Staged! to Present Parade by Jason Robert Brown - Theatre News - Theatre In Portland
Theatre In Portland
Your Source For What's On Stage In Portland 

   Quick Search
Search by date:


Theatre News Wire

Staged! to Present Parade by Jason Robert Brown
Sep 15, 2014

ParadeStaged! and Tony Award-winning Broadway composer Jason Robert Brown go way back. For the past three years the company has been delighting musical theatre audiences with top-notch production of the composer's work and has the awards and accolades to show for it. This time, Staged! presents JRB's dark and ambitious musical Parade, September 20 through October 12. A dark and compelling look at American justice and racism, Parade won two Tony Awards for its sweeping score and powerful message.

Parade was created after legendary producer Hal Prince commissioned Jason Robert Brown and playwright and screen writer Alfred Uhry to write what he called "an American opera." Parade is based on the story of Leo Frank, a Jewish factory owner falsely accused and convicted of murdering a young girl in Atlanta, Georgia in 1913. The musical received mixed reviews during its initial run at Lincoln Center Theater, but JRB and Uhry both received 1999 Tony Awards for their work. A national tour in 2000, a revised chamber music version produced by London's Donmar Warehouse in 2007 and a remounting at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles brought Parade renewed acclaim and attention. The show remains a powerful force in American musicals.

This Portland production is the 2007 chamber version and features Andrew Bray as Leo Frank and Jennifer Davies as Lucille Frank. Parade is directed by Paul Angelo with musical direction by Rob Fishel. A cast of 18 actors and eight live musicians will present the work. Staged! is proud to present the Portland premiere of Parade with a cast of professional adult actors alongside pre-professional students in the teen roles.

"We are thrilled to dive into this rarely-seen piece of theatre and be able to feature professional actors alongside six advanced students," said Chanda Walker-Hall, Artistic Director of Staged! "It is a fabulous score, and to hear it in an intimate setting with the actors and musicians so close is thrilling. The themes truly resonate with us - and are, sadly, just as relevant as ever in 2014."

Continuing their close relationship with the Broadway composer, this is the third JRB show Staged! has produced. Despite his busy schedule that has him traveling around the world writing, conducting and directing some of the country's most-lauded contemporary Broadway musicals, recently winning his fourth Tony award and now collaborating on star-studded Hollywood movies, Jason Robert Brown always seems to find the time to visit our fair city and play for Staged!. Staged! will bring Mr. Brown out to Portland for the third time in 2015.

Brown just won his third and fourth Tony Awards earlier this month for The Bridges of Madison County and has another show opening on Broadway this Fall. His show The Last 5 Years just finished its run at Portland Center Stage AND has just been made into a feature film starring Jeremy Jordan and Anna Kendrick.