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Congratulations to cast and  support crew on a great effort and performance this year!

Logan Livesey will be a first-time cast member in 2010 although he is no stranger to the Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast Museum.  Logan has worked as part time chef and primary housekeeper for nearly two years.    Some who frequent the King Richard Faire in Carver, Massachusetts may recognize Logan from years gone by where he was a costumed medieval re-enactor with his mom, also once an employee at the Lizzie B&B who once played Borden friend, Alice Russell.

Logan enjoys the work at the house, which requires some muscles to lift the weekly tons of laundry down to the cellar laundry room.  The worst part of the housekeeper’s job- folding all the sheets!  The cooking takes some getting used to, especially pacifying the old black cast iron stove.  

As for all the paranormal focus on the house in recent years, Logan says, “ Some rooms have a certain feeling , as if someone did not want you around- a sort of feeling of foreboding.”

If he could be one person in the house on the day of the murders, it would not be a person at all.

“I would love to be a fly on the wall- or maybe on Lizzie’s shoulder!” 

As to the guilty party, Logan has no hesitation- “Lizzie did it- no other and no accomplice. Bridget had no motive and Lizzie had everything to gain.  Plus she was on the spot.  I think Andrew was respectable, but not likeable, and very hard in his business dealings.  Age and life affected him..”

As to whether Andrew deserved what he got- “ Hard to say- it was a bad end.  But in the end, nobody was worse off for his demise- and two were better off!”

Logan is Fall River born and raised and will play the part of Andrew Borden (under the sheet).  The hardest part “will be staying perfectly still on a very uncomfortable sofa.”

Some of our cast will be appearing at the Fall River Public Library on Tuesday, August 3rd at 6:30 for a special reading by Richard Behrens from the new Lizzie Borden: Girl Detective!

Lizzie Borden:  Lorraine Gregoire

Detective Seaver  Ben Rose
Abby Borden:   Shelley Dziedzic  (flat on the floor)
Andrew Borden: Logan Livsey (under the sheet)
Bridget Sullivan  Kathleen Troost-Cramer
Emma Borden:  Barbara Morrissey
Addie Churchill:  JoAnne Giovino
Alice Russell:     Kristin Pepe
Uncle John:  Joe Radza
Officer Medley:   Justin Dunne
Miss Manning from the Herald:   Molly O’Brien
“Cub reporter and Girl Detective” from the Herald, and Miss Manning’s assistant: Kathryn Woods
The Distinguished Undertaker Winward:  Michael Brooks
Officer Harrington:  Will Clawson
Marshall Hilliard;  Ray Mitchell

 

Book Reading

Tuesday, August 3rd, 6:30-7:30pm

FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

 Author Richard Behrens

will be presenting a reading from his latest book

Lizzie Borden: Girl Detective

PLUS:  A visit from 

The Pear Essential Players

The reenactment group from the Lizzie Borden B&B including :

 Marshal Hilliard, Miss Lizzie Borden, Mrs. Churchill, Alice Russell,  Abby Borden, Uncle John Morse, Officer Phil Harrington and Miss Nellie Drew (Girl Detective Reporter for the Herald)

 

Fall River Public Library

104 North Main Street,

Fall River, MA

Main meeting room, basement

Light refreshments will be served

As the date for the annual re-enactment at the Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast approaches, a few new members will be joining the cast for 2010.  Over the next couple of weeks, more about this year’s cast, costuming and script will appear.  Stop by and visit often!

Presenting Miss Manning- Molly O’Brien!

Good things do come in small packages. The petite Molly O’Brien joins our cast this year in the “imagined” role of Miss Manning, reporter from the Fall River Herald.  Molly has some serious acting chops and costuming credits for a young ingénue!  Arriving at the Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast in October of 2009, she has become a welcome addition to the staff of daytime tour guides with her bubbling enthusiasm for the case, and cheerful presence. Molly’s character will be a take-off on the real Mr. Manning, who, after a timely call from passerby John Cunningham, arrived at the Borden house soon after the discovery of Andrew Borden’s body on August 4, 1892.  “Miss Manning” will be interviewing Lizzie’s Uncle John Morse, hoping for a “scoop”.

