The Collective to present Jason Robert Brown’s PARADE at 45 Downstairs

Parade_Collective Theatre_editorialThe Collective will present the first Australian professional production of Tony Award winning composer Jason Robert Brown’s rousing musical drama Parade, the tragic true story of a man accused of murder, at 45 Downstairs in September.

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 (Driving Miss Daisy), and Best Score, for Jason Robert Brown (Songs For A New World, The Last Five Years, 13, The Bridges of Madison County), as well as Drama Desk Awards for Outstanding Actor and Actress in a Musical.

Amid religious intolerance, political injustice and racial tension, Parade explores the endurance of love and hope against all the odds. It is a moving examination of one of the darkest corners of America’s history. Daring, innovative and bold, Parade is filled with soaring music and a heart-wrenching story, offering a moral lesson about the dangers of prejudice and ignorance that should not be forgotten.

Parade tells the controversial yet true story of 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, in Atlanta, Georgia. The show’s title refers to the annual parade held on Confederate Memorial Day, for it was on that day in 1913 that the murder took place. The parade (which is seen at the start, middle and end of the musical to mark the passing of years) was a rallying point for proud Southerners still affected by their defeat in the Civil War.

Feature a strong line-up of local performers: Luigi Lucente (Pippin) as Leo Frank and Laura Fitzpatrick (Flowerchildren) as Lucille Frank, they head up a cast of 14 including Cameron MacDonald (Godspell), Tod Strike (Love Never Dies), Amelia Christo (Motherhood the Musical), as well as Andrew Doyle, Timothy Springs, David Price, Paul Dawber, Cle Morgan, Jemma Plunkett, Michelle Smitheram, Bonnie Page and Emma Jones.

The creative team includes James Cutler as director, with musical direction by Cameron Thomas and choreography by David Harford. The Collective will present the London Donmar Warehouse version of Parade, which premiered in 2007 and features additional songs.

Parade will be presented at fortyfivedownstairs from 17 – 28 September 2014. For more information, visit: www.collectivetheatre.com.au for details.

Image: courtesy of The Collective

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