Based on a true story that fuelled the fires of rising anti-semitism, political injustice, and racial tension, the stirring Tony Award-winning musical, Parade, explores the endurance of love and hope against all the odds at Chapel Off Chapel from 27 July 2023.
With a book by acclaimed playwright Alfred Uhry (Driving Miss Daisy) and a rousing, and haunting score by Jason Robert Brown (Songs for a New World, The Last Five Years, Bridges of Madison County), Parade is a moving examination of one of the darkest episodes of America’s history.
Set in 1913 in Atlanta, Georgia, with its legacy of slavery and the Civil War, Parade tells the story of Leo Frank, a Brooklyn-raised Jew living in Georgia, who is put on trial for the murder of thirteen-year-old Mary Phagan, a factory worker under his employ.
Already judged as guilty for the murder by the staunch Atlantan community, a sensationalist media publisher fans the flames of religious paranoia, using common anti-semitic tropes to create a demonic image of Frank. Together with a janitor’s false testimony, Frank’s fate is sealed.
His only defenders are a governor who risks being politically ostracised if they follow their conscience, and his Southern Jewish wife who finds the strength and love to become his greatest champion.
Daring, innovative and bold, Parade is filled with soaring music and a heart wrenching story, offering both moral lessons and a reminder, as Churchill is attributed to have said, “that those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”
This could not be more relevant as we see the rise of antisemitism, fear of ‘otherness’ and religious intolerance prevalent in the contemporary world.
Starring Aaron Robuck as Leo Frank, and Montana Sharp as Lucille Frank, they lead a stellar cast including Guillaume, Adeline Hunter, James Frampton, Nic Davey-Greene, James Nation-Ingle, Samuel Skuthorp, Wem Etuknwa, Itunu Akin Ojelabi, Matthew Hearne, Sophie Loughran, Mike Gardiner, Benjamin Barker, Sophie Guidolin, Georgie Barron and Rebecca Ordiz.
Directed by Mark Taylor, the creative team includes musical direction by Benjamin Samuel, choreography by Freya List, set & costume design by Harry Gill, lighting design by Sidney Younger and sound design by David Barrell. Ashton Turner is the associate musical director, Dr Deborah Leiser-Moore is the cultural consultant and Melanie Xavier is the casting consultant.
Opening on Broadway in December 1998, Parade received multiple Tony and Drama Desk nominations and wins that season – including Tony Awards for Best Book, by Pulitzer Prize winning writer Alfred Uhry, and Best Score, for Jason Robert Brown, as well as Drama Desk Awards for Outstanding Actor and Actress in a Musical.
Chapel Off Chapel, 12 Little Chapel Street, Prahran
Season: 27 July – 6 August 2023
For more information, visit: www.parademusicalmelbourne.com.au for details.
Image: Montana Sharp as Lucille Frank and Aaron Robuck as Leo Frank – photo by Matthew Chen