Musical Drama Early Next Month in Hartland
Based on actual historical events, the musical drama Parade tells the story of a Jewish factor manager who was convicted of raping and murdering a thirteen-year-old employee in Georgia in 1913. Leo Frank’s story had generated the kind of national attention. A fair trial was very, very difficult. His guilty verdict relied heavily on the testimony of an accomplice after-the-fact who many historians feel was the actual killer. The judge decided death was too harsh and gave Frank life in prison. Outraged people in Georgia gave him the death sentence the judge would not allow. He was pulled out of prison and hung from a tree. The whole event revitalized the KKK and helped to perpetuate the kind of ignorance and aggression that continues to haunt the US to this day.
It’s very, very dark subject matter. When approached to write a musical based on the tragedy, Stephen Sondheim turned it down. Jason Robert Brown wrote the music and lyrics and Alfred Uhry, whose great uncle Frank owned the factory that Frank managed, wrote the book. The show debuted on Broadway in 1998 and has been produced quite steadily all over the country since then. I saw a staging with Greendale Community Theatre not too long ago. The latest local production comes to the area courtesy of the Lake Country Playhouse in Hartland. The production is directed by Sandra Renick and Breanne Brennan with vocal direction by Catherine Pfeiler and choreography by Ami Majeski
Lake Country Playhouse presents Parade Jul. 7 - 10 on 221 E. Capitol Dr. in Hartland. For ticket reservations, visit Lake Country Playhouse online.