Tony winner Karen Olivo, Will Swenson, John Ellison Conlee and Rebecca Naomi Jones will star in the world premiere of Manhattan Theatre Club’s Murder Ballad, a new musical by Julia Jordan and Juliana Nash. Trip Cullman will direct the production, which begins previews on October 30 and opens on November 15 for a limited four-week engagement at off-Broadway's The Studio at Stage II at New York City Center.
Murder Ballad follows Sara (Olivo), a seemingly put-together New Yorker tempted by her enticing, dangerous past and a love triangle gone wrong. Swenson will play Tom, her former lover; with Conlee (The Full Monty) taking on the role of Michael, Sara’s husband. Jones will serve as the Narrator.
Olivo earned a Tony for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for playing Anita in the 2009 revival of West Side Story. She also originated the role of Vanessa in the Tony-winning In the Heights. She was a series regular on the recently-cancelled NBC drama Harry’s Law.
Swenson most recently finished his run in Priscilla Queen of the Desert in June. He was previously nominated for a Tony for his performance as Berger in the 2009 revival of Hair.
Conlee is best known for his Tony-nominated performance in the original cast of The Full Monty. His other Broadway credits include revivals of The Constant Wife and 1776. He also recurs on NBC’s Parks & Recreation and Showtime’s Brotherhood.
Jones made her Broadway debut in 2008 in Passing Strange before going on to star in American Idiot. Her television appearances include NYC 22, Smash, Nurse Jackie and Fringe.
The new musical will feature scenic design by Mark Wendland, costume design by Jessica Pabst, lighting design by Ben Stanton, sound design by Leon Rothenberg, movement by Doug Varone and music direction, vocal arrangements and orchestrations by Justin Levine.