Kansas City Repertory Theatre’s “Venice” Premieres in New York

Matt Sax (center) plays the MC and also wrote the lyrics and music for "Venice."

NY-based Alumni and Friends Celebrate

When the Kansas City Repertory Theatre’s “Venice” ran in Kansas City a few years ago, it was cheered on by the University of Missouri-Kansas City community. Now the play is having its premiere in New York, and UMKC audiences are still cheering.

Venice, a Kansas City Repertory Theatre production, is having its New York premier at The Public Theater, May 28 – June 23.  Chancellor Leo Morton will be joined by Broadway legend John Kander in hosting a special event June 5 for New York-based UMKC alumni. Together, the group will take in the critically acclaimed musical and enjoy a reception.

Described as Othello-inspired, “Venice,” which Time magazine heralded as the best musical of 2010 during its run in Kansas City, features a fusion of musical styles from hip-hop and rock to soaring anthems of love and hope, tracing a young man’s rise as he fights for what’s right against a backdrop of deceit and sibling betrayal.

The show is a collaboration of the Kansas City Rep’s Artistic Director Eric Rosen and composer Matt Sax; Rosen is directing “Venice” at The Public.  The Kansas City Repertory Theatre is the professional theatre in residence at UMKC.

Founded by the legendary Joseph Papp, The Public is described as the only theater in New York that produces Shakespeare and new work in equal measure. The Public Theater is dedicated to achieving artistic excellence while developing an American theater that is accessible and relevant through productions of challenging new plays, musicals and innovative stagings of the classics. Conceived nearly 60 years ago as one of the nation’s first nonprofit theaters, The Public has served as an advocate for the theater as an essential cultural force in leading and framing dialogue on important issues of our day.

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