What a wonderful day for Fall River with the newly- renovated Eagle’s building reopening as an arts and events center and the Fall River performance of Lizzie Borden Live. Fittingly, on the anniversary of Lizzie’s return to Fall River triumphant from her acquittal in the New Bedford court, Jill Dalton brings Lizzie home again.
The old Eagle restaurant, built to look like the interior of the elegant Fall River Line boats was the perfect venue for small stage theatre and Lizzie Borden Live in particular, which has an intimate rapport between actor and audience.
The Mayor and many other city officials were in attendence to support the event as well as the Mutton Eaters in costume as Borden-related characters who manned the trolleys, served hors d’oeuvres and chatted with playgoers.
The period architecture, polished and restored interiors and wonderful food by White’s restaurant were enjoyed by excited guests mingling on the mezzanine with special Lizzie cocktails created for the evening. Miss Dalton delivered an impeccable performance, filled with nuance and subtlety- richness and texture, which ran the gamut of emotions. At times the audience forgot to breathe, at times bursting forth with laughter and applause at little comments which Fall Riverites appreciated especially, as most are familiar with the Borden story.
All too soon it was over, the audience was thrust back into 2009. But for 80 magical minutes the Past came alive once more as we were all treated to a new perspective on Miss Lizzie Borden and her life at Maplecroft, and Fall River opened a new door to a brighter future for the arts in the city. Come August, the Eagle will once again host Lizzie Borden Live during the second week of August. Best wishes to the Eagle as they begin a bright new future, and continued success to Lizzie Borden Live, and Miss Dalton, wherever she and Miss Lizzie play. Orchids and kudos to the Donovan family for bringing back a real treasure on North Main Street and to Miss Dalton for revitalizing a Fall River legend of a different sort!