Parade, one of the high hopes of the 1998-99 Broadway musical theatre season, closed after two months at the Vivian Beaumont Theatre, but its melodies linger on in the cast album being released April 27
The recording by Lincoln Center Theatre is being distributed by RCA Victor. Harold Prince directed and co-conceived the serious-minded musical, inspired by the 1913 murder case that lead to the lynching of innocent Atlanta Jew Leo Frank. The book was by Alfred Uhry and the score by Broadway newcomer Jason Robert Brown.
The cast album was recorded March 1 in New York City and the accompanying booklet includes lyrics, 17 production photos and liner notes by Uhry and Brown.
Parade, which received mixed reviews upon opening at Lincoln Center Theatre's Vivian Beaumont Theatre Dec. 17, 1998, closed Feb. 28, 1999. The show 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 lost an estimated $5.5 million. The disc was recorded independently of a label, but distributed by RCA. The cast album was made possible in part by contributions from The Gilman & Gonzalez-Falla Theatre Foundation, Scott Rudin, Frieda & Roy Furman, Daniel & Brooke Neidich and other donors.
Brent Carver (a Tony winner for Kiss of the Spider Woman ) and cabaret songstress Carolee Carmello (Hello Again) starred 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 manager 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.
The 79-minute disc (with Eric Stern conducting) includes 28 tracks, including:
Prologue: "The Old Red Hills of Home"
Anthem: "The Dream of Atlanta"
"How Can I Call This Home"
"The Picture Show"
"Leo at Work/What Am I Waiting For?"
Interrogation: "I Am Trying to Remember..."
Funeral: "There Is a Fountain/It Don't Make Sense"
"Real Big News"
"You Don't Know This Man"
The Trial (Finale Act One): "People of Atlanta," "Twenty Miles From Marietta," "Frankie's Testimony," "The Factory Girls/Come Up to My Office," "My Child Will Forgive Me," That's What He Said," "Leo's Statement: It's Hard to Speak My Heart," "Summation" & "Cakewalk"
"A Rumblin' and a Rollin'"
"Do It Alone"
"Letter to the Governor"
"This is Not Over Yet"
Blues: "Feel the Rain Fall"
"Where Will You Stand When the Flood Comes?"
"All the Wasted Time"
The cast of 35 included 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 The Old Soldier and 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.
Parade started previews Nov. 12. Prince, director of The Phantom of the Opera and Sweeney Todd, staged the new show and Patricia Birch, who worked with Hal Prince on Candide and A Little Night Music, choreographed. Designers were 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.