With recent casting announcements coming out for Jason Robert Brown’s Parade in concert on February 16, 2015, I find myself looking forward to this event, and really praying that it is successful. If we can’t have another revival of Ragtime, Parade is the closest thing we have to a musical that is relevant to current issues facing America.
Parade is based on the true story of a Jewish man living in the south accused of raping and murdering a young girl who worked in the factory he oversaw. The musical (as I do not know much about the actual case) has Leo get arrested because he is Jewish, and because an African-American suspect would be typical, and wouldn’t draw in headlines. Again, in the musical, it would seem Leo is wrongfully accused, but the media takes the story and runs with it. Most of the play is spent trying to determine if Leo is guilty in the courtroom, by the newsmen, and the public. It is a really moving piece with a phenomenal score.
One of the greatest moments in the show actually comes from Leo’s wife, Lucille. Their relationship was strained before he was arrested, but she stands by him through the entire affair. She is accosted by a newsman, and ends up singing “You Don’t Know This Man,” a beautiful song that has since been featured on many solo albums and many Youtube channels. My favorite version is Audra McDonald’s, who unfortunately can never play the role.
Jeremy Jordan, who is on a roll right now, will star as Leo with Laura Benanti as his wife, Lucille. This concert is only three days after The Last 5 Years opens in movie theaters, so fangirls and boys will already be high on Jordan’s talent. This is a mob I would love to see.
I’m super pumped that Benanti is getting to play Lucille. She’s such a star, and she is going to rock this role.
My hope is that this concert will be so successful, these actors will take this play to Broadway. I think that with the country so focused on race issues, it’s important to look back on events that actually occurred, and as I said previously about Ragtime, the best way to do that is through fiction.
Is anyone planning on attending this concert? Let me know in the comments!