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Arts & Culture Business Development Community Commentary Featured Music & Events Fara Illich August 19, 2015


murder ballad

Michael (played by Marshall Glass) embraces his wild-at-heart wife Sara (played by Kim Richard) in A/C Theatre Company’s “Murder Ballad.” (Photo: CJ Mascarelli)

After a summer hiatus, a brand new theater company is kicking off what promises to be a great year of theater for the 2015-2016 season in Downtown Phoenix. A/C Theatre is doing the off-Broadway hit musical “Murder Ballad,” the dramatic story of a love triangle gone wrong. Playing in the Hardes Theatre — one of four venues at Phoenix Theatre — it’s not to be missed.
The artistic director for the production, Kim Richard, plays the starring role of Sara. Sara is infatuated with the very charismatic bartender Tom (Miguel Jackson) and the pair share some good times enjoying the hip nightlife scene, before Sara gets on with her life and later falls in madly in love with a more sensible catch named Michael (Marshall Glass). The happy couple gets married and has a child.
Everything seems perfect until Sara tires from the monotony of being a mother and housewife and begins to miss the wild nights and good times with Tom, the sexy bartender she never forgot about. When Sara sheepishly returns to her stomping grounds from years ago she runs into her old flame and things get “complicated.”
There are no spoken words in this non-traditional musical, it’s all rock-and-roll songs that keep your feet tapping and your head bopping. The narrator (Cassie Chilton) brings the story along and adds an additional rock-and-roll element to the powerful song line up, with her rebel rocker look and spot-on powerhouse vocals. A great live band on stage provides the authentic club rock backup, providing all four of the cast members the soundtrack to flawlessly croon and roar.
The show has no intermission but goes by all too quickly with a run time of only 80 minutes. The story was wrapped up nicely, and although none of the music was familiar, it left me with a feeling of nostalgia and an eager anticipation for the next A/C Theatre production.
The 2015-2016 theater season will be active and very diverse with an array of choices to satisfy every taste. Some of the highlights include:
Phoenix Theatre’s “Chicago,” “The Wizard of Oz” and “Evita”
Arizona Theatre Company’s “Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin,” “Disgraced” and “Of Mice and Men”
The Black Theatre Troupe’s “The Taste Test,” “Over The Presidents Shoulder” and “Black Pearl Sings”
Valley Youth Theatre’s  “Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” “James and the Giant Peach” and “Disney’s Little Mermaid”
Broadway Theatre League’s “Million Dollar Quartet,” “The Producers” and “Ragtime”
Ballet Arizona’s “Coppelia,” “The Nutcracker” and “The Sleeping Beauty”
Arizona Opera’s “Carmen,” “Don Giovanni” and “Falstaff”
Herberger Lunch Time Theatre’s “Operantics,” “Never Trust an Alligator in an Easter Bonnet” and “Judy Garland: A Musical Legacy”
Space 55’s “St. Joan,” “Snowbirds” and “Night of the Chicken 4”
A/C Theatre’s “Murder Ballad” runs through August 22, with performances on Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. Buy your tickets now as these shows are very likely to sell out.