“Saint Augustine said when you sing, you pray twice. Well then when we rock, we are divine!” the white clad Master of Ceremonies informed the audience during the first musical number of Dizzie Miss Lizzie’s Roadside Revue- The Saints. We were not lead astray because DMLRR’s musical revue about the lives of a handful of Catholic saints was nothing short of heavenly.
Somewhere between musical theater and traditional music performance lays the realm of Dizzie Miss Lizzie and her Roadside Revue. Debra Buonaccorsi’s short scenes narrate songs composed by Steve McWilliams. These songs and scenes tell a tongue in cheek, though not irreverent tale of nine saints. Those without a Catholic education will still recognize the stories of St. George and the Dragon, St. Augustine, and St. Francis of Assisi, but the stories of the less universally recognizable saints (St. Therese of Lisieux, St. Catherine of Alexandria) are just as enjoyable.
Short on plot, but long on laughs, and rock and roll, The Saints is carried by a few standout performances. Steve McWilliams, pulling quadruple duty as composer, musical director, sound designer, and the Master of Ceremonies, provides a charismatic narration to an evening that relies heavily on audience interaction. As Teresa of Avila and St Agatha, Maria Egler is nothing short of mesmerizing. Not only is her voice amazing (her song as Teresa brought tears to my eyes), but I found myself watching her throughout the evening for her comic interjections. The rest of the cast is outfitted with killer pipes as well, and if at times the comedy becomes a little broad and one note, a rousing musical number is never too far away.
Clocking in at 70 minutes Dizzie Miss Lizzies’s Roadside Revue – The Saints is definitely worth the time and money. Be sure to sit in the front row for some very well handled audience interaction.
See it if you are in the mood for a rocking, rollicking good time, not matter your thoughts on religion.
Skip it if you like to keep your religion and comedy separate; foul mouthed Saints are not your cup of tea.
Dizzie Miss Lizzies’s Roadside Revue – The Saints
Music and Lyrics by Steve McWilliams and Debra Buonaccorsi
Book by Debra Bounaccorsi
Directed by Debra Bounaccorsi
Musical Direction by Steve McWilliams
Produced by Charlie Fink’s New Musical Foundation
Reviewed by Jessica Pearson