Upper West Side story at Powerhouse this weekend

Daniel Breaker in Murder Ballad at Vassar & New York Stage and Film’s Powerhouse Theater (photo by Buck Lewis)

The 2012 season of Powerhouse Theater, that fertile summer breeding ground for new dramatic works brought to us lucky mid-Hudsonites by the collaboration of Vassar College and New York Stage and Film, continues this weekend with a workshop version of a new rock musical. A tale of a love triangle gone wrong, Murder Ballad centers on Sara, an Upper West Side Mom who seems to have it all, but whose downtown past lingers enticingly and dangerously in front of her. The plot purports to explore “the complications of love, the compromises we make and the small betrayals that can ultimately undo us.”

Murder Ballad was written by award-winning playwright Julia Jordan, whose previous plays include Boy, Tatjana in Color, St. Scarlet, Smoking Lesson, Dark Yellow, Astrological Quit Claim Deeds and Jones. The songs were created by composer Juliana Nash, frontwoman for the ‘90s indie-rock band Talking to Animals. Trip Cullman (Lonely, I’m Not; Assistance; A Small Fire) directs. Justin Levine, familiar to Powerhouse audiences as the author of last year’s Bonfire Night, serves as music director – a role that he also fulfilled in Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson on Broadway. Doug Varone is the choreographer.


The cast of Murder Ballad at Vassar includes two Tony nominees: Daniel Breaker (Passing Strange, Shrek: The Musical) and Will Swenson (Hair, Priscilla Queen of the Desert). Also on board are Dee Roscioli, who bears the distinction of having played Elphaba in more performances of Wicked than any other actress; and Rebecca Naomi Jones, who has performed on Broadway in American Idiot and Passing Strange.

Murder Ballad will be staged as a Martel Musical Workshop in the Vogelstein Center for Drama and Film on the Vassar College campus. Performances begin at 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, July 27 and 28, with a 2 p.m. matinee and a newly added 7:30 p.m. show on Sunday, July 29. Tickets for all seats cost $30, and can be obtained in person at the Powerhouse Theater box office on the Vassar College campus, located at 124 Raymond Avenue in Poughkeepsie; or by calling (845) 437-5599, e-mailing phtboxoffice@vassar.edu or visiting https://powerhouse.vassar.edu. You can download the rest of the 2012 Powerhouse calendar at https://bit.ly/2012powerhousecalendar.

Powerhouse Theater presents Julia Jordan and Juliana Nash’s new rock musical Murder Ballad this Friday and Saturday, July 27 and 28 at 8 p.m. and this Sunday, July 29 at 2 and 7:30 p.m. Performances take place in the Martel Theater in the Vogelstein Center for Drama and Film on the Vassar campus. All seats cost $30. For tickets, visit the box office 124 Raymond Avenue in Poughkeepsie, call (845) 437-5599, e-mail phtboxoffice@vassar.edu or log onto https://powerhouse.vassar.edu.