Photo by Christian Brown Lauren Molina in the rock musical Murder Ballad
Murder Ballad began in an intimate venue in Manhattan and then moved to a much larger venue, but in both offered an "immersive" experience, as the audience is made in some ways part of the action on stage. TUTs Underground has achieved this in the 500-seat Zilkha hall by inviting the audience on stage, prior to the play beginning, installing a working bar in front at audience level, and by seating ten patrons scattered on three tables on the stage itself. All this adds considerable interest, and works beautifully.
This is a sung-through rock musical, fueled by Mediterranean passions, and the desire of one woman, Sara, to have it all, both uptown and downtown, both husband/family and hot lover. She is played by Lauren Molina, who delivers a knockout performance. She is blond, fit, and beautiful, what young men call a "hardbody" - this is a compliment, describing a confident, self-assertive woman who knows what she wants, and usually gets it. Most definitely, a dude-magnet.
Sara herself is passionately in love with bartender Tom (Steel Burkhardt), dark hair, handsome, fit, and their simulated lovemaking heats up the stage, the barstools and the bar itself; those in the front row may find their glasses steaming up. But Tom is loath to commit, perhaps because bartenders have special "opportunities" rarely available to accountants.More »