MURDER BALLAD Begins Performances Tomorrow at Union Square Theatre

Photo by Zachary Maxwell Stertz

MURDER BALLAD, the critically acclaimed new musical which has been nominated for Best Musical by the Drama League, Outer Critics Circle, and Lortel Awards, begins previews tomorrow, May 7 at the Union Square Theatre (100 East 17th Street). The limited engagement will open Wednesday, May 22 featuring John Ellison Conlee, Rebecca Naomi Jones, Caissie Levy, and Will Swenson.

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.

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.

A theatrical experience not to be missed, the Union Square Theatre has been completely redesigned to accommodate the immersive staging for MURDER BALLAD. Tickets holders are invited into the theatre 30 minutes before show time to tour the set, mingle, and “grab a beer, get a table, and make like you’re at a rock concert,” (Time Out New York).

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), and Justin Levine (music director, vocal arranger and orchestrator).

MURDER BALLAD is produced at the Union Square Theatre by Manhattan Theatre Club Productions, Inc.; Niclas Nagler; Richard Frankel; Tom Viertel; Steven Baruch; Marc Routh; Simone Genatt Haft; Susanne Adamski; and Scott M. Delman.

When it opened November 2012 as the inaugural production of MTC’s The Studio at Stage II – Harold and Mimi Steinberg New Play Series at New York City Center – Stage II (Lynne Meadow, Artistic Director; Barry Grove, Executive Producer; Mandy Greenfield, Artistic Producer), critics cheered the sexy new musical and the production became a sold out smash. Here’s a sampling of what critics said about MURDER BALLAD:

“PLENTY OF SENSUAL HEAT. 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 has lots of energy.”

- Joe Dziemianowicz, The Daily News

“ENERGIZED, DIRTY FUN. 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

“GO SEE IT, IT’S FANTASTIC! It’s almost decadent to watch these people sing and dance in front of you. Murder Ballad is a chilling, thrilling, romantic, roller-coaster ride of a show.”

- AndrewAndrew, Paper Magazine

“A HOT NIGHT OF THEATRE! With an energy that is electric, this show 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

The world premiere recording of MURDER BALLAD will be released on Tuesday, May 28 on Yellow Sound Label. The album, produced by Michael Croiter, will be available on Amazon, iTunes, and elsewhere music is sold. For additional information and to pre-order the world premiere cast recording, visit:

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