I had the pleasure of spending my past week participating in a workshop of Jason Robert Brown's Parade at Ford's Theatre. Ford's is looking to produce the show, and wanted to rehearse a group of actors on the piece for a week and present it to some of the theatre's donors to get feedback on the possibility of producing the piece, which had a limited run on Broadway and a brief tour afterwards. This piece has always been a favorite of mine, and the chance to work on this amazing score was impossible to resist. The cast was made up of what we like to call most of the "Usual Suspects" i.e. - Eleasha Gamble, Tom Simpson, Chris Bloch, Amy McWilliams, Lauren Williams, Bligh Voth, Chris Sizemore, among others.
Leo was portrayed by Steve Rosen, and Lucille was played by Jill Paice - both of who are NYC based.
I had the pleasure of playing Britt Craig, the news reporter who starts the sensationalism of the trial via his columns in The Atlanta Georgian.
Parade is based on the true story of the murder of Mary Phagan, and the subsequent trial and lynching of Leo Frank in Atlanta, circa 1915.
The story is very grim material for a musical, some might argue, but I think that it is an important story to be told, and the musical does it so very well. It is truly an American Opera.
The reading went great, and time will tell if the piece gets the go ahead or not, but there seems to be a great deal of excitement around it.