Show History



Murder Ballad is an original, sung-through musical conceived by Jonathan Larson Award winner and two-time Susan Smith Blackburn Prize finalist, Julia Jordan. Jordan also wrote the book and some lyrics for the musical with noted indie singer/songwriter, Julia Nash.

The title is taken from the phrase, "murder ballad," a type of song that describes the details of a crime, from the murderer to the motive and to the act itself. Jordan, initially a playwright, was interested in taking her idea of a murderous love triangle and turning it into a rock musical. She approached Nash, who had never written a musical before and was inspired by the dark narrative qualities of the music.


Murder Ballad premiered at the Manhattan Theatre Club's The Studio at Stage II. It ran from November 15, 2012, to December 16, 2012, featuring performances by Rebecca Naomi Jones, Karen Olivo and Will Swenson. Following the sold-out run, the musical transferred Off-Broadway to the Union Square Theatre. The production opened May 7, 2013, and closed on July 21, 2013, after 70 regular performances.


  • Murder Ballad earned both an Outer Critics Circle Award nomination for Outstanding Off-Broadway Musical and a Drama League Award nomination for Outstanding Production of a Musical. It was also nominated for five Lucille Lortel awards.