Let me take this time today to introduce you to a Broadway musical you may never had heard of. On this day, November 12, 20 years ago, Jason Robert Brown, then at the time about to make his Broadway songwriting debut, Alfred Uhry, the Oscar and Tony Award-winning playwright of “Driving Miss Daisy” and Harold Prince, the 21-time Tony Award-winning director of “The Phantom of the Opera,” brought to Lincoln Center Theater a musical courtroom drama based on one of most controversial and still tragically relevant true stories of all time.
Meet “Parade,” the musical dramatization of the real-life 1913 trial and lynching of Leo Frank, a Brooklyn-raised American Jewish pencil factory superintendent who lived in Atlanta, Georgia and was wrongly accused for a crime he did not commit: the murder of 13-year-old Mary Phagan, one of the factory girls under his employ. The crime was sensationalized in the media and increased tension and hatred in Georgia based on a person’s race and religion. Despite this, his wife Lucille, with help from the state governor, fought to secure Leo’s release.
The show won two Tony Awards for Jason Robert Brown’s music and lyrics and Alfred Uhry’s libretto. The show continues to thrive today thanks to recent major productions in London (2007), Los Angeles (2009) and various productions around the world.
What sparked my interest in this show was its subject matter being a real-life event you rarely see in your history books that needs more attention than ever and I was lucky enough to have seen @nycmarymount ‘s production earlier this year. Let’s take this time to honor the 20th anniversary of a musical masterpiece that should never be forgotten and use it to learn from the mistakes our country had made in the past so that an event like the one portrayed in “Parade” never happens again in our time. #Parade #JasonRobertBrown #AlfredUhry #HaroldPrince #LincolnCenterTheater #LeoFrank #LucilleFrank #MaryPhagan #JimConley #BrittCraig #HughDorsey #TomWatson #FrankieEpps #ThisIsNotOverYet #AllTheWastedTime #TheOldRedHillsofHome #YouDontKnowThisMan #ItsHardtoSpeakMyHeart #TogetherAgainstAntisemitism #broadway #parademusical