Manhattan Theatre Club’s world premiere of MURDER BALLAD, the new musical by Julia Jordan and Juliana Nash, directed by Trip Cullman, begins the final week of its acclaimed extended engagement tonight at MTC’s The Studio at Stage II – Harold and Mimi Steinberg New Play Series at New York City Center – Stage II (131 West 55th Street).
When it closes on Sunday, December 16, MURDER BALLAD will have played 17 preview performances and 38 regular performances. Critics hailed the production when it opened on Thursday, November 15. Below is a sampling of what critics said about the musical:
“SMASHING. This steamy show is a love triangle with a razor’s edges. The show features taut, tart, and pungent lyrics by Julia Jordan and Juliana Nash and inventive direction by Trip Cullman. There’s plenty of sensual heat generated by the cast in this savvy new musical.”
- Ben Brantley, The New York Times CRITIC’S PICK
“MURDER BALLAD ROCKS! This is a vibrant new rock musical with a juicy and entertaining story. Trip Cullman’s visceral, in-your-face production, launches Manhattan Theatre Club’s new Studio at Stage II series with lots of energy and four terrific star turns.”
- Joe Dziemianowicz, The Daily News
“ENERGIZED, DIRTY FUN. Each performer brings oodles of charisma and strong singing chops. Rebecca Naomi Jones is vampy and luscious, while Karen Olivo is a knockout, mixing rue and rage to dynamic effect. Grab a beer, get a table and make like you’re at a rock concert – because you sorta are.”
- David Cote, Time Out New York
“A HOT NIGHT OF THEATRE! Will Swenson has never sung better, and John Ellison Conlee is brilliantly cast. With an energy that is electric, MTC is going to get young people to the theater in reams. Murder Ballad is a Broadway fan’s wet dream.”
- Suzy Evans, Backstage Magazine
“FASCINATING. The performers belt out Julia Jordan and Juliana Nash’s songs with electrifying power. Trip Cullman’s staging has an undeniable intensity and Doug Varone’s dances possess a sinuousness that is concurrently sensual and sad. Murder Ballad has an intoxicating downtown-style environment from scenic designer Mark Wendland, and is lit to perfection by Ben Stanton.”
- Andy Propst, Theatermania
MURDER BALLAD features four of New York’s most exciting musical theatre talents: Tony Award nominee John Ellison Conlee (“Parks & Rec,” The Full Monty), Rebecca Naomi Jones (American Idiot, Passing Strange), Tony Award winner Karen Olivo (West Side Story, In The Heights), and Tony Award nominee Will Swenson (Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Hair).
A love triangle gone wrong, MURDER BALLAD centers on Sara, an Upper West Sider who seems to have it all, but whose downtown past lingers enticingly and dangerously in front of her. This sexy, explosive new musical explores the complications of love, the compromises we make, and the betrayals that can ultimately undo us.
MURDER BALLAD is conceived by Jonathan Larson Award winner and two-time Susan Smith Blackburn Prize finalist Julia Jordan with book and lyrics by Jordan and music and lyrics by indie rock singer/songwriter Juliana Nash. Drama Desk Award nominee Trip Cullman (Paul Weitz’s Lonely, I’m Not; Adam Bock’s A Small Fire) directs.
The creative team for MURDER BALLAD includes: Mark Wendland (scenic design), Jessica Pabst (costume design), Ben Stanton (lighting design), Leon Rothenberg (sound design), Doug Varone (choreography), Justin Levine (music direction, vocal arrangements and orchestrations), and David Caparelliotis & Kelly Gillespie (casting).
Tickets to MURDER BALLAD are on sale now via CityTix® (212-581-1212) and www.nycitycenter.org and at the New York City Center Box Office (131 West 55th Street). Tickets for the remaining performances of MURDER BALLAD are priced at $75.
For additional details on MURDER BALLAD and offers to all MTC shows, please sign up for MTC’s “30 Under 30” program for theatregoers age 30 and under https://www.manhattantheatreclub.com/30under30/.