Parade is a musical that dramatizes the 1913 trial of Jewish factory manager Leo Frank, who was accused and convicted of raping and murdering a thirteen-year-old employee, Mary Phagan.

The trial, sensationalized by the media, aroused anti-Semitic tensions in Atlanta and the U.S. state of Georgia.

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This video tells you about both the history of the Leo Frank case and the show itself, including hearing from the writers, the director and choreographer and various casts. It was the first video I showed at the Launch Night:

 

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… and this is a brief but excellent overview of the Confederate Memorial Day and the Battle of Gettysburgh. It was the second video I showed at the Launch Night:

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.… and this is a whistle-stop tour of the relevant places around Georgia by a resident of Marietta. It was the third video I showed at the Launch Night:

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And here is the congratulatory message Jan sent us on our final show…

 

.[Important Note: any contact with Jan MUST go through me.Thank you.]

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Parade is a musical with a book by Alfred Uhry and music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown.

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The musical was first produced on Broadway in 1998. The production was directed by Harold Prince. It starred Brent Carver as Leo Frank, Carolee Carmello as Lucille Frank, and Christy Carlson Romano as Mary Phagan.

The musical won Tony Awards for Best Book and Best Original Score (out of nine nominations) and six Drama Desk Awards. The show has enjoyed a U.S. national tour and numerous professional and amateur productions in both the U.S. and abroad.

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Michael Billington in The Guardian wrote of the London version of the show that ran at the Donmar Warehouse:

As I watched this musical about racism and injustice in the Georgia of 1913, I wondered whether it would work even better as a docu-drama? But, in the end, the music and lyrics of Jason Robert Brown serve to reinforce rather than subvert the gripping story Alfred Uhry’s book has to tell.

The show, first seen in New York in 1998, is based on a notorious American scandal. In post-bellum Atlanta, a 13-year-old pencil factory worker was found murdered. Suspicion instantly fell on the plant superintendent, Leo Frank, partly because he was the last person to see her alive, but even more because he was a Jewish outsider. Frank was convicted largely on the say-so of a black cleaner who was a chain-gang fugitive, and a mass of trumped-up evidence. But, when the case aroused protests from the northern establishment on the grounds of anti-semitism, the Georgia governor commuted Frank’s death sentence. That, however, didn’t allow for the lynch-mob lawlessness of the deep south.

The musical doesn’t have time to set the story in context: in particular, the wave of anti-immigrant hostility that swept early 20th century America. But Brown’s music constantly underscores the key narrative points. Georgian pride is exemplified by an opening and closing ensemble sentimentally hymning “the old red hills of home”. And the contrast between Frank’s alien status and the close-knit communal values of the south is established through the songs: the Brooklyn-born hero’s numbers have a Sondheimish sense of solitude while the Atlantans express themselves through traditional southern forms. Best of all is the courtroom cakewalk, full of riotous energy, that coincides with the sickening confirmation of Frank’s sentence.

Musicals primarily deal with romance: it is refreshing to find one that deals so eloquently with the roots of southern prejudice.”

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A full time line of the history in and around the case is HERE.

 

The BEST reference material in simple form is, as usual, Wikipedia:

The Show

The Case

 

The best reference on every aspect of the case is the brilliant book by Steve Oney …

And the Dead Shall Rise: The Murder of Mary Phagan and the Lynching of Leo Frank

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