Lydia Trueblood: The Black Widow of the Atlantic Coast

Traveling Showcase from California bring their musical cabaret to the Fringe for the first time as Lydia Trueblood The Black Widow of the Atlantic Coast takes centre stage at the tiny Studio within The Space Triplex. Encouraged by some five star reviews at the Hollywood Fringe last year they opened for a limited run in Edinburgh. 

In just 40 minutes we warm to Lydia Trueblood owing much to the performance of Eldridge and her experience.

Based on one of America’s first female serial killers Lydia stars songwriter Liz Eldridge who performs the songs whilst playing ukulele and harmonium with support from Annabelle played by Clara Dykstra on trumpet and accordion. Eldridge wrote the show with director Efrain Schunior who uses the stage well with minimum props, dark backdrop and clever use of lighting to evoke the moods of the piece. Widow Lydia Trueblood is a powerful character in burlesque wear commanding attention as the story develops through prose and song. Everybody Love Me opens the show in powerful fashion and songs like Dark Water, Whiskey and The Crone tell the story with live music. This small intimate theatre lends itself to the closeness of the characters. With no amplification the experience heightens as the action becomes personal to the audience and we warm to the widow rather than dislike her for her crimes. The introduction of Mr Lawman (played by Bryan Bertone making his Fringe debut) suggests the end of Lydia’s crimes but the outcome is revealed before the concluding song Back On The Prowl (parts one and two).

In just 40 minutes we warm to Lydia Trueblood owing much to the performance of Eldridge and her experience. After all, she has sung at the Viper Room in LA with her band Many Distant Cities and appeared in Hannah Montana among many TV credits and can add her Fringe triumph also.

Reviews by John Murray

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★★★★
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★★★★
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★★★★

Performances

Location

The Blurb

The world’s only One-And-A-Half-Woman Bloodfolk Cabaret (we assume)! Come experience the shock and horror! The incredibly depraved (and nearly true!) tale of Lydia Trueblood, The Black Widow of the Atlantic Coast. Lydia is a simple socialite running a hole in the wall tavern with her mute daughter Annabelle. Or is she? There is much more than meets the eye in this devilish hour of macabre folk songs and sweet, sweet vengeance. Loosely based on the life of the first female American serial killer.