Javier Muñoz, J.D. Goldblatt Sing in a City of the Future in Venice, Opening in L.A.

News   Javier Muñoz, J.D. Goldblatt Sing in a City of the Future in Venice, Opening in L.A.
Venice, the new hip-hop and R&B-driven musical by Matt Sax and Eric Rosen, opens Oct. 17 in its Los Angeles premiere at Center Theatre Group's Kirk Douglas Theatre. The co-production between CTG and Kansas City Repertory Theatre began L.A. performances on Oct. 7.

Javier Muñoz
Javier Muñoz Photo by Craig Schwartz

The musical about two brothers clashing over how to save their city has an original book by Rosen, music by Sax and lyrics by Sax and Rosen, and additional music by Curtis Moore.

The cast includes (in alphabetical order) Uzo Aduba, Erich Bergen, Rodrick Covington (Broadway's The Lion King), J.D. Goldblatt (Broadway's Les Miz in 2006), Andrea Goss (Broadway's Rent), Javier Muñoz (Broadway's In the Heights), Victoria Platt, Angela Wildflower Polk, Matt Sax, Alexander Selma (Broadway's Jesus Christ Superstar), Donald Webber, Jr. and Morgan Weed (Berkeley Rep's American Idiot).

Venice is billed as "a rich story of war, love, betrayal and the quest for peace, boasts a powerful score that fuses elements of hip-hop, R&B and opera. Set in a not-too-distant future, two brothers clash over how to save their city in the aftermath of a 20-year war. One brother seeks a new era of peace and restoration while the other tries to seize power by keeping the city mired in violence and by derailing his brother's upcoming marriage to a woman whose father had been the city's president in happier days."

Venice continues through Nov. 14.

Rosen, artistic director of KC Rep, directs the production. Vocal arrangements and music direction are by Moore. Choreography is by John Carrafa and Tanisha Scott. The production team includes set and costume designer Meghan Raham, lighting designer David Weiner, sound designer Joshua Horvath (also handling music production and incidental music) and projection designer Jason H. Thompson. Venice was commissioned by CTG and presented in public workshops as a part of DouglasPlus in April 2009. This production opened at Kansas City Repertory Theatre in April 2010.

Sax and Rosen were the creators of the one-man hip-hop musical Clay, the coming-of-age story written and performed by Sax and directed by Rosen, and presented at the Douglas Theatre in September-October 2007.

Rosen is a playwright, director and producer. His original plays and musicals include Winesburg, Ohio, for which he wrote the book and lyrics and he directed (Chicago's Joseph Jefferson Award for Best New Work, and five Barrymore Awards including Best Musical), Dream Boy (Jeff Award for Best Direction and Production), Wedding Play, Dancer from the Dance, Whitman and Undone.

Sax won a Joseph Jefferson Award for Best Solo Performance for Clay in its presentation by Lookingglass Theatre and About Face Theatre. Clay was also presented Off-Broadway by Lincoln Center Theater; it received Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle nominations.

For tickets and information, call (213) 628-2772, or visit www.CenterTheatreGroup.org.

The Kirk Douglas Theatre is located at 9820 Washington Blvd., Culver City, CA.

Matt Sax (left) and the cast of <i>Venice</i>
Matt Sax (left) and the cast of Venice Photo by Craig Schwartz
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