• Dr. Kelly and Family resurface

    KellyfamilyDr. Kelly, the Irish pediatrician who lived with his family in the house next door to the Bordens, has been discussed here many times, with an article about him to be found above (see header). This year the Pear Essential Players who perform once a year at the Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast debuted a new role, that of Caroline Cantwell Kelly, Dr. Kelly’s wife who was probably the last, except for the killer to see Mr. Borden alive as she hurried down the street to a dentist appointment around 10:45 on the morning of the murders. Caroline, (called Carrie by family) and her mother, Mrs. Cantwell spent the afternoon of August 4th behind locked doors as policemen flooded the neighborhood looking for clues. Dr. Kelly was away and the ladies were terrified.

    Today Warps and Wefts is happy to finally obtain a photo of Mrs. Kelly, courtesy of the Cantwell family and an article detailing her wedding at St. Mary’s church which is located just across the street from the Borden house. She is shown here with her family members: Dr. Michael Kelly is in the center with Caroline in front of him, and their two daughters, Eva and Philomena.

    Kellymarriage

  • Coming Soon! Lizzie Borden Returns to Fall River!


    The temperature is rising, the pears are getting ripe and attention turns once again to the doings of August 4. 1892 in Little Old Fall River.  The Pear Essential (PEP-PY) Players welcome two new members this year in the roles of Alice Russell, the Borden sisters’ bosom friend, and Dr. Dolan, medical examiner, played by husband and wife team of Ted and Loretta Sisco. The couple have been vistors at the house for several years and will take the plunge this year on August 4th!  The Usual Suspects will be making a return this year in the old familiar roles and a few undertaking new character roles.  Advance tickets may be reserved beginning on July 5th for the Monday, August 4th schedule of eight performances at 10:30, 11, 11:30, 1, 1:30, 2, 2:30, 3.  Call the Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast Museum at 508-675-7333 to reserve tickets.  Reservations are recommended as performances sell out early every year.   Miss Carol Ann Simone will reprise her role as Miss Lizzie for her third year running.  Did she do it?  You decide!!


     

     

    CAST FOR 2014

    Miss Porter/FR Herald JoAnne Giovino
    Abby Borden Robin Bertoldo/Shelley Dziedzic
    Andrew Borden  
    Emma Borden Danielle Cabral
    Lizzie Borden Carol Ann Simone
    Dr. Dolan, M.E. Ted Sisco
     Mrs. Bowen  Ellen Borden
     Mrs. Kelly  Kat Woods
    Mrs. Burt/Nosey Neighbor Shelley Dziedzic
    Officer Harrington Rick Bertoldo
    Marshal Hilliard Ray Mitchell
    Miss Manning/FR Globe Barbara Morrissey
    John Morse Joe Radza
    Alice Russell Loretta S. Sisco
    Detective Seaver Michael Shogi
    Bridget Sullivan Suzann Rogers
    Undertaker Winward Jerry Pacheco
  • A few changes for August 4th

    The Pear Essential Productions’ annual August 4th dramatization at the Borden house will have a few new faces this year. Mike Shogi, from Cleveland will be directing this year for the first time as long-time producer-director and script writer Shelley Dziedzic steps down after a long run.  She will still assist with ticket sales, script and costuming.

    ???????????????????????????????Mike is a familiar face at #92, having played Dr. Dolan in 2011 and Detective Seaver in 2012 as well as being one of the Second Street Irregulars “Muttoneaters” for many years.

    There will be some big changes in casting this year as well as a few old familiar faces reprising their usual roles.  Stay tuned for more cast announcements here.

    August 033Carol Ann Simone will be returning as Lizzie Borden this year, shown here in the famous pink and white striped wrapper which she designed and made herself.

    Below: The cast from August 4, 2012.

    cast2012

  • And the results are in for August 4th

    After the annual August 4th dramatization by the Pear Essential Players, visitors on tour at the Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast Museum were asked to fill out an exit poll and give any comments they wished to leave.  Some of the results were surprising and humorous.

    Lizzie Guilty  55, Lizzie Innocent  11, Lizzie undecided or neutral  1,  Uncle John Morse Guilty or Involved  24,  Billy Borden, Guilty  1, Typhoid Mary  1, Emma Borden Guilty  1,  Hired Professional Killer 1, Bridget Sullivan Guilty  6, Uncle John and Bridget together  1.

