UPDATE: Due to inclement weather this event will be postponed until Friday, October 4. To kick off their all-new TUTS Underground, Theatre Under the Stars (TUTS) is infiltrating H-E-B's Food Truck Friday with a sneak preview of the upcoming Underground show, Lizzie. If you are in the mood for some bloody entertainment, head over to the H-E-B on Alabama today between 5 and 9 p.m.
Lizzie is a new-ish musical based on the story of Lizzie Borden, who in 1892 was tried for the heinous ax-murders of her father and stepmother. Although Borden was acquitted, she became something of a celebrity, and gossip surrounds her tale even today. TUTS Underground is producing the regional premiere of the musical, which opens October 10.
We chatted with TUTS' Artistic Director Bruce Lumpkin about their infiltration of "Food Truck Friday" and why society is still so gripped with this tale of gore.
Art Attack: OK, so "Food Truck Friday" and musical theater - why is this a good combination? Sing for your supper so to speak?
Bruce Lumpkin: With TUTS Underground, we're really trying to get down to the grassroots level and find ways to connect with people who might not be the traditional theatergoer. Whether it's Lizzie or Murder Ballad or Hands on a Hardbody, there is a part of the upcoming TUTS Underground series that is going to speak to people, and we're looking for unexpected yet impressionable ways to get the word out about this new and exciting offering to people who might not know about us yet. Thus, when someone from the TUTS team mentioned the possibility of a performance during "Food Truck Friday," we thought this would fit the bill perfectly. Who knows where we'll pop up next...just be prepared to expect the unexpected!
AA: Will we be too grossed out to want to eat anything?
BL: If anything, it'll leave you hungry for more! Well, hungry for more TUTS Underground at least. But in all seriousness, the performance won't be anything that will gross out the audience. The goal of this performance is to give people a taste of what they can expect at the show once it begins its run at TUTS Underground. We'll have characters in what I like to call Victorian-era Punk outfits who will remain in character and perform a few selections from the musical. It's going to be a lot of fun!
AA: How many songs can we expect to see? And how long will the event last roughly?
BL: Although "Food Truck Friday" will last from 5 - 9 p.m., the Lizzie "sneak peek" portion of the evening will last for about 15-20 minutes, so be sure to arrive early, and don't forget to save time for parking. Our Lizzie "sneak peek" will start at 7 p.m. sharp.
AA: OK, weird question, what if I just happen to have some Victorian era-appropriate threads; should I dress up for this event? I'm asking for a friend of course.
BL: Why not? Go ahead and dress up! Take plenty of photos of yourself at the event, too, and post them to Facebook, Twitter, or whatever other social media outlet suits your fancy! This event is meant to be fun, so dress up or dress down - just don't miss it!
AA: When we think Lizzie Borden, we think ax to the brain, blood and guts, eye balls split in two, you know, that sort of thing. So is the "Food Truck Friday" event OK for the kiddos?
BL: This event is taking place at a family establishment, so we haven't planned anything that will necessitate the kiddos to talk to a therapist. It's just a preview of what folks can expect at the show once it starts its run at TUTS Underground. But don't mistake it for boring or sugar-coated - it promises to be a thrilling preview of the show.
AA: What do you think makes the Lizzie story so enthralling even in today's society when we've become somewhat desensitized to violence?
BL: We've seen the "story" of Lizzie played out so many times in the media. "Did she or didn't she?" is the question we've seen debated time and time again in some of the most galvanizing trials known to modern society. And even though we have seen iterations of this story before, it seems that we just can't get enough! With Lizzie, it's more than just the story that people are going to find exciting. People will of course connect with the story, and they'll also connect with the style of music, the experience of the live rock band on stage, the costumes, the dazzling projections, and the overall experience of TUTS Underground.
TUTS Underground's preview of Lizzie will take place today, September 20 at 7 p.m. during H-E-B's "Food Truck Friday," with the entire event running from 5 to 9 p.m. For more information visit tutsunderground.com