Chris Manos, the Atlanta producer giving a second life to the Tony Award winning Parade with a summer 2000 national tour, said he hopes the show marches on beyond its initial summer and early fall dates. Harold Prince will stage the remount of his Broadway production, which had a short life but high industry praise in the 1998-99 season: The show took home the Tony for Best Score, for composer Jason Robert Brown, and Best Book, for Alfred Uhry.
The tour's previously-announced debut run is June 13-19, 2000, at the Atlanta Fox Theatre, produced by Manos of Theatre of the Stars.
The original creative team (including designers and choreographer Pat Birch) will return to shepherd the show, about a real-life child murder and the subsequent injustice in Atlanta in the 1910s. The cast size will not be smaller than the company at the Vivian Beaumont at Lincoln Center, Manos told Playbill On-Line.
The special tour contract with Equity is for summer dates that extend into the fall and perhaps beyond. Manos said he would welcome the tour going to Broadway, but other producers would have to be involved because of the financing such a move.
Tour dates are still being added, but the list now includes the Memphis Orpheum June 22-27; Dallas Summer Musicals at Music Hall June 29-July 9; Pittsburgh CLO Aug. 15-20; Green Bay, WI, Weidner Theatre Aug 22-27; Denver Buell Theatre Sept. 12-19; and Seattle Fifth Avenue Playhouse Sept. 26-Oct. 15. There is also talk of Cleveland, Washington DC, Boston and Los Angeles stops, Manos said.
"We're eager for it to go wherever it can go," Manos said, adding it was hoped the production might go to England eventually.
He said the hope is that some of the original cast members would return to the staging.
Why Atlanta? "It's Georgia history," Manos said. "I found the whole piece fascinating."
The serious-minded Parade received mixed reviews after its Dec. 17, 1998, opening at Lincoln Center Theatre's Vivian Beaumont. The musical failed to find a larger audience and closed Feb. 28, 1999. It was a co-production between Livent (which has since been swallowed by SFX Entertainment) and Lincoln Center Theatre.
Casting for the tour will be announced in 2000, but of a possible return to the role of Lucille Frank (for which she earned a Best Actress Tony nomination), Carolee Carmello told Playbill On-Line (in September 1999): "I have heard from Hal, who said, '...We hope you're available.' It's always sort of looming in my mind, only because I loved that show so much, I still love it, I felt a little frustrated at the way it all ended, so it would be nice to do it again. With a family, it's hard to pick up and leave town for months at a time. It's going to depend on what's going on with my husband [actor Gregg Edelman] and what else is happening in my life at the time, so I can't say whether I'll be doing it or not, but I certainly wouldn't rule out the possibility."
Carmello played the wife of a Northern-born Jewish man, Leo Frank, wrongly accused of killing a girl in anti-Semitic Atlanta. The story, set in 1913, is based on fact. Brent Carver played Leo, who is punished by a mob prior to his expected pardon by the governor.
There is talk Canadian actor Carver may be performing at his former artistic home, the Stratford Festival, in 2000, making him unavailable for Parade.