REVIEWSSally Jo OsborneTheatre Reviews

Parade at Writers Theatre

Book by Alfred Uhry.

Music and Lyrics by Jason Robert Brown.

Co-Conceived by Harold Prince.

Music Direction by Michael Mahler.

Choreographed by Ericka Mac.

Directed by Gary Griffin.

At Writers Theatre, Glencoe.

This is one Parade that you should not miss!

Captivating–Parade will leave you wondering—love story-murder mystery-political escapade? Which is it? Did I mention this is a musical? 1913–2017: 104 years later and I think sometimes we still question what goes on in this world. We still search for equality, justice and true love despite our differences.

Parade premiered on Broadway in 1998, and this was Jason Robert Brown’s first Broadway production which also won him the 1999 Tony Award for Best Score. The show was nominated for nine Tony awards and won two (Best Book and Best Original Score).  Director Gary Griffin takes us on the ride of our life-so buckle up and enjoy.

Leo Frank (Patrick Andrews), a New York City man of Jewish descent living in the South—running a pencil factory-awkward-he thinks so too. Married to the lovely and dedicated, Lucille (Brianna Borger) who never loses the faith. He doesn’t get the Southerners and is not afraid to express that. When 13 year old Mary Phagin (Caroline Heffernan) is found raped and murdered in the factory all eyes are on Leo.  The political system is tired of blaming everything on the black folks and so they target Leo. However, the governor (Derek Hasenstab) does his own investigative research and is suspect of this one, and so instead of hanging him he is sentenced to life in prison. The Southern white folks don’t like that and have another plan for him.

The entire cast of 15 is first rate. Jonathon Butler-Duplessis is Jim Conley the night janitor (potential real murderer) takes the house down more than once with his fabulous voice.  I don’t know why the song list was not in the Playbill-confusing to me. Parade is the final production of Writers Theatre’s 25th Anniversary Season. It is worth the trip and the theatre is fabulous!


Sally Jo Osborne.

At the Writers Theatre, 325 Tudor Court, Glencoe, IL, call 847-242-6000  tickets $35 to $80, running time 2 hours, 30 minutes with intermission.