Above: Carly Wicks as Carry Nation.
In 1900, Carry Amelia Nation drove a horse and cart to Kiowa, Kansas, on a mission from God. She went into the first saloon she found and smashed the place up with a small hatchet, believing that she was saving her fellow Americans from the curse of the demon rum. Hatchet Lady is an original riot grrl rock musical with a cast of five women and a live band. An altar to the powers of destruction, complete with dancing horses, angels, NPR journalists and a tornado. A Saints Play for a martyr that no one ever wanted. A celebration of women with hatchets.
Above: Maren Ward as Carry Nation.
Commissioned by Walking Shadow Theater Company in Minneapolis MN.
Originally produced by The Runaways Lab Theater in Chicago, IL, in January 2017. MN premiere by Walking Shadow Theater Company in December 2017.
I’d above all recommend staying up late for Hatchet Lady (Sat 10:30 PM), Savannah Reich’s funny, punky, wild, yet sly play about a biographer having a breakdown as she tries to finish her book on bar-busting temperance fanatic Carrie Nation. Directed by Olivia Lilley for Runaways Lab Theatre, the show features a band, dancing angels, interviews with the dead, Carly Wicks running from roaring to nearly comatose as both Nation and the biographer, and the quietly hilarious Jasmine Henri Jordan as a publisher’s intern.
– Rhinofest Review, Tony Adler, Chicago Tribune
Local theater artists have reacted in varying ways to these apocalyptic times, but none, perhaps, have summoned an image so majestically apt as Maren Ward astride a team of silver-maned horses, waving a hatchet and bellowing about destruction while smoke billows and a rock band thunders behind her.
– “Hatchet Lady” rocks out to weapon-wielding anti-booze badass Carrie Nation, Jay Gabler, City Pages
On a Wednesday night with a nearly full house at the parking-challenged Red Eye Theater, I saw a bizarre and possibly brilliant creation. Walking Shadow’s new bio-musical Hatchet Lady about temperance activist Carrie Nation is in some ways neither a biography nor a musical. There is music and it is somewhat about Carrie Nation, but it doesn’t follow the structure of any musical I’ve seen. And that’s a good thing.
–Hatchet Lady, cherryandspoon.com
Hatchet Lady is one continuous surge of intensity from start to cataclysmic finish.
–Regional Reviews, Arthur Dorman, talkinbroadway.com