Friday, May 24, 2013

Murder Ballad @ Union Square Theatre

Back after its extremely successful run at Manhattan Theater Club, critically acclaimed Murder Ballad, finds its way downtown to the completely redesigned Union Square Theater where it holds an extended run thru the summer.

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.

Three of the original cast members are reprising their original roles and Caissie Levy (Ghost: The Musical) replaces Karen Olivo in the role of Sara. Levy doesn't missed a beat, she brought strong emotion and the powerhouse voice that audiences have come to expect from her. Rebecca Naomi Jones (American Idiot) plays the Narrator, and she brings a creepy yet fun quality to this dark show. She was on stage the entire time and she really kept the audiences attention. Will Swenson (Priscilla Queen of the Desert) portrays bad boy Tom, the once lover of Sara. Swenson acts the hell out of this role, but his voice type didn't seem to fit the show. Lastly, John Ellison Conlee (The Full Monty) played Michael, Sara's current husband. Conlee bring a soothing warmth to the show and makes the audience fall in love with him.

Taking residence at Union Square Theater, this theatrical experience has completely alter the performing space to fit this show. Mark Wendland puts the audience smack dab in the middle of a bar, and turned this once proscenium space theater into a Theater in the Round. Audience members are encouraged to go an buy drinks for the bar where later the central action takes place. The lighting by Ben Stanton was so well controlled and full of color. Unfortunately as great as the space was, it seemed too big, which made this extremely intimate show, significantly less intimate. 

Murder Balled plays at the Union Square Theater until September 29th, 2013. This unique theater experience is not one to miss, so get a tickets, grab a beer and enjoy the trip. 

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