Murder Ballad

‘Murder Ballad’ A VVE3 Production

All the elements come together for a dynamic experience with “Murder Ballad.” 

Photos and review by Dana Nollsch

So let’s talk about the location first. 

The Basement proves to be a dynamic location for Murder Ballad. For those of you not familiar with The Basement, well, it is just that, the Basement of the old downtown Reno post office in Reno. This classic early 1930s building has been restored to its former glory offering retail space, office space, and a fantastic basement with shops and more. The Basement provides the perfect place for this dynamically moody play.

Now for the story.

“Murder Ballad” takes place in New your City, focusing on a bar where the characters meet, changing their lives forever. The play is a tale of girl meets boy, and girl loses boy, other boy meets girl, other boy loses girl, boy loses… well! Murder Ballad is a musical with a live band providing the punch as the story unfolds. The story of these three kept me on the edge of my seat for the entire 90 minutes. I won’t go into any more details as I don’t want to give any spoilers.

Now for the cast.

Cassandra Moore (Sara )

Cassandra Plays Sara, a woman searching for her place in life, thinking that she may find that place at the local bar. Cassandra emotes her character’s emotions with delightful energy and tops her performance off with a powerful singing voice. 

I was very impressed with Cassandra’s performance and her powerful voice.

Cori Lynne Cooper (Narrator)

Cori plays the narrator, who has a constant presence throughout the play, perhaps a dark director as the story unfolds. The narrator helps herself to more than a few libations as she takes us on a journey following the passion, love, and obsession that our three main characters experience.

Cori has the perfect presence for this sullen character.

Jeffrey Bentley (Michael)

Jeffrey plays Michael, a man looking toward the future, longing to find that one person to share his life with but finds that harder than one may think. Jeffrey fits this role to a tee lending his singing voice to the emotions his character experiences.

John Frederick (Tom)

John has this powerful charisma with an undertone of despair as he plays Tom, the bartender. Tom finds his comfort zone behind the bar without regard for the future. 

Fanci Valles (Bar Maid)

Franci plays the barmaid, who witnesses the drama around her and, at times, adds a bit of drama herself. 

The Band

The band provided the music to the actor’s voice seamlessly. It was such a pleasure to experience this musical with the energy of a talented live band.

Patricia Brewer Piano, Conductor

Dylan Faulkner Guitarist

Gerald “Jay” Larson, III Drums

Branden K McKinnon Bassist

Brandon P Melnar Bassist

Directed by John Frederick 
In Collaboration with Holly Natwora
Produced by Cori Lynne Cooper
Vocal Direction Malary Engstrom
Choreography Fanci Ann Jolene 

Playing at The Basement, 50 South Virginia St, Reno Nv.

May 6, 7, 13, 14, 20, 21

Doors open at 7:00 PM show starts at 7:30 PM

Pay what you can, plus a donation of a non-perishable food item for the Food Bank.


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