Written by 7:39 am Anaheim, Musical, Review, The Chance Theater, Uncategorized

Rockin’ Lizzie Borden : Lizzie The Musical @ Chance Theater – Review

Written by Patrick Chavis 

(All photos by Doug Catiller, True Image Studio)

“Lizzie Borden took an axe
And gave her mother forty whacks.
When she saw what she had done,
She gave her father forty-one.”  -anonymous

I had heard of Lizzie Borden before this production and previously listened to the folk rhyme I posted at the top of this article. However, that was the extent of my Lizzie Borden knowledge. While I know a little more now after watching the show, I wouldn’t say Lizzie the Musical is the place to satisfy your itch for accurate history. What I would say is this: unlike Rent, a rock musical with lots of theatricalities and some rock thrown in, the Lizzie production at the Chance Theater felt like a rock concert with a small dose of theatricality thrown in — but most importantly — it does ROCK!!!


The time was 1892, and Lizzie Borden was the prime suspect in the murder of her parents, who were reportedly killed in their home with an ax. Borden was famously acquitted of the murder, but that didn’t stop everyone from speculating whether she had done it. In Lizzie, we are transported to the Borden’s house and watch an interesting fantasy take on what may have happened if Lizzie did kill her parents.

The story goes in pretty short order, and plenty of gothic and macabre themes are tied in with all the characters, along with a relationship arc. We also hear many horror stories about the horrible treatment the sisters experienced in their family home while growing up. The characters sing about their struggles, but we don’t see that struggle. Because of that, the show lacks a sense of dramatic tension. Although I was getting pulled into the spectacle of everything and was enjoying the music, after a certain point, it felt like I was watching a concert — a well-themed, high-concept concert for sure — but a concert nonetheless.

While the lack of tension does not translate well in this production, this doesn’t take away from the entertainment value Lizzie the Musical possesses. Lizzie has a smorgasbord of fantastically arranged rock songs. The subgenres of grunge, goth, punk, and metal are interwoven into the musical numbers and reflected in the costuming, movement, and voice projection.

If the singing on the original cast recording is anything like the performances I heard at the Chance Theater, it must be amazing.


The backing band in this show, in combination with the four talented actresses/singers Lizzie Borden (Monika Pena), Alice Russell (Jisel Soleil Ayon), Bridget Sullivan (Nicole Gentile), and Emma Borden (Alli Rose Schynert), captivate your attention for the entire one hour and thirty minutes.

Nicole Gentile plays Borden’s maid, Bridget Sullivan, and she is incredible. She’s got the movement, the voice, and the way she delivered the “Do you want some breakfast?” line had me cracking up.

The costume design and set design were exceptional and elevated the material.

Lizzie the Musical at Chance Theater is a fun rock n roll extravaganza with loads of style.

Feb 1 – March 3, 2019

Very Good Show!
8.4 Overall
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Tags: , , , Last modified: December 14, 2022