Karen Olivo commits to ‘Murder’

Will Swenson also stars in Off Broadway musical

Karen Olivo (“West Side Story”) and Will Swenson (“Priscilla Queen of the Desert”) are among the thesps lined up for the tuner “Murder Ballad,” bowing later this fall as part of the 2012-13 season at Manhattan Theater Club.

John Ellison Conlee (“The Full Monty”) and Rebecca Naomi Jones (“American Idiot”) also have signed on for parts in the world premiere by playwright Julia Jordan and musician Juliana Nash. Trip Cullman (“Lonely, I’m Not”) directs.

Storyline follows a love triangle centered on an uptown woman (Olivo) whose downtown past complicates her life. Olivo, who picked up a Tony for her perf in “West Side Story” and recently had a gig as a series regular in NBC skein “Harry’s Law,” last appeared Off Broadway in the 2011 preem of “By the Way, Meet Vera Stark.”

Musical is the first title to be presented as part of MTC’s Harold and Mimi Steinberg New Play Series, running in Stage II, the smaller of the Gotham nonprofit’s two theaters at City Center in midtown Manhattan.

“Murder Ballad” begins previews Oct. 30 ahead of a Nov. 15 opening.

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