    Motives ran the gamut: greed and hatred of stepmother, money and revenge, secret love affair between Lizzie and her Uncle John, mental instability,  resentment, payback, anger, jealousy, incest, left out of will, freedom,  and envy of her wealthy girlfriends on the Hill.

    Other suspects considered were:  an evicted tenant of Andrew Borden’s, and Lizzie and Bridget working together, Bridget aiding in the cover-up.

    One very interesting motive for murder proposed was the effect that “overly busy patterns on the wall paper and carpeting brought on mental stress”, as did the killing of Lizzie’s “pet raven” which was probably confused with the pigeons Andrew Borden killed by wringing their necks.

    Under the category of weapon, all agreed on HATCHET, with one writer filling in the word “Sufficient”!

    For the most part all agreed that the murders would never be solved, with only two claiming confidence that they would be.

    After the performances ended, there was a drawing for an overnight stay for two at the B&B.  The Aruda family, who live in Fall River, won.  The cast of 16 was the largest ever since the B&B opening in 1996.  Carol Ann Simone debuted as Lizzie this year to an appreciative crowd.  Tickets had sold out by lunch time.

  • A Weekend with Lizzie Borden Not to Be Missed

    For those who cannot get enough of the Borden Case, this will be a four-star weekend featuring the annual dramatization at the house on Second Street ( tickets on sale now at the Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast) and a VERY special exhibit which opens on August 4th and runs through September 30th at the Fall River Historical Society. For Letterboxers, a special letterbox will be hidden in Fall River to mark the 120th anniversary of the historic crime. Atlasquest.com will have the clue, so bring your stamp and notepad, an inkpad is provided in the box. To see the clue type Fall River, MA in the locator box at the Atlasquest.com site. Got Lizzie?  And how!

  • Pear Essential Players One Day Only

    Once a year the only dedicated amateur Bordenian thespian troupe gathers to put on their dramatization of events at the Borden house on August 4th.  There will be a new Lizzie this year and a few other new faces.  The amateur performers come together from all over the country only once a year on the 4th for this event.  The group was founded in 1993 and the cast has increased every year with this year’s cast featuring 16 character roles.  Tickets may be reserved by calling the Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast Museum at 508-675-7333.  Major credit cards accepted.  Tickets can be reserved for you in the giftshop for pick-up on the day of the event or purchased during giftshop hours.  Don’t be disappointed-tickets sell out fast!

    Abby Borden- Shelley Dziedzic

    Andrew Borden- Don Sykes

    Lizzie Borden- Carol Ann Simone

    Emma Borden- Barbara Morrissey

    Uncle John Morse- Joe Radza

    Bridget Sullivan- Suzann Rogers

    Marshal Hilliard- Ray Mitchell

    Officer Phil Harrington- Mark Lomastro

    Dr. Bowen- Jack Sheridan

    Mrs. Phebe Bowen- Ellen Borden

    Addie Churchill- JoAnne Giovino

    Dr. Dolan- Michael Shogi

    Miss Manning- Eliza Marks

    Nellie Bly, Intrepid Globe-Spanning Reporter- Katrina Shogi

    Undertaker Winward- Jerry Pacheco

    Alice Russell- Kristin Pepe

  • August 4th is Coming Soon !

    The Pear Essential Players Present

    A Dramatization of August 4th on Second Street 

    Saturday, August 4, 2012

    Reserved Tickets are Now On sale at

    The Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast Museum

    Turn back the clock to the morning of August 4, 1892.  The bodies of Abby and Andrew Borden have been discovered cruelly murdered at their home on Second Street.  The friends and neighbors have gathered around daughters Emma and Lizzie as the police and doctors collect evidence and question the inhabitants of #92.  Can you help the police solve the mystery?  Who could have committed such a grisly deed? 

