The Umbrella’s “Lizzie” Rock Musical Brings Seasonal Fun

photo credit: Jim Sabitus

More than 130 years after the grisly unsolved murders that rocked Fall River, Massachusetts, Lizzie Borden finally gets her say in The Umbrella Stage Company’s rousing, ghost-story-meets-rock-concert musical that’s just in time for autumn in Concord and the Halloween season!

Featuring four women fronting a six-piece rock band and delivering a score that epitomizes riot grrrl power, Lizzie has global audiences dancing and raging in their seats.

photo credit: Jim Sabitus

It’s an amazing story,” shares Director and Choreographer Ilyse Robbins, “with incredible and hard-hitting music, about four women who were all trapped in their own ways by the social constructs of their time. It’s less a biography and more a historical, fictional retelling of Lizzie Borden and the women in her life. Over the course of the show we see them stripping away those constructs, getting to the true-er versions of themselves. In a time when we’re still debating the rights of women, this piece — though it’s so squarely rooted in New England history – feels so universally current. We get to share their journey and cheer these women on as they all take their power into their own hands – literally.”

Characteristically for The Umbrella, the show will be bolstered by a host of fun community and partner activities in Concord Center. The Umbrella has collaborated with the Town of Concord Visitor Center, local restaurants and hotels, the regional Halloween in New England to round out and enhance the theatrical experience.

Select performances will feature additional engagement opportunities for audience members:

  • Seasonal New England-style Dinner & A Show Thursday meals from Nosh Restaurant may be pre-ordered during ticketing for all Thursday night performances
  • A special “Kid(S)care” childcare performance October 22 with teacher-guided Halloween-inspired activities for youth ages 5-12 while caretakers attend the 3PM matinee
  • Talk Backs are scheduled following Sunday matinee performances on October 12 and 29
  • Mobile ax-throwing in partnership with Revolution Ax Throwing will be available on dates TBA!
  • Day-of-show Hospitality Partner discounts from Adelita, Concord’s Colonial Inn, Fiorella’s, Nosh, and Aloft/Element Hotel in Lexington.
  • Themed concessions will be available throughout
  • The Umbrella will promote the Town Visitor Center’s “Women of Concord” and “Concord’s Twilight : Monuments, Memories and Mortality” Walking Tours
  • All tickets include free access to The Umbrella Art Gallery, currently featuring “Zero Toys and Death of Print,” an exhibition of photographs by Concord-based Jordan Kessler from September 29 – November 12

To learn more about Lizzie and The Umbrella Stage Company’s exciting new season, see

Community Activities Enrich The Color Purple

The Umbrella Stage Company has announced a planned series of community activities to support and enrich theatergoers’ experience of this spring’s production of The Color Purple, the musical adaptation of Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning classic novel, and the 1985 film by Steven Spielberg.

From talkbacks with the cast and moderated discussions on the show’s themes, to childcare and packaged meal options, to informative guided tours exploring the stories of Women and African Americans throughout Concord’s history, audiences will have several opportunities to engage more deeply and comfortably with this “exuberant celebration of community and female empowerment” (The Guardian).

Friday May 19 – 4PM – Pre-Show African American History of Concord Walking Tour, in partnership with Concord Visitor Center

Saturday, May 20 – 4PM – Pre-Show Women of Concord Walking Tour, in partnership with Concord Visitor Center

Sunday, May 21 – Kid-Care Performance*, Community Discussion with Kira Troilo of Art & Soul

Thursday, May 25 Night – Pre-Show Soul Food Dinner Option from Nosh; Post-show Talk Back with the cast

Friday, May 26 – 4PM – Pre-Show Women of Concord Walking Tour, in partnership with Concord Visitor Center

Saturday, May 27 – 4PM – Pre-Show African American History of Concord Walking Tour, in partnership with Concord Visitor Center

Sunday, May 28 – Brown Out Performance with Post-show Affinity Space Potluck for BIPOC Artists, Audiences & Allies — All are Welcome!

Thursday, June 1 – Pre-Show Soul Food Dinner Option from Nosh

Friday, June 2 – 4PM – Pre-Show Women of Concord Walking Tour, in partnership with Concord Visitor Center

Sunday, June 4 – Post-show Talk Back with the cast

NEW! #DinnerAndAShow Thursday Night Out Packages!

Thursdays in Concord are now a fun and easy entertainment Date Night thanks to optional pre-show dinners at The Umbrella, provided by Nosh by Concord Market!

Coming straight from work? No problem! Park free at The Umbrella, then take a load off in their beautifully renovated space. Sit to enjoy a delicious catered dinner (you can pre-order vegetarian, fish and meat options), pick up a beverage at concessions, and then explore the international art exhibition Points of Return the art galleries at your ease until it’s time for curtain!  Chef-planned themed menus for The Color Purple can be pre-ordered right up until NOON on Wednesday before  the performance; menu options can be selected and added to your online cart at the same as you are making your seat selections! See The Color Purple ticketing options.


