Coming to the Capital Fringe Festival: ‘Dizzy Miss Lizzie’s… Presents ‘The Brontes’ by Debra Buonaccorsi and Steve McWilliams

Dizzy Miss Lizzie’s Roadside Revue is bringing a new work to the Capital Fringe Festival this summer. This year they are giving the Dizzy treatment to their favorite Victorian gothic novelists, The Bronte sisters, Charlotte, Emily, Anne and their lesser known, yet equally fascinating brother, Branwell. The show is in the fun, festive, rocking Dizzy Miss Lizzie style, replete with the usual array of antics, audience participation, irreverence and rock and roll.

Rock and roll and irreverence are not usually the first words that come to mind when one thinks of the Brontes, who usually conjure up thoughts of sad, woebegone girls, the Yorkshire moors and long afternoons in high school English classes. But with the DMLRR crew, the Brontes will come to life in an unexpected way.

Much in the manner that DMLRR tackled Greek tragedy, Catholic saints and Irish mythology, they will be unearthing the rock and roll soul of these trail blazing, convention defying, brilliant novelists.  Dizzy Miss Lizzie writer and co-founder, Debra Buonaccorsi says “Art is often born out of repression- whether it’s the repression of Victorian England or repression of the 1950’s that gave birth to the rock and roll revolution of the 1960’s. So, to us, it makes sense for Emily Bronte to pick up an electric guitar and let it all hang out.”

The cast is full of Dizzy Miss Lizzie regulars including, Laura Keena, Jordan Klein, Rich Nagel, Matthew Schleigh and the writers, Debra Buonaccorsi and Steve McWilliams. And joining the Dizzy crew this summer will be the always delightful, Gillian Shelly.

What can we expect musically from The Brontes? DMLRR composer and musical director Steve McWilliams says “With this show we are definitely developing our own sound and experimenting more with style and form, much in the way that the Beatles experimented in their Sgt. Pepper and Yellow Submarine phase.  Our goal was to create a soundscape that mirrored the Brontes use of language and imagery. “ And what better place to experiment than the Capital Fringe Festival? McWilliams adds “We are very excited about debuting the show in this year’s Fringe festival.  Every show we’ve written has been a great learning experience for us and this show is no different. It’s really wonderful to have an environment like the Fringe festival to experiment, create and perform our work in front of such enthusiastic, open-minded audiences.”

The show has been in development over the course of the past year. The writers had to sift through the vast amount of biographical information on the Bronte family and dive into the “Bronte Myth.” The research process was full of insight from great female writers like Virginia Woolf and feminists like Adrienne Rich. But in the end, the DMLRR writers are letting the Brontes’ work speak for itself.  Buonaccorsi explains, “Don’t expect a full on musical version of Wuthering Heights or Jane Eyre but we hope that everyone will walk out of the  show with a new understanding and appreciation for the original ‘goth’ girls and their work.” Buonaccorsi concludes, “In the end, it’s a universal story about conflict: conflict within oneself, conflict with family, conflict with societal pressures and expectations and, how we free ourselves from that confinement. I mean, doesn’t every one of us have a secret desire to say ‘to hell with it’ and run wild and free on the moors? And don’t we all have a metaphorical mad woman lurking in our attic? And what better way to express that with rock and roll?”


At Fort Fringe’s Baldacchino’s Gypsy Tent Bar.

  • Jul 12th 7:00 PM
  • Jul 14th 3:15 PM
  • Jul 17th 9:00 PM
  • Jul 21st 6:30 PM
  • Jul 22nd 5:15 PM
  • Jul 29th 12:45 PM
Purchase tickets here starting June 18th.


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