    A drawing for the day’s tour visitors will be held after the last performance for a Gift Certificate for Two for a night at the Bed & Breakfast.  The Drawing is at 4:15 p.m. Follow the Pear Essential Players on Facebook and at http://pearessentialproductions.org/ 

    Abby Borden- Shelley Dziedzic

    Andrew Borden- Don Sykes

    Lizzie Borden- Carol Ann Simone

    Emma Borden- Barbara Morrissey

    Uncle John Morse- Joe Radza

    Bridget Sullivan- Suzann Rogers

    Marshal Hilliard- Ray Mitchell

    Officer Phil Harrington- Mark Lomastro

    Dr. Bowen- Jack Sheridan

    Mrs. Phebe Bowen- Ellen Borden

    Addie Churchill- JoAnne Giovino

    Dr. Dolan- Michael Shogi

    Miss Manning- Eliza Marks

    Nellie Bly, Intrepid Globe-Spanning Reporter- Katrina Shogi

    Undertaker Winward- Jerry Pacheco

    Alice Russell- Kristin Pepe

    A new Miss Lizzie is making her debut!  Tickets go on sale July 15th! Call 508-675-7333 to reserve.

  • Bad news day

    The front page of the Fall River Herald for August 4th featured a large colored photo of Kathleen Troost-Cramer and Barbara Morrissey as Lizzie and Emma Borden on the day of the infamous murders re-enacting the news about the killing of their father and stepmother.  The front page also featured a headline of the Dow down to the lowest point since 2008 and news of bacteria levels in the Taunton River. At least one of the stories was old news from 1892.

     

    Ray Mitchell as city marshal Rufus Hilliard.  Story by Deborah Allard.

  • Congratulations to the Cast of 2011

    The Cast for 2011
    Lizzie Borden: Kathleen Troost-Cramer

    Detective Seaver: Ben Rose
    Abby Borden: Shelley Dziedzic (flat on the floor)
    Andrew Borden: Nicole (under the sheet)
    Bridget Sullivan Suzanne Rogers
    Emma Borden: Barbara Morrissey
    Addie Churchill: JoAnne Giovino
    Alice Russell: Kristin Pepe
    Uncle John: Joe Radza
    Dr. Dolan: Michael Shogi

    Undertaker Winward  Richard Marr-Griffin
    Miss Manning from the Herald: Christina Lambertson
    Internationally acclaimed world reporter, Nellie Bly- Katrina Shogi
    Marshall Hilliard; Ray Mitchell
    Mrs. Dr. Bowen: Ellen Borden

  • Taking a Whack at Lizzie

    This year the August 4th production at the Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast will debut a new leading lady.  She is no stranger to the part.  The photos here are taken from an episode filmed last summer for the Travel Channel.  Kathleen Troost-Cramer, day manager at the famous B&B in Fall River, may be remembered for performances in years past as Irish maid, Bridget Sullivan.  This year, having gotten in a few practice whacks with a hatchet, Kathleen is ready to take on the legendary Lizzie Borden, probably the most difficult role of the lot as expectations are so varied and anticipated by the sold-out crowd which assembles every year on the 4th to re-live the Borden tale of mystery.

    Mild-mannered mother of two, and Bible scholar, this role is quite a stretch, but anyone who has been “under the hatchet”to Kathleen can testify- she means business!

    Congratulations and “break-a-leg” to Kathleen as we wait to see her unique spin on the unforgettable Lizzie Borden!

    First performance on August 4th at 10:30 a.m., last performance at 3:30 p.m.

  • She’s Back for August!

    In addition to anticipating the upcoming release of the historical society’s Parallel Lives, August will welcome a new play about the famous case.  The Herald News reports:

    A new play, “Lizzie Borden Took an Axe,” depicting the well known Lizzie Borden case will be staged in Fall River for the 119th anniversary of the hatchet murders of Andrew and Abby Borden.

    There will be two performances on Aug. 5 and 6 at the Nagle Auditorium at B.M.C. Durfee High School by the Covey Theatre Company of Syracuse, N.Y.
    Fresh from winning two Syracuse Area Live Theatre awards for Best Original Play and Best Costumes, as well as the Gloria Peter Playwright competition from Aurora, NY, “Lizzie Borden Took an Axe” left critics enthralled and Bordenophiles raving.

    “Lizzie Borden Took an Axe” will be staged Friday and Saturday, Aug. 5 and 6 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased by calling 315-420-3729 or online at”  www.thecoveytheatrecompany.com.

    Read more: http://www.heraldnews.com/archive/x2108614302/-Lizzie-Borden-Took-an-Axe-to-be-staged-at-Durfee-High-School#ixzz1QatgYTzn 

    The annual costumed recreation of August 4th will take place as usual at the Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast on the 4th, which this year, will be a Thursday, just as it was in 1892.