“Lizzie did it.  She was in the right place, had the time, and most of all- she had the best motive.  But I think Bridget saw and knew something about it all,” said Molly on the topic of whodunnit.

If Molly could be one person on the fateful day, it would be Alice Russell, who was in a position to observe everything as she stayed at the Borden house after the maid quit on Friday. The weapon, she feels, was the hatchet later found on the top of Crowe’s barn and was the weapon for both homicides.

On the topic of whether or not Lizzie Borden deserves any sympathy for her life after the acquittal Molly believes, “If you are convinced she did it, she deserves none- nobody should have to die the way the Bordens did.”  Molly was inducted this past April into the Noble Order of Mutton Eaters and is a member of the Second Street Irregulars. Uncle John will not be able to resist the charms of Miss Manning!

cast

Some candid photos from the camera of Barbara Morrissey (Emma Borden), at the Borden House, Oak Grove Cemetery and Maplecroft on August 4, 2009.

cannoodling

Joe Madza’ s just too nice a guy to be playing old Uncle John, Lizzie Borden’s so-called peculiar relative.  John, who stayed in the guest room where Abby Borden would be murdered the next day has always been a somewhat sinister personality. Many think John knew about the murders, helped to plan and assist the assailant, or maybe even had a hand in it himself!  His alibis were nearly too perfect.  The only thing not clear was a motive.

pearbwJoe ‘s interest in the case began with a vengeance after viewing the 1975 Elizabeth Montgomery television film when he was a college freshman. “I was both admiring and appalled at the same time that a woman could do such a thing.”  Many applaud Lizzie’s grit in getting what she wanted and then soothe their conscience by saying the elderly Bordens were not nice and probably deserved what they got!  “We have to somehow justify approving of murder,” Joe says sheepishly.

The Victorian and Egyptian eras have a great resonance for Joe- and he wonders if reincarnation is so far-fetched.  “I felt right at home the first time I stepped into the Borden House- I had come home again.” 

When asked whose eyes he would have liked to have been looking through on the day of the murders, he responded immediately,

“Addie Churchill’s!  She was the very first on the scene, and she saw something important that day- something she would not tell.  It must have been an eyeful because she never told what it was”.

As to the killer, Joe has no doubt it was Lizzie- all the way, and solo-although others in the house and neighbors on the street knew more than they were willing to tell about the situation in the family and what they saw and heard that day.  Joe also agrees with the theory that Abby was the intended victim and Andrew was just unfortunate in coming home at the wrong time before Lizzie could concoct a reasonable alibi for the time of Abby’s murder. 

 “His was a killing of self-preservation for Lizzie- because who would have known better who could have killed Mrs. Borden and why?”

Joe has researched his character inside and out for his portrayal Tuesday.

“I don’t like Morse- I don’t think he was a very lovable man or a nice one,” Joe admits candidly. “He did not seem surprised at Abby’s death, and his behavior watching and taking it all in while eating pears under the trees in the back yard seems unnatural behavior”.

 But the chance to don a fake gray beard and look “peculiar” and sinister under the pear trees was a role too good to miss!  When Joe is not time traveling to 1892, he is an eighth grade teacher in Warren, Ohio teaching science and gifted students.  I’d bet he’s a favorite with the kids!

It hardly seems possible that August 4th is just around the corner again.   Rehearsals for this year’s production will take place on August 3rd, and new cast members will be learning the ropes.  This year we welcome Joe Razda of Warren, Ohio as Uncle John.  Joe comes out to Fall River for a week every year and this year will be the first character visitors will meet on August 4th.  Uncle John’s alibi was that he had been in the eastern part of the city visiting relatives at the Emery house on Weybossett St.  Joe has ordered a real hair fake beard and John’s signature gray sack suit and string tie for the occasion.

