Parade, the acclaimed musical by Jason Robert Brown and Alfred Uhry, will finally be given its Nashville area premiere-starring Megan Murphy Chambers and Paul Cook, under the direction of Sondra Morton-as Boiler Room Theatre presents the show October 5-20 at its venue at the historic Factory at Franklin.
With book by Uhry (Pulitzer Prize-winner for Driving Miss Daisy and Tony Award-winner for The Last Night of Ballyhoo) and music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown (The Last Five
Years, Songs for A New World), Parade had its world premiere at Lincoln Center Theater in 1998. It won Tony Awards for best book and score, and the Drama Desk and New York Critics' Circle awards for Best Musical. The show quickly built an international following for its haunting score and powerful narrative and has subsequently been produced by companies around the world, including recent productions in London and Los Angeles.
Parade takes place in 1913 Atlanta. After a teenaged factory employee is assaulted and murdered, Leo Frank, the young Jewish manager of the factory, is charged with the crime. By manipulating witnesses and tampering with evidence, the prosecution sets about convincing the jury that the wrongly accused Frank is guilty.
"This show holds such an important message about prejudice and stereotypes," says Morton. "It is an influential part of our southern history. I am honored to direct such an incredible and integral piece of work. My hope is that each audience member leaves reflecting on who they are and how they perceive others."
Considered one of the most sensational trials of the early 20th century, the Frank case pressed every hot-button issue of the time: North vs. South, black vs. white, Jewish vs. Christian, industrial vs. agrarian. The musical recounts the press frenzy and public outrage surrounding the trial and conviction, including the crusade for justice amid religious intolerance, political injustice and racial tension fought by Frank's wife, Lucille.
Morton's ensemble of 17 actors, who will play the musical's 40 roles, includes many of Middle Tennessee's finest talent. Having recently directed the acclaimed Pippin for the BRT, Paul Cook stars as Leo Frank. Back after her tour de force portrayal of Diana in Next to Normal is Megan Murphy Chambers as his wife Lucille Frank.
Also starring are Matt Baugher as Hugh Dorsey, Jordan Ravellette as Britt Craig, Josh Lowry as Frankie, Laura Crockarell as Sally and Ms. Phagan, Dominique Howse as Jim Conley, Hope Dyra as Mary Phagan, Morganne Best as Iola Stover, Paige Brouillette as Essie, Arden Guice as Monteen, Colin Carswell as Newt Lee, Piper Jones as Minnie, and rounding out the cast by playing several characters are Dan McGeachy, Dan Ziegler, Flynt Foster, and Darci Wantiez.
Jamey Green and Lauri Gregoire serve as Parade's musical director and choreographer, respectively, while Jayme Smith (stage manager), Corbin Green (set design) and Katie Delaney (costumes) make up its production team