Michael Therriault Will Be Leo Frank in Canadian Premiere of Parade | Playbill

News Michael Therriault Will Be Leo Frank in Canadian Premiere of Parade
Parade, the Jason Robert Brown-Alfred Uhry musical that was shepherded by Canadians before it won Tony Awards on Broadway, will make its Canadian premiere in late 2010.

Michael Therriault
Michael Therriault Photo by Aubrey Reuben

The tale of bigotry, murder and injustice in the American South was first produced by Canadian impresario Garth Drabinsky, whose production eventually played Lincoln Center Theater in 1998. This new and independent Toronto production will be produced by Acting Up Stage Company & Studio 180 Theatre.

Studio 180 artistic director Joel Greenberg will direct the staging, to play Dec. 30, 2010-Jan. 22, 2011, at the Berkeley Street Theatre Upstairs. Opening night is Jan. 3.

With book by Uhry (Driving Miss Daisy) and music and lyrics by Brown (The Last Five Years), Parade won Tony Awards for Best Book and Best Score, and the Drama Desk and New York Critics Circle Awards for Best Musical. The musical was recently revised for a London production that was later seen in Los Angeles under the direction of Rob Ashford.

Parade tells the tale of the real-life murder of Mary Phagan, a teen-aged factory girl who was raped and murdered in 1913 Atlanta. Leo Frank, a Jewish manager and an outsider in the community, is wrongly accused of the crime. His wife becomes his hero, but darker forces threaten their future.

The company of 15 actors, who will play the musical's 40 roles, includes popular names of the Canadian theatre: Two-time Dora winner Michael Therriault (Toronto's The Producers and plays and musicals at the Stratford Festival) as Leo Frank and Tracy Michailidis as his wife Lucille Frank, with Neil Barclay, Jessica Greenberg, Sarite Harris, Darren A. Herbert, Alana Hibbert, Jeff Irving, Gabrielle Jones, George Masswohl, Mark McGrinder, Paige Robson-Cramer, Jordy Rolfe, Jay Turvey and Mark Uhre. Musical direction is by Paul Sportelli of the Shaw Festival. The creative team includes set and costume design by Michael Gianfrancesco and lighting design by Kimberly Purtell.

Since 2004, Acting Up Stage (Mitchell Marcus, artistic producer) has produced "contemporary and provocative musicals" including The Light in the Piazza, Elegies: A Song Cycle, A New Brain and A Man of No Importance. Studio 180 Theatre produces "socially relevant theatre that provokes public discourse and promotes community engagement." Since 2003, its productions have included Stuff Happens, The Overwhelming, The Arab-Israel Cookbook and The Laramie Project.

For more information, visit www.paradethemusical.com.

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