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Public adds ‘Venice’ to Lab

Hip-hop musical joins Off Broadway season

Off Broadway’s Public Theater has added “Venice,” the hip-hop-inflected tuner by Matt Sax, Eric Rosen and Curtis Moore, to its spring lineup.

Futuristic tale loosely inspired by “Othello” joins the Public slate as part of the Public Lab series of developmental stagings of new plays and tuners. Richard Nelson’s well-received trio of works about the Apple family, including recent outing “Sorry,” were all presented as part of the Public Lab, as was musical “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson” in a run that helped push that musical to Broadway.

“Venice” bowed in 2010 in Kansas City, where Rosen is a.d. of Kansas City Rep, and then had a run at L.A.’s Center Theater Group later that year. Writer-performer Sax previously collaborated with scribe-director Rosen on solo hip-hop musical “Clay,” which went on to play stints around the country including in Gotham, where the show had a well-received run as part of Lincoln Center Theater’s LCT3 program.

Sergio Trujillo (“Memphis”), also onboard the incoming Rialto tuner “Hands on a Hardbody,” has signed on to choreograph the Rosen-helmed “Venice,” which has music by Sax and book by Rosen with the duo collaborating on lyrics. Moore is credited with additional music.

“Venice” will round out the 2012-13 season at the Public, where the show begins previews May 28 prior to a June 13 opening. Current offerings at the Public’s downtown venue include musical “Giant” and play “The Twenty-Seventh Man.”

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