The authors, Julia Jordan (book, lyrics, conceived by) and Juliana Nash (music and lyrics), come from a rock background and wanted to create a story that could be propelled by one song flowing into the next. (The through-sung performance runs about 80 minutes.) The murder ballad is a tradition that dates back to traditional folk music and continues in rock, blues, country, and other forms.
The authors' stripped-down plot consists of three main characters and a narrator (Anastacia McCleskey). In trendy Lower Manhattan, Sara (Christine Dwyer) and Tom (Cole Burden) can't keep their hands off each other, but Sara wants a commitment that Tom isn't able to give. Sara soon meets Michael (Tommar Wilson), a sensitive graduate student, and they build a life togetherbut Sara can't completely get the thrill of her days with Tom out of her mind.
The Narrator propels the action from one location to the next on Andrew Cohen's all-encompassing set; a cigarette machine stands at one side and a pool table is in a place of prominence at the center of the playing area. Andrew Cissna's lighting design uses strands of colored lights, gaudy and mismatched chandeliers, and a mirror ball along with burning spotlights to illuminate the cavernous space.
As directed fluidly by David Muse, all four actors get a chance to shine: conflicted Dwyer, combustible Burden, seemingly content Wilson, and all-knowing McCleskey. Nancy Bannon is credited as movement director, which includes both sexual and fight choreography. Music director Darren E. Cohen is part of a hard-working four-piece band that, like the actors, never gets a chance to rest.