  • Cauliflower Pimento Mac and Cheese
  • BBQ Pulled Pork Mac and Cheese
  • Seared Mustard Salmon with Apple Celery Slaw and Jalapeno Cornbread


  • Grilled Peaches with Mascarpone


In addition to catered Thursday dinners at The Umbrella, all of our performances are supported by day-of-show special offers from our several wonderful #DinnerAndAShowConcord Hospitality PartnersFind special discounts on meals and overnight stays here in the heart of historic Concord with partners including Adelita, Aloft/Element Hotels, Concord’s Colonial Inn, Fiorella’s, and Nosh by Concord Market!

Concord Middle School Students Find New Skills and Personal Growth in Xanadu

Concord Students Find New Skills and Personal Growth in Xanadu

by Kimber Lynn Z. Drake, Correspondent

When Hannah Vincent agreed to take the helm for the returning Concord Middle School theater program, she knew there would be challenges.  It had been three years since the middle school’s last musical production, and the kids who are now her oldest cast members were still in elementary school back then.

“With that long of a hiatus, we didn’t know how the students were going to handle this kind of a project,” says Vincent, director of Xanadu, Jr and an educator at Concord Middle School.  She was not discouraged, however, because she knew that in addition to being fun for the children, this would be very important work.

Experts both in the arts and in education tell us that delving into areas beyond the standard core subjects at school helps our personal growth in many ways.  Michelle Barnes, Director of the Relevé Ballet Workshop of Wellesley, MA asserts that theater in schools gives us a low-risk environment in which to learn something about who we are.

“Art is all around us, not just in museums,” states Barnes.  “It’s in video games, movies and the logo on your coffee cup.  Whether we eventually become an engineer, an opera singer or a firefighter, we all need to have a chance to explore what we can do artistically at an early age.  Can I draw?  Can I act?  You can’t know unless you try.”

Theater also helps kids to grow in ways that they couldn’t during the pandemic.  Justin Cameron, Principal of Concord Middle School, sees daily the effect that the recent years of social isolation have had on students.  “The middle school years are an incredibly important time for development of social skills,” says Cameron.  “During those months of remote learning, these kids missed out on the practice of those skills that the school environment normally provides every day.  This project gives kids a chance to work closely as a team on a complex task that happens to be really fun:  putting on a show.  In this non-competitive environment, they celebrate each other’s successes and find ways as a team to adapt to their shortcomings.  This is a big boost for their social development.”

Over two months later, Vincent is witnessing firsthand the results of this artistic exploration and teambuilding as the cast and crew put the finishing touches on their production of Xanadu, Jr.  “These kids have really impressed me,” she says.  “They have dug in and taken an active role in the whole process.  They are helping each other remember cues and review dance steps.  Some are sewing their own costumes.  This show has given them the chance to get off their phones and participate in something that requires focus, energy and dedication.”

Barnes agrees, “When you’re in a show, the feeling of team pride is extraordinary.  You come together and work hard as a group to give the gift of entertainment to hundreds of people each night.  And by the time you are done, you’re more than a team.  You’re a family.”

Xanadu, Jr runs March 3rd – 5th, 2023 at the Sanborn building of Concord Middle School.  Friday and Saturday @ 7pm, Sunday @ 2pm. Tickets are $10 and are available starting February 24th at .

Photo caption:

Concord Middle School students in rehearsal for Xanadu, Jr.  Photo by Kimber Lynn Z. Drake.

Greater Boston Stage Company presents Two Performances about Concord authors!

At Greater Boston Stage Company in Stoneham, MA


The Legend of Sleepy Hollow“,  A Haunting and Humorous Halloween Treat.




Rediscover the timeless legend of the headless horseman in this ghoulishly funny one-man show. Don’t lose your head as the unforgettable Paul Melendy plays a cast of characters including schoolmaster Ichabod Crane, love interest Katrina Von Tassel, ruffian Brom Bones, and the townsfolk of Sleepy Hollow. Can Ichabod fight the phantom and get the girl? Join us for an evening of thrills, chills, and laughs that will leave you on the edge of your seat.

Buy your tickets for The Legend of Sleepy Hollow 


Little Women: The Broadway Musical

The New England Masterpiece Set to Music.



Share the joy of the classic story with those you love this holiday season. Sisters Jo, Meg, Beth, and Amy March experience the heartache and hope of growing up in Civil War America. Soaring melodies and astonishing music highlight this truly New England tale of personal discovery, family and finding your own voice.

Click here to Buy tickets for Little Women: The Broadway Musical 


At Greater Boston Stage Company in Stoneham, MA