    Plenty of Lizzie on the way for August!

  • Lambie Awards for 2011

    The Best Actor Award was a tie this year- for the first time.  Will Clawson and Ray Mitchell, both employees of the Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast Museum are also Pear Essential Players and last August 4th, on the anniversary of the murders, took up the roles of Officer Harrington and City Marshal Rufus B. Hilliard.  The Second Street Irregulars (the “Muttoneaters”), award the golden statuette yearly for best performance in a Borden case-related role.

    Will Clawson as the popular and well-beloved Phil Harrington (the man who described Lizzie’s wrapper in such detail and died tragically on his honeymoon the year Lizzie was acquitted)

    Ray Mitchell as City Marshal Rufus Hilliard

    The best actress award this year went to Kristin Pepe for her sympathetic portrayal of long-time Borden friend, and former neighbor, Alice Russell.  Kristin played the role of Bridget Sullivan in 2009 and 2010 was her first time in the role of the lady who saw Lizzie burn the dress in the woodstove and who was the recipient of the exciting news divulged by Lizzie on the night before the murders that “something is going to happen, Father has an enemy. . .” Kristin was also a Lens of Sherlock recipient several years ago when she tracked down Emma Borden’s alma mater, Wheaton Female Seminary. Congratulations, all!

    Kristin (center) with Barbara Morrissey (Emma, on the left) and Lorraine Gregoire (Lizzie on the right) on August 4, 2011.

  • Reunion of the Second Street Irregulars

    The annual banquet for the Second Street Irregulars was held at the Quequechan Club Saturday evening. This year, among the awards given, the first Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to long-time Borden case historian, Ed Thibault of Somerset, Massachusetts.  The original Irregulars joined Ed and his wife Eleanor at the head of the table.  Barbara MacDonald, Deborah Shannon Valentine, Shelley Dziedzic, and Leonard Rebello enjoyed getting the old gang together once more.  Ken Souza was unable to be contacted to round out the original six members. 

     Ed Thibault traces his interest in the Borden case to the age of 14, and has researched and shared his discoveries for many years with local civic groups, schools and visitors to the Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast where he and his wife Eleanor have worked for many years.  Congratulations- and thanks, Eddie!

    Ed “assumes the position” one  more time back at the Second St. house.

  • Patricia Neal in Fall River

      One of the first big celebrities to visit the Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast was Academy Award winning actress, Patricia Neal.  Born Patsy Louise Neal in Kentucky, the sweet-faced lady with the velvet voice would have an adventurous life filled with triumphs and personal tragedies.

    This past week a popular old movie channel has been featuring The Day the Earth Stood Still, a film in which Neal starred as Helen Benson, the secretary and mother of little “Bobby”.  Her immortal lines “Gort- ‎”Klaatu barada nikto” is immortal among sci-fi enthusiasts.

    Star of both screen and stage, Ms. Neal was challenged by a series of strokes in the mid 1960’s, and had to relearn how to walk and speak, but battled bravely back and continued working at her craft until 2009 in her last role in Flying By.

    Neal died at her home in Edgartown, Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, August 8, 2010, of lung cancer at age 84.  She had converted to Catholicism four months before her death and was laid to rest in the Abbey of Regina Laudis in Bethlehem, Connecticut.

    On August 4th at the annual Pear Essential Players’ production at the Borden house, her visit to the bed and breakfast was mentioned when some members were discussing actresses who would be great in an accurate film version of the Borden case story.  Ms. Neal was at that moment at her home on Martha’s Vineyard, not so far from Fall River, and would pass away just four days later.

    If you should find yourself on South Main Street in Fall River, just a half block south of Dwelly Street, you will see Hartley’s Pies, a famous local landmark in the city.  Hartley’s pies have been around Fall River for 100 years.  If you enter the little shop, you will see two enormous autographed photos of the late Patricia Neal.  The cook there has a copy of her obituary and will tell you how much she loved Hartley’s meat pies and how she never failed to stop in for a supply on her way to Martha’s Vineyard.

