The Verdict: Critics Review NY Premiere of Venice, With Leslie Odom, Jr., Haaz Sleiman and Jennifer Damiano

The Public Theater's production of the new rock and hip-hop musical Venice, about corruption, betrayal and power, officially opened June 13 Off-Broadway. Leslie Odom, Jr. and Haaz Sleiman co-star in the New York premiere of the work that began previews May 28.

Jennifer Damiano and Haaz Sleiman
Jennifer Damiano and Haaz Sleiman (Photo by Joan Marcus)

The musical has a book by Eric Rosen, music by Matt Sax and lyrics by Sax and Rosen with additional music by Curtis Moore. (Rosen and Clay previously collaborated on the one-man hip-hop work Clay, which was seen Off-Broadway at LCT3 in 2008.) Venice recently extended its New York run through June 30.

Rosen also directs the Public LAB production that has choreography by Chase Brock ( Spider-Man). 

Odom, Jr. ( Leap of Faith) and Sleiman ( Food and Fadwa) co-star as brothers Markos Monroe and Venice Monroe, respectively, in a cast that also features Tony Award nominee Jennifer Damiano ( Next to Normal) as Willow Turner, Claybourne Elder ( Road Show) as Michael Victor, Matt Sax as the Clown, Uzo Aduba ( Godspell) as Anna Monroe, Jonathan-David ( Les Misérables) as Theodore Westbrook, Victoria Platt ( Jelly's Last Jam) as Emilia Monroe and Angela Polk ( Crowns) with Hailey Daisy, and Emilee Dupre, Semhar Ghebremichael, Devin Roberts and Manuel Stark in the ensemble.

The critics have filed their reviews, and has collected them for our readers. Click through to read them all. will continue to update our list as the reviews come in.

Associated Press

Huffington Post

The Kansas City Star

New York Daily News

New York Post

New York Times

Time Out New York

The Washington Post

For tickets phone (212) 967-7555 or visit PublicTheater. The Public Theater is located at 425 Lafayette Street in Manhattan.