Stage

Lizzie Promises to be a Killer Rock Musical

Her knees take a beating like any other rock musician, but other than that actress Carrie Cimma says her role of the house maid in Lizzie is perfect for her. "It's sort of like the role that no one wrote for me but they should have," she says laughing.

When her agent called her and told her the part called for her to take on a character who was "mean and spiteful, with the character of a junkyard dog," Cimma was all in.

Anyone who has ever heard the rhyme "Lizzie Borden took an axe and gave her mother forty whacks. When she saw what she had done, she gave her father forty-one" has the essence of the story that Theatre Under the Stars has used to launch its new TUTS Underground series. The story is set in the 19th Century but the music is all modern rock.

And it's told from the perspective of Lizzie, her sister, the maid and a female neighbor.

"She completely butchered her stepmother and father in 1892 and got away with it because she hired very expensive attorneys," says Cimma matter of factly. But by the end, she promises, you'll find yourself rooting for axe-wielder as the good guy.

"She makes these choices that are not particularly moral or agreeable. You sort of come around and you really understand," Cimma, an NYU graduate says.

Explaining why people should go see it, Cimma says: "It rocks first of all. And it's really a story about the underdog. It's a story about a woman who was abused and then did a completely despicable thing but you sort of get on her side."

She also points out that Carrie Manolakos who sings the title role (Broadway's Mamma Mia, national tour of Wicked) "is amazing. You've never heard anyone sing the way this woman sings."

Live out this "sweet, wicked, justified vindication." October 10-21. Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays, 5 p.m. And 9:30 p.m. Saturdays, and 3 p.m. Sundays. Hobby Center's Zilkha Hall. For information call 713-558-8887 or visit TUTSUnderground.com. $24 - $125.

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Margaret Downing is the editor-in-chief who oversees the Houston Press newsroom and its online publication. She frequently writes on a wide range of subjects.
Contact: Margaret Downing