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Perez Reviews: Murder Ballad

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With a title like Murder Ballad, you'd expect that that show to be HIGH STAKES! Unfortunately, the musical currently playing at Manhattan Theater Club does not live up to its title. Complicated Love Story would have been a more appropriate title and worked more in the show's favor.

Murder Ballad has a lot going for it, but it also has a lot that hinders the production.

The choice to make the show completely sung through - like an opera - made it really difficult to connect with the characters and their motivations. If the show is ever done again, we'd strongly suggest adding a book!

The best thing Murder Ballad has going for it are the songs - by Juliana Nash and Julia Jordon. And for a musical, the songs being your strongest attribute is a really good thing! Having said that, though, while the songs are really really good - they did start to sound a bit the same. And, with no dialogue, the songs started to blend into one long song. In addition to adding dialogue, we'd recommend future incarnations of the show have a band with more instruments and different/better orchestrations.

The cast, featuring Will Swenson and Karen Olivo, all delivered solid performances. And, especially enjoyable was the direction by Trip Cullman and his use of the great and intimate theater space, as well as the choreography by Doug Varone.

If you're a fan of Jason Robert Brown and his sensibility and go into Murder Ballad with that in mind, then you will find the show a very enjoyable experience!

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4 comments to “Perez Reviews: Murder Ballad

  1. tempe says – reply to this


    1

    Once again another sloppy review. Please check sentence structure. Otherwise just another super lame review.



  2. 2

    The cast was probably nervous once they found out professional critic piggy was in the house. Chita Rivera claims you have ruined her career with your stinging commentary.

  3. teeter totter says – reply to this


    3

    Glad you are enjoying yourself seeing all the NYC plays.

  4. Lauren says – reply to this


    4

    Wow. This review is absolutely terrible. I saw this show the day after you posted this review and I had to come on here to tell you exactly how bad this review was.

    Whether or not you liked the show is your opinion and is your right, however your reasoning is faulty.

    First, the show is called Murder Ballad because it literally is a ballad about how a murder was committed. It is supposed to be one long song. Each different "song" is a character's voice, much like in Peter and the Wolf.

    Second, how can you say you didn't like how it was all sung but then say the strongest part of the show was the songs. That makes absolutely no sense.

    It's really nice that you are staying in NYC and going to shows because it seems like you love it, but just because you have a website doesn't mean you are qualified to review. Every single review you have posted has made me angry in one way or another because you have no business critiquing anything. Go back to the pointless celebrity gossip and let Ben Brantley take care of the reviews.