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A brave musical about the highly controversial 1913 murder trial of Leo Frank, Parade investigates the underlying racism that led to his conviction as well as the poignant nature of his touching relationship with his loyal wife, Lucille. Get your Parade tickets today for a dramatic tale of hope, despair, love, and loss that you will never forget.
About the Show:
With music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown (13, The Last Five Years) and a book by Alfred Uhry (Driving Miss Daisy, The Last Night of Ballyhoo), Parade dramatizes the events surrounding the controversial 1913 trial of Leo Frank, a factory manager convicted of raping and murdering 13-year-old employee Mary Phagan. It is widely believed that Frank was wrongly convicted due to the enormous antisemitic sentiment in the American South at the time; the media firestorm surrounding the trial incited rage in the citizens of Georgia, but Northern media accused the Georgian legal system of handling the trial inefficiently and unfairly, largely due to sweeping racist sensationalism. Interestingly, the Ku Klux Klan experienced a revival largely due to this controversy and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) was formed as a result of the shocking antisemitism surrounding Frank's trial and mob lynching.
In addition to portraying the horrors of the trial, Parade also focuses on the relationship between Frank and his wife, Lucille, who rediscovered their love through the tribulations they faced during the scandal. Several of the show's most well-known songs, including "You Don't Know This Man," and "All the Wasted Time" reflect their emotional journey. The musical premiered on December 17, 1998 at Broadway's Vivian Beaumont Theater, starring Brent Carver, Carolee Carmello, and Christy Carlson Romano. Though it closed shortly thereafter, on February 28, 1999, it was well-received, winning two Tony Awards (Best Book and Best Score) out of an impressive nine nominations. With Parade tickets, you are guaranteed a compelling show; order today and experience this musical journey through one of America's most shocking and important stories.
In Marietta, Georgia during the Civil War, a young Confederate soldier says goodbye to his sweetheart as he departs for deployment.
It is now 1913 and the young solider is now an old veteran missing a leg. He, along with most of the other residents of Marietta, is getting ready for the Confederate Memorial Day parade. Once the festivities commence, Leo Frank, a college-educated Jew from the North, feels so uncomfortable that he goes to work on the holiday, even though his wife, Lucille, has prepared a special meal. Elsewhere, teenagers Mary Phagan and Frankie Epps flirt on a trolley until she leaves to collect her paycheck from the pencil factory that Leo manages. Meanwhile, Lucille laments her unfulfilling marriage and begins to doubt whether the somewhat self-absorbed Leo is really right for her.
Later that night, Officer Ivey and Detective Starnes awaken Leo with news that they have found the raped and murdered body of Mary Phagan in the factory's basement. The prime suspect is Newt Lee, the black night patrolman who supposedly found the body, but during his interrogation, he inadvertently implicates Leo by revealing that he didn't answer his phone call when he discovered the body. Leo is arrested but not yet charged.
Soon, the town is abuzz with news of the tragic death. A reporter named Britt Craig sees it as a career-making opportunity; Governor Slaton compels local prosecutor Hugh Dorsey to solve the case; Mary's funeral enrages the townspeople, particularly Frankie Epps and Tom Watson, a writer for a right-wing newspaper, who vow to avenge Mary. Law enforcement officials and journalists, in an attempt to create a satisfyingly dramatic, public resolution to this case, begin vilifying Leo and seeking out witnesses for the trial. Although his lawyer, Luther Z. Rosser, vows to get him acquitted, Dorsey begins bargaining with people to testify against Leo. Meanwhile, Lucille is tortured by the media bombardment, but Leo beseeches her to attend his trial, as her absence would make him seem guilty.
Once the trial begins, witness after witness, including Frankie Epps, Mary's friends, and factory janitor Jim Conley (to whom Dorsey offered immunity from a previous crime for his appearance), offer their emotionally charged false testimony. Finally, despite a genuinely heartfelt speech, Leo is sentenced to death by hanging. The crowd cheers while Leo and Lucille embrace in horror.
Later, Leo has begun the appeals process. The Northern press is highly critical of how the trial was conducted; Newt Lee and Jim Conley wonder if they would be as outraged if the victim had been black. While Lucille is helping Leo with his appeal, she accidentally reveals some information to Craig, which causes a fight with Leo. Later, she approaches Governor Slaton as a party and pleads Leo's case.
At the request (posed in a deathbed letter) of the now-retired original judge from Leo's trial, Judge Roan, Governor Slaton reopens the case and Leo and Lucille celebrate the news that he may still have a fighting chance. At the new trial, the witnesses admit to embellishing their stories, and the case doesn't seem to hang together as neatly as before. Consequently, Leo's sentence is reduced to life in prison, and the still-irate Marietta citizens are outraged.
Lucille visits Leo in prison, and he realizes how much he loves her and how much he has taken her for granted. When she leaves, a mob of masked men abducts Leo and hangs him from a tree. Lucille is devastated, but takes some comfort in knowing that Leo is now in a better place, far from his troubles.
The Confederate Memorial Day parade commences once again.
Run Time:Approximately 2 hours and 45 minutes with one intermission
Advisory:Recommended for teens and older (adult themes and language)
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