. We did okay, but people were really afraid to spend any money.
THE COLUMBUS THEATRE, Providence, RI (March 2009)
EAGLE PERFORMING ARTS CENTER, Fall River, MA 2009
LIZZIE BORDEN LIVE!
comes home to Fall River.
Jill Dalton, who plays Lizzie and wrote the play stunned audiences members with her delivery, which featured many laughs, many somber notes and a compelling tragedy.
Rick Oliveira, OJornal
Mayor Robert Correia praised the play saying it was powerful and exceptionally performed.
Rick Oliveira, OJornal
One of the things I love about theater is it’s a collaborative art and we need each other to make it happen.
Thank you to the Mutton Eaters who milled about before our shows in Providence and Fall River as characters in the story. They added another dimension to the show.
And a special note of gratitude goes to my friend, Richard Behrens, who is heartbreakingly no longer with us. He was such an amazing person and loved Lizzie Borden Live. He gave of his time, energy, and expertise in so many ways. He video taped the show more than once, took photos, wrote an in-depth article in “The Hatchet,” did a podcast about Lizzie and interviewed me twice for it, and even created a website for Lizzie Borden Live with Stefani Koorey, .
And how can I ever thank Stefani Koorey for all she did and continues to do. She built the website with Richard, promoted Lizzie Borden Live at every turn, and generously gave of her time, knowledge, and insights about the life and times of Lizzie Borden. She is a true marvel.
And thank you to Kristee Bates the former owner of Maplecroft who restored Lizzie’s home to it’s opulent self with such love and care and for her generosity of spirit and love of Lizzie Borden Live.
Lee-ann Wilber and Donald Woods who own 92 Second Street and now Maplecroft as well for being so generous with allowing Jack and I to explore the premises and spend time there. And Shelly Dziedzic for all her support and love of Lizzie Borden Live!
Also Michael Martins and Dennis Binette from the Fall River Historical Society who were more than happy to share their expertise on Lizzie.
And then there’s John Boomer who did our amazing lighting design and ran the shows for us in Providence, Fall River, and elsewhere.
And of course, Jack McCullough, my friend and partner in crime who directed the piece. Jack would always say, “I’m merely here to observe and suggest, observe and suggest.” But he did so much more than that. Jack loved Lizzie. He built and designed sets, took photos, did research, did interviews, publicity, had her new wardrobe built. He is a force of nature and Lizzie would not have been Lizzie without him. He always said, “People come expecting to find a monster, but instead they find themselves.”
Many thanks to everyone who helped us and supported us along the way. I am truly grateful.
So much love and research went into writing and telling Lizzie’s story. I didn’t want to objectify her. That’s been done to death. I wanted to understand her story and tell it from her point of view. I read the entire trial transcript twice. I read as much original source material as I could get my hands on. I wasn’t interested in other people’s theories of what happened. I used the actual words that people spoke during the trial. Lizzie, however, didn’t speak at her trial except to say,
I am innocent. I leave it to my counsel to speak for me.
So I wanted to give Lizzie her day in court. I wanted her to tell her side of the story and I used humor because like Richard Pryor said,
Tragedy plus timing equals comedy.
LIZZIE BORDEN LIVE! returns to Fall River.
BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND!
NOW WE PAUSE FOR A 7 YEAR INTERMISSION . . .
Maplecroft was purchased and returned to its original splendor by Kristee Bates. I had the honor to see the home before it was to be reopened to the public.
Resurrecting LIZZIE BORDEN LIVE!
Polaris North, NYC (2016)
Hanging with these amazing women. Stefani Koorey (L) and Kristen Bates (R). So much gratitude for all their support.
“Lizzie Borden Live, a one-woman show” Feature Article in The Hatchet: A Journal of Lizzie Borden and Victorian Studies written by Richard Behrens c. 2007