11 views • 05/04/2023

Jason Robert Brown's PARADE

PARADE is an utter travesty turned into a Broadway play, currently starring Ben Platt

(((I want to let you know about this important musical, Parade. It is about a terrible injustice that happened in 1913 Atlanta, the lynching of Leo Frank, the manager of a pencil factory, who was accused of raping and murdering a girl who worked for him. Doesn’t sound much like our usual musical theater, but I promise you that this thought-provoking, moving show will stay with you forever.

The tragic, true story of the trial and lynching of a man wrongly accused of murder is brought to emotional and theatrical life by acclaimed playwright Alfred Uhry (Driving Miss Daisy) and Jason Robert Brown, one of Broadway's most promising young composers (The Last Five Years, Songs For A New World).

In 1913, Leo Frank, (Rafi Bromberg) a Brooklyn-born Jew living in Georgia, is put on trial for the murder of 13-year-old Mary Phagan (Joanna Rundle), a factory worker under his employ. Already guilty in the eyes of everyone around him, Leo's fate is sealed when a sensationalist publisher, Britt Craig (William K. Carey) and the prosecutor, Hugh Dorsey (Tim White) coach Mary's would-be beau, Frankie Epps (George Adamo) and a janitor, Jim Conley (Jared Howelton) to provide false testimony. Leo’s only defenders are Governor Slaton (Keith White) and, eventually, his assimilated Southern wife Lucille (Madison Sylvester), who finds the strength and love to become his greatest champion.

Daring, innovative and bold, Parade won well-earned Tony Awards for Best Book and Best Score in 2000. Its subject matter offers a moral lesson about the dangers of prejudice and ignorance that should not be forgotten.

"Southern extended families are prone to telling stories and so are Jewish ones. Mine was both, so I got a double dose. I grew up hearing about the quirks of distant relatives, in-laws and a whole network of people I didn't know. They all came with stories attached. But nobody mentioned Leo Frank. Some of the family even walked out of the room if the name came up. I found this confusing, because I knew that my Great Uncle Sig had been his employer, and Lucille Frank was my grandmother's friend. Due to this hush-hush policy, I developed a fascination for the case, which has lasted all these years and which led to the idea for Parade."—ALFRED UHRY)))

Here's one really good comment:

"A musical about a young girl's grisly demise? I wonder how the Frank and Phagan families [feel] about this?"

If you've missed my director's cut of the People vs. Leo Frank, have at it:

Performances ran

August 14-28, 2015 at

Porch Light Productions. Glen Rock, NJ.

Directed, Staged, and Lighting by Michael Haber

Music Direction by Andy Winston

Assistant Director: Maggie Jeffers

Stage Manager: Kayla McGraw

Properties: Laura Iacometta

Production Manager: Amanda Villafuerte

Sound by Drew Villafuerte

Scenic Design by Michael Haber, Kayla McGraw, Maggie Jeffers, Jackie Leibowitz, George Adamo, and Drew Villafuerte

#Parade #JasonRobertBrown #GeorgeAdamo


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