“Lizzie” on stage at TUTS Underground through Sunday

By Your Houston News

TUTS Underground features the rock maven quartet to stage TUTS Underground’s season opener and “killer” rock musical Lizzie. Carrie Manolakos, Carrie Cimma, Natalie Charle Ellis and Courtney Markowitz headline the blood soaked retelling of the legend of Victorian girl and leading double murder suspect Lizzie Borden. The show runs Oct. 10 – 20 in Hobby Center’s Zilkha Hall.

Playing the titular axe-wielding character, Carrie Manolakos hails from Broadway’s Mamma Mia and the national tour of Wicked. Joining her on stage is Carrie Cimma as Bridget, the Borden Family maid. Cimma counts Sweeney Todd, The Wedding Singer, Oliver! and The Full Monty among her national tours. Both women have played in the previous workshops of Lizzie, which earned Cimma a Drama Desk Award nomination.

Partnering with them on stage will be Natalie Charle Ellis as Lizzie’s sister Emma and Courtney Markowitz as Alice, the neighbor. Ellis previously played in the national tour of 9 to 5: The Musical and brings extended off-Broadway and regional theatre experience. Markowitz played on Broadway in Jekyll & Hyde and was last seen at TUTS in the national tour of the same thriller. She also played in the national tour of Spring Awakening.

Directing the show is Kent Nicholson. He received critical acclaim for his regional productions of Grey Gardens and Long Story Short, and he currently serves as the director of musical theater and literary associate at Playwrights Horizons in New York. Serving as musical director and conductor will be Jim Vukovich, who last worked with TUTS during Beehive – The 60s Musical and Whistle Down The Wind. He also served as the musical director for Broadway’s The Wedding Singer.

Additional creative team members include costume designer Lisa Zinni, set designer John Farrell, sound designer Andrew Harper and lighting designer Jack Jacobs. Adding dramatic flare to the production will be projection designer Joe McGuire, whose work in the show will literally light up the stage with something new and different for the Houston theatre scene – all the scenery will be projected.

Based on an original concept by Steven Cheslik-deMeyer and Tim Maner, Lizzie features a book by Maner. Music is by Cheslik-deMeyer and Alan Stevens Hewitt, lyrics by Cheslik-DeMeyer and Tim Maner, with additional music by Maner and orchestrations and additional lyrics by Hewitt.

Tickets (starting at only $24) are available on-line at TUTSUnderground.com, by phone at (713) 558-TUTS (8887), outside the Houston area at (888) 558-3882, or in person at the Theatre Under The Stars Box Office, located at 800 Bagby at Walker, Monday – Friday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., and Saturday – Sunday 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Special offers are available for groups of 10 or more by calling (713) 558-8888 or via email at groupsales@tuts.com.
Lizzie is generously sponsored by Berg & Androphy and TUTS’ Leading Ladies. The TUTS Underground series is made possible through support from the Albert and Ethel Herzstein Charitable Foundation and United Airlines.

The Underground series is a new venture and legacy for TUTS, Houston’s largest nonprofit musical theatre company. Forged from the guidelines of “No revivals – No dead authors – No boundaries,” TUTS Underground features productions that are edgy, captivating and occasionally a bit risqué.

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