Book by Alfred Uhry
Music & Lyrics by Jason Robert Brown
Co-concieved by Harold Prince
Directed by Harold Prince
Vivian Beaumont Theater
In association with Livent (U.S.), Inc.
Scheduled run: Nov 12, 1998 to Feb 28, 1999
at the Vivian Beaumont Theater, 150 West 65th St.
Parade, perhaps the most ambitious show Lincoln Center Theater has ever undertaken at the Beaumont, is produced in association with Livent (U.S.) Inc., the producer of award-winning Broadway musicals such as Ragtime, Show Boat and Kiss of the Spider Woman. Over the last several years, Livent has nurtured Parade through a series of readings and workshops.
Harold Prince has spurred the development of Parade throughout this process and will direct the show here, too -- his first time directing at Lincoln Center. For his part, Mr. Prince says: "the Beaumont Theater is this director's dream -- original and evocative -- just about perfect for Parade."
Prince, the winner of a record twenty Tony Awards, has directed a remarkable number of landmark musicals including the original productions of Cabaret, Company, Follies, Evita, Sweeny Todd, Phantom of the Opera and Kiss of the Spider Woman. And he's still going strong: his Tony Award-winning staging of Show Boat recently opened in London's West End to rave reviews.
Another big reason to be excited about Parade is the knockout score by the gifted young composer/lyricist Jason Robert Brown, who is making his Broadway debut. For this new show, Brown has written a dazzling assortment of ballads, comedy numbers, anthems and more, in a wide range of musical styles, from period pastiche to contemporary pop, all wrapped in a distinctive 'sound' of his own.
Most recently, he has been working at the Mitzi E. Newhouse, doing vocal arrangements for LCT's recent production of A New Brain. But he came to people's attention a few years ago with his off-Broadway show Songs for a New World. As one reviewer wrote: "anyone interested in glimpsing the future of the American musical theater would do well to catch this revue."
The masterful script for Parade is by Alfred Uhry, who is the only playwright to win the Pulitzer Prize, the Tony Award AND the Academy Award. His plays, Driving Miss Daisy and The Last Night of Ballyhoo, are what Uhry is probably most famous for, but he began his career in the musical theater, first as a lyricist partner for the composer Frank Loesser and later as a book writer for a series of musicals, including his Tony-nominated adaption of Eudora Welty's The Robber Bridegroom (written with Robert Waldman).
Parade's stellar creative team also includes veteran choreographer Patricia Birch (a four-time Tony nominee), set designer Riccardo Hernandez (Bring In 'Da Noise, Bring In 'Da Funk), costume designer Judith Dolan (Tony winner for the revival of Candide), lighting designer Howell Binkley (Olivier Award winner for Kiss of the Spider Woman), sound designer Jonathan Deans (Ragtime), orchestrators Don Sebesky (a 22-time Grammy Award nominee) and Bruce Coughlin (the revivals of The Sound of Music and The King And I), and musical director Eric Stern (LCT's Carousel) conducting a 20-piece orchestra.
The lavish production will have a cast of over thirty actors, led by Canadian star Brent Carver, who is returning to New York for the first time since his Tony-winning triumph in Kiss of the Spider Woman. Joining him are at least two other players familiar to LCT audiences: Carolee Carmello (Falsettos), who won the Obie Award for her performance in LCT's production of Hello Again; and Evan Pappas, who starred in our production of My Favorite Year.
Parade takes place in Atlanta, Georgia in 1913. Leo Frank -- a young Jew from New York -- has moved to the South to marry a local woman named Lucille Selig, and to manage a pencil factory. Their quiet life explodes when Leo is falsely accused of murdering Mary Phagan, a 13-year-old girl who works at his factory.
Instantly, he finds himself at the center of "The Trial Of The Century". With the scars of the Civil War still raw, the passions of the local citizenry are easily stirred by political opportunists and an overzealous press.
The trial is an outrage. Leo is sentenced to death on flimsy evidence. Lucille launches a heroic campaign at home and in the North to save her husband. Leo's case is re-investigated and his sentence is commuted. But what happens next remains an American tragedy.
Parade has strong personal significance for Alfred Uhry, who was born and raised in Atlanta and has previously drawn on the world of Southern Jews for both Daisy and Ballyhoo. Uhry's great uncle was the owner of the factory where Leo Frank worked and his grandmother (a model for Miss Daisy) was a friend of both the Frank and Selig families.
For more information on the history and background of the Leo Frank case, including newspaper and magazine accounts from the period, as well as photographs, political cartoons, journal entries, letters and more, visit:
Copyright ©1998 The Vivian Beaumont Theater Inc., d/b/a Lincoln Center Theater