    She was a great actress who was interested in everything, one interest being the Borden case.  She will be sorely missed on stage and screen. For more on her career, visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patricia_Neal

  • Getting #92 ready for her close-up

    This year the house outside was pristine, having just had a new coat of paint. The tent was up for visitors to wait under , shielded from the hot sun, and lemonade and hatchet cookies were ready for refreshment.  Thanks go out this year to Debbie, Anna and Walter for keeping everyone cool and refreshed!

    Naturally any photographs on the wall inside which were not family photos were taken down.  Several crime scene photos were shown to visitors as “just having been developed and sent over by Mr. Walsh who was hired by the police department to shoot the crime scenes.”

    For the first time this year, inasmuch as “CSI” was in the title of this year’s adaptation, blood spatter was applied to the wall and doors in the sitting room. After trying several concoctions, cherry preserves was found to give the best effect.  John Morse mentions about 60 drops on the door into the parlor.  Emma Borden would wash these off later in the evening on the 4th.  Spatter was also applied to the framed engraving over the black sofa.  Most visitors made a note of this on their exit polls. (photos courtesy of Lee Ann Wilbur)

    This year the bed in the guest room where Abby Borden was killed was moved in order to reproduce the photo of Abby taken from the door way.  A blood-spattered coverlet and shams were on the bed as well as a tuft of hair.  More blood was used than on the genuine article which was on display down at the historical society in a special Bordenalia exhibit.

    It is remarkable that the crime scene still exists after so many years, so everyone who visits is very forgiving of modern conveniences such as electric sockets, lamps, refrigerators, etc, and turns a blind eye to these minor things which distract from time travel to 1892.

    The dress worn by Elizabeth Montgomery in The Legend of Lizzie Borden, and other clothing items usually on display were put in the upstairs bathroom, which at one time was actually a dress closet.  Down in the cellar, the search for hatchets and other possible weapons, conducted by Detective Seaver, gave a glimpse to visitors of just where these items were found, and offers a visit to the Borden cellar, always a place guests wish to see.

    Using a detailed sketch of the rooms done by Kiernan in 1892 as reference, Lizzie’s fainting couch was placed where it had been, between the two windows. Lizzie lounged with her pink and white wrapper with cherry ribbons which Officer Harrington would later describe in such detail that it brought a smile from Lizzie in court.

    With so many period antiques in place in the house, dressing the house for a performance is easy.  The two crime scenes are particularly accurate in furnishings, and most guests take note of this as they examine the 1892 photographs.  With just a little imagination, it is not hard to go back in time and visualize how the rooms must have looked.  At 9:30 and 11 a.m., a hush always falls on the house as cast and guests recall what was happening so many years ago.

  • Who was new for August 4th ?

    It was a big day at #92 for the cast of the Pear Essential Players as they turned in 10 performances of Lizzie Borden CSI.  Tickets sold out and the gift shop was buzzing with activity from early morning until the end of the day when the evening check- ins arrived.  All  previous records were broken this year.

    Rufus Hilliard                                                 Ray Mitchell

    There were a few new faces this year in the cast including Ray Mitchell who portrayed city marshal Rufus Hilliard and bore an uncanny resemblance to his character!  Michael Brooks took over the role of James Winward, Undertaker and was suitably grave and distinguished.

    (photo courtesy of Lee Ann Wilber)

    For the first time, the bed in the guest room was moved in order to reproduce a lesser-known photo of Abby Borden.

    With a nod to Richard’s Behren’s new book, Lizzie Borden: Girl Detective, Kathryn Woods played Miss Nellie Drew, girl detective and interviewed Uncle John Morse.

    Molly O’Brien took over as Miss Manning from the Fall River Herald and also had a few things to ask Uncle John.

    photo courtesy of Lee Ann Wilber

    The men in blue were out in force this year with Ben Rose reprising Detective Seaver, and new B&B museum employees Justin Dunne and Will Clawson playing Medley and Harrington.  Mustaches were a key element in bringing the characters to life with Hilliard’s famous walrus mustache and Harrington’s “handlebar” stash adding much to the characterization.

     

    Will Clawson                     Phil Harrington

     Justin Dunne played a young officer William Medley.  Medley would become Fall River’s first Chief of Police.

     

    Justin Dunne                              Chief Medley

    Many actors have played Andrew Borden over the years and this year B&B employee Logan Livesey had the tough task of staying perfectly still under the sheet.

    Tomorrow: Set dressing the house, our cast regulars, and the cast trip to Maplecroft!