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PARADE the Musical by Jason Robert Brown
PARADE a musical, by Jason Robert Brown
I'm a massive musical theatre fan. I've worked in the West End, and have been on tour with productions across the UK. There is nothing like a great piece of theatre! What I love about Musical Theatre, is that music be used creatively and can help to tell and enhance a story. Music can be so rousing and evocative, it can really push the feel and emotion of a scene.
One piece of theatre that uses music so beautifully, is a musical called Parade, by Jason Robert Brown. I've seen the show twice, once at the Donmar Warehouse, and again at the Southwark Playhouse (both London's West End). They were both different productions, but they ultimately still belong amongst the best pieces of theatre, and musical theatre I have ever seen.
So, when it comes to writing about something I love, there is nothing I love more than excellent theatre, and Parade by Jason Robert Brown, certainly fits into that category!
Set on Memorial Day, 1913 in the Deep South Georgia, years after the American Civil War, Parade tells the story of Leo Frank and his trial for the murder of 13 year old girl.
A Jew, from New York, Leo Frank struggles to fit in with his southern community. A superintendent of a pencil factory, he is hard worker, who wants the best for him and his wife. His world comes tumbling down, when one of his employees, the young Mary Phagan, is found murdered in the factory basement.
Accused of her death, we follow Leo Frank's trial, and the desperate attempts from his wife, Lucille, to clear his name. Throughout the musical, we ask ourselves, is he guilty? Is he innocent? We feel contempt, and sorrow for Leo Frank and his doting wife. In an anti-Semitic community, how is he perceived by everyone?
A harrowing, shocking, yet ultimately beautiful story of a man's fall from grace, at the mercy of his community.
...oh yeah...and it's a true story!
Alfred Uhry wrote the book of Parade, which Jason Robert Brown, composed and created the score for.
**SPOILER ALERT** If you want to read about the true story of Leo Frank, and find out what happens, you can read what wiki says about it all here: Leo Frank's Story
Have you seen Parade by Jason Robert Brown
Have you seen Jason Robert Brown's Parade?
Parade, by Jason Robert Brown, explores how anti-Semitism governed people's perceptions and view in Marietta, Georgia.
Innocence and loss of Innocence, play heavily. How can a superintendent of factory, a good and decent man, be thrust into trial without ample factual evidence?
Love plays a huge role. How Leo Frank's wife does everything within her power to support and save her husband, whilst at the same time maintain their sense of dignity and decency amongst a hostile town.
Play and sing the music from Jason Robert Brown's Parade, yourself!
I can't recommend this version of the show's recording enough! It's like an audiobook. All the speaking is recorded, so even if you've never seen it, you can follow what happens.
I have this version in my car and listen to it all the time. The rousing opening number "The Old Red Hills of Home" gets me every time. And when Mary's funeral song "There is a Fountain/It Don't Make Sense" juuuuust makes my eyes leak, y'know...I have to make sure there's no one else in the car or they'll think I'm bonkers!
The verdict on Broadway was mixed reviews, but overall impressive. The London audience received it better, it has to be said. However, Parade will always be in my Top3 Musicals ever seen...and that's a tough place to get to, believe me!
Read what the New York Times had to say about Parade, by Jason Robert Brown.
Read what the LA Times had to say about Parade, by Jason Robert Brown.
Read what the Guardian (UK) had to say about Parade, by Jason Robert Brown.
Read what What's On Stage (UK) had to say about Parade, by Jason Robert Brown.
Read what the Telegraph (UK) had to say about Parade, by Jason Robert Brown.
Read a selection of major reviews from the American production of Parade, here
(...by the way, for those interested...Rent and Ghost get 2nd and 3rd place in my Top3 Best Musicals)
More Music by Jason Robert Brown from Amazon.com
More of my pages about Theatre, that you will love!
Spring AwakeningSEE FULL PAGE
Parade the MusicalSEE FULL PAGE
Hairspray (Musical)SEE FULL PAGE
Equus (Dan Radcliffe)SEE FULL PAGE
The Lion KingSEE FULL PAGE
Jesus Christ SuperstarSEE FULL PAGE
RENT by Jonathan LarsonSEE FULL PAGE
Les Miserables Movie PostersSEE FULL PAGE
Rent Remixed (London)SEE FULL PAGE
The Edinburgh Festival 2012SEE FULL PAGE