Also new to the August 4th cast this year is Ellen Borden, sister of Barbara Morrissey (our annual Miss Emma). The sisters are relatives of Lizzie through the Cook Borden line.  Ellen recently appeared with the Mutton Eaters as Dr. Bowen’s wife, Phoebe at the June 20th performance of Lizzie Borden Live at the Eagle.

Ellen and Barbara Borden

Phoebe Bowen

Check back daily for news on the production and cast members as we start the one -week countdown to the annual event!

Barbara Borden Morrissey as Emma and JoAnne Giovino as Mrs. Churchill

George Burns had his Gracie, Lucy had Ethel, Abbot had Costello, and the P.E.P. has been blessed with the dynamic duo of Barbara and JoAnne, proof  that great things often come in pairs.  The gals have been best pals for over two decades and have been frequent visitors over the years to the Lizzie Borden B&B, with both being regular guests every August 4th since the house was opened.  In years gone by, Barbara’s mother, Mrs. Lucy Borden, a decendant of Lizzie’s great uncle Cook Borden, was a regular August 4th guest at the house.  “Jo Jo and BoBo” are the leavening which makes any skit “rise” and after years playing various Borden case characters, their familiarity with the case makes for brilliant on -the- spot ad libbing which is always a crowd pleaser.  Their combined high energy and grasp of the Victorian era, as well as an instant rapport with the audience bring out the best in any cast.  Every performance is as fresh as the first, and every year an anticipation of what new twists the pair will bring.  “Lady Barbara” and JoAnne are both enthusiastic members of the Second Street Irregulars and dedicated Mutton Eaters whose annual desserts at meetings are always a revelation!  If the “Game is Afoot”, you can be sure these gals will be first out the door, dressed to the nines and leading the pack with all the fire usually attributed to redheads !

Recently, in an interview, Barbara had this to say about herself:

“No I have never done any acting unless you consider being a town meeting member for 24+years counts.  I was born in Fall River at St. Anne’s Hospital. My regular job is grandmother,wife and friend,and I love my job. I love to read mysteries (especially about Lizzie); gardening,travel and politics fascinate me. I do believe the only person with the opportunity and motivation was Lizzie.She and Emma had the most to gain,in fact the only ones who would gain anything if Mrs.B was gone. I think that is one reason why my family never talked about her, our family black sheep.”

JoAnne as Mrs. Churchill with “Dr. Dolan”, Ted Gregoire.

A few words from Mrs. Churchill herself-

“Anyhow….. I was born in Lynn,Ma. A big city similar to FR. It was know as the shoe capital and had several shoe factories. It was quite the city in the 50’s. Unfortunately, as FR it has taken a down turn. I saw it happening once big malls were developed. Downtown disappeared!
 
I graduated from Salem State College with a degree in elementary education. Right after graduation , I married  and moved to Dedam and then Saugus where I was a permanent substitute teacher. What a job…yuck! I have two daughters, Katelyn and Leslie Anne. Later my husband and I owned and operated our own business. He did the work and I spent the money. He is now retired. I went to Woodstock in 1969….groovy man. I was one of the few who actually bought a three day ticket. I went with my two best friends at the time. I have some great memories. as a matter of fact, My husband and I last year were up around that way and I had him stop at the site. of course it has changed but in my eye it was 1969. I shed a couple of tears.
 
I moved to Billerica and met Barbara 25 years ago and have been best friends like sisters really ever since. We have a great time no matter what we do but Lizzie is by far one of our most cherished things. I am  the chairman of the Billerica Conservation Commission . We review and condition development that impacts wetlands, floodplain, rivers etc. I was recognized by the premier state organization of conservation commissions, The Massachsetts Association of Conservation commissions and was named Conservation Commissioner of the year a few years ago. Also I was awarded an environmental award for my volunteerism and achievements from the federal goverment in 2003. I love to read, especially mysteries. Thanks to the Mutton Eaters, I have discovered Sherlock Holmes.I have a wild imagination (dressing little sheep in period costume!) and I never want to grow up.”

Ladies, take a bow!

Lambie Winner 2009 Best Actor Joe Radza as John Morse

Cast 2009

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