The Jason Robert Brown-Alfred Uhry-Harold Prince musical Parade, which received mixed reviews upon opening at Lincoln Center Theatre's Vivian Beaumont Theatre Dec. 17, 1998, will close Feb. 28. The show will have played 39 previews and 84 performances.
Originally co-producers Lincoln Center Theatre and Livent had hoped the musical might have an extended run at the Beaumont. Indeed, tickets had recently been put on sale through April 1999. "We didn't have all the resources we needed to keep the show open," executive producer Bernard Gersten told the New York Times. The show will lose an estimated $5.5 million.
The Parade score will be recorded on Mar. 1. The album will be a Lincoln Center Theatre recording and will be distributed by RCA Victor. A similar arrangement was used for the recordings of Anything Goes and Sarafina. The next show into the Vivian Beaumont will be Michael John LaChuisa's Marie Christine, arriving in the fall. No casting has been announced, but the musical was written with Audra McDonald in mind.
Parade started previews Nov. 12. Prince, director of The Phantom of the Opera and Sweeney Todd, staged the new show, with a book by Uhry, and a score by Brown. Patricia Birch, who worked with Hal Prince on Candide and A Little Night Music, choreographed. Designing the show are Judith Dolan (costumes), Riccardo Hernandez (sets) and Howell Binkley (lighting).
Librettist Uhry won the 1997 Best Play Tony for his The Last Night of Ballyhoo and the Pulitzer Prize and Oscar for Driving Miss Daisy. Brent Carver (a Tony winner for Kiss of the Spider Woman ) and cabaret songstress Carolee Carmello (Hello Again ) star in the musical, as Leo and Lucille Selig Frank. The real-life Leo Frank case occurred in 1913, when a night watchman discovered the body of a 13 year-old factory girl who had been raped and strangled. Leo Frank, a worker at the Georgia factory, was arrested and convicted of the crime, mostly based on questionable testimony by an illiterate sweeper, and prevailing anti-Semitic feelings in the community. Though the Georgia governor commuted Frank's death sentence (in the process ruining his political career), an armed mob pulled Frank from his prison cell and hung him, amidst much celebration, from an oak tree.
Also featured in the cast of 35 are J.B. Adams as Rosser; Ray Aranha as murder suspect Newt Lee; Rufus Bonds, Jr. as key witness Jim Conley; Don Chastain (Floyd Collins ) as Judge Roan; Jeff Edgerton as Fiddlin' John; John Hickok as Governor Slaton, who commutes Frank's sentence; Herndon Lackey (Kiss of the Spider Woman ) as Hugh Dorsey, the overzealous prosecuting attorney; Jessica Molaskey (Dream ) as Mrs. Phagan; Kirk McDonald (Violet ) as Frankie Epps; Evan Pappas (My Favorite Year ) as reporter Britt Craig; Christy Carlson Romano as Mary Phagen; and John Leslie Wolfe (Passion ) as fanatical publisher Tom Watson.
Tickets to Parade are on sale at (212) 239-6200.