What Is the Story of Murder Ballad?
Murder Ballad, a new musical by Julia Jordan and Juliana Nash, centers around Sara, a young New Yorker who is torn between her dangerous ex-boyfriend and her reliable husband. Led by a sexy bartender who serves as the show’s narrator, Murder Ballad documents the details of the torrid affair with vibrant pop-rock tunes. When Sara breaks up with Tom, a gritty bartender, she runs into the arms of Michael, a quiet poetry student at NYU. But after the couple gets married and has a daughter, Sara longs for her old, dangerous life and begins secretly seeing Tom at his bar downtown. As Sara’s passionate relationship with Tom intensifies, she begins to miss her old life with her husband and young child—but by then, it may be too late. With a title like Murder Ballad, it’s no surprise that the treacherous love triangle ends in tragedy.
The four-person cast move among the audience, climbing onto chairs or tables or the bar to belt out Nash's often searing torch-song melodies.Review by Thom Geier from Entertainment Weekly
Reconfigured for a commercial transfer in a larger theater, this hot-blooded property written by Julia Jordan and set to music by Juliana Nash still steams up the room with its violent tabloid tale of illicit love, lust and betrayal.Review by Marilyn Stasio from Variety
What is Murder Ballad Like?
In Murder Ballad, off-Broadway’s Union Square Theatre is transformed into a gritty dive bar with an East Village vibe, complete with a pool table, cafe seating and a small stage with a loud four-member rock band. Audience members sit on all sides of the playing area, with several sitting at small tables in the middle of the action. Directed by Trip Cullman, the energetic four-person cast uses the bar (which sells drinks during the pre-show), cafe tables and aisles as part of the playing space, and patrons can never be too sure when Sara, Tom, Michael or the Narrator will pop up to offer his or her side of the story. Featuring a score of pop-rock songs, Murder Ballad is a passionate story of love gone wrong.
Is Murder Ballad Good For Kids?
Leave the kids at home for this one—Murder Ballad contains explicit language and violence. The rock score and edgy staging might hook older teens, but see the show first to determine whether he or she is mature enough to handle the adult content.