Parade (2016)

Book By: Alfred UhryParade Opera NUOVA
Music & Lyrics By: Jason Robert Brown
Co-Conceived & Directed on Broadway By: Harold Prince

Based on the true story of the trial and lynching of Leo Frank

Conducted By: Andrew St. Hilaire
Directed By: Kim Mattice Wanat
Set & Lighting Design By: Terry Gundvordahl
Costumer: Stephanie Bahniuk
Stage Manager: Raili Boe
Assistant Stage Manager: Jake Blakely & Isabel Berquist
Répétiteurs: Christopher Gaudreault & Holly Kroeker

festival PlaceFestival Place
100 Festival Way, Sherwood Park

June 28, 29, July 2 & 3 @7:30 PM

Sung in English

A tragic, true story that will linger in your memory.  Amid religious intolerance, political injustice and racial tension, the stirring TONY Award-winning Parade is a moving examination of the darkest corners of American history.  In 1913, Leo Frank, a Brooklyn-raised Jew living in Georgia, is put on trial for the murder of 13 year old Mary Phagan.  Already guilty in the eyes of everyone around him, a sensationalist publisher and a janitors’s false testimony seal Leo’s fate.  In its Western Canadian debut, Parade is a daring and heart-breaking theatrical experience.

AUDIENCE WARNING:  This opera deals with mature subject matter, contains violence and is appropriate for audience members aged 12 years and up. 

Parade is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI)
All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI.

Ticket Prices

Advance Tickets available April 15, 2016

Adult – $40.00
Senior – $35.00
Students – $20.00

All performances are assigned seating. For seating choices please call 780.449.3378
To order online CLICK HERE!

Cast List     


                                                         June 29 & July 2               June 30 & July 3
Leo Frank                                          
Elliot Lazar                         Haitham Haidar
Lucille Frank                                     Kayla Nickel                        Erin Vandermolen-Pater
Mary Phagan                                     Emma Houghton                 Rebecca Thackray
Frankie Epps                                     Nolan Kehler                       Nolan Kehler
Britt Craig                                         River Guard                         River Guard
Governer John Slayton                      Sébastien Comtois              Sébastien Comtois
Sally Slayton                                     Emili Losier                         Marlise Ritchie
Tom Watson                                     Corey Arnold                       Corey Arnold
Newt Jones                                       Andrew Adridge                 Andrew Adridge    
Jim Conley                                        Kirkland Doiron                  Kirkland Doiron
Hugh Dorsey                                     Josh Thayer                        Chad Quigley
Mrs. Phagan                                      Ellory Clayton                     Emma Bergin
Judge Roan                                       Ian Cleary                           Joé Lampron-Dandonneau
Iola Stover                                        Jessica Andrews                  Jill Gorenson
Monteen                                           Krista Paton                        Sarah Amelard
Essie                                                Jessica MacLean                  Emma Houghton
Old Soldier                                       Joé Lampron-Dandonneau  Joé Lampron-Dandonneau
Guard 1                                           Chad Quigley                      Josh Thayer
Guard 2                                             Peter Brooks                       Peter Brooks
Luther Rosser                                  Nathan Sawatsky-Dyck       Nathan Sawatsky-Dyck
Jim Starnes                                        Burak Yaman                      Burak Yaman
Young Soldier                                  Corey Arnold                      Corey Arnold
Officer Ivey                                      Allan Cabral de Sá              Allan Cabral de Sá
Minnie                                             Hillary Warden                    Hillary Warden
Riley                                                  Andrew Adridge                 Andrew Adridge
Peavey                                               Ian Cleary                          Joé Lampron-Dandonneau
Fiddlin' John                                     Allan Cabral de Sá              Allan Cabral de Sá
Chorus                                            Full Company                     Full Company  

Full Synopsis     

Synopsis of Parade, edited from Wikipedia

Act I

The musical opens in Marietta, Georgia, in the time of the American Civil War. The sounds of drums herald the appearance of a young Confederate soldier, bidding farewell to his sweetheart as he goes to fight for his homeland. The years pass and suddenly it is 1913. The young soldier has become an old one-legged veteran who is preparing to march in the annual Confederate Memorial Day parade (The Old Red Hills of Home). As the Parade begins (The Dream of Atlanta), Leo Frank, a Yankee Jew from Brooklyn, NYC, is deeply uncomfortable in the town in which he works and lives, feeling out of place due to his Judaism and his college education (How Can I Call This Home?). His discomfort is present even in his relationship with his wife, Lucille, who has planned an outdoor meal spoiled by Leo’s decision to go into work on a holiday. Meanwhile, two local teens, Frankie Epps and Mary Phagan, ride a trolley car and flirt. Frankie wants Mary to go to the picture show with him, but Mary playfully resists, insisting her mother will not let her (The Picture Show). Mary leaves to collect her pay from the pencil factory managed by Frank.

While Frank is at work, Lucille bemoans the state of their marriage.  She reflects on her unfulfilled life and wonders whether or not Leo was the right match for her (Leo at Work/ What Am I Waiting For?). Mary Phagan arrives in Leo's office to collect her paycheck. That night, two policeman, Detective Starnes and Officer Ivey, rouse Frank from his sleep, and without telling him why, demand he accompany them to the factory, where the body of Mary Phagan has been found in the basement. The Police immediately suspects Newt Lee, the African-American night watchman who discovered the body (Interrogation). Throughout his interrogation, he maintains his innocence, but inadvertently directs Starnes' suspicion upon Frank, who did not answer his telephone when Lee called him to report the incident. Leo is arrested, but not charged, and Mrs. Phagan, Mary's mother, become aware of Mary's death.

Across town, a reporter named Britt Craig is informed about Mary's murder and sees the possibility of a career-making story (Big News). In the meantime, Governor Slaton pressures the local prosecutor Hugh Dorsey to get to the bottom of the whole affair. Dorsey, an ambitious politician with a "lousy conviction record", resolves to find the murderer.

Craig attends Mary's funeral, where the townspeople of Marietta are angry, mournful, and baffled by the tragedy (There is a Fountain / It Don't Make Sense). Frankie Epps swears revenge on Mary's killer, as does Tom Watson, a writer for an extremist right-wing newspaper (Tom Watson's Lullaby) who has taken a special interest in the case.

Dorsey, along with Starnes and Ivey interrogate Newt Lee, but they get no information. Dorsey releases Newt, then attaches the blame to Leo Frank, and sends Starnes and a reluctant Ivey out to find eyewitnesses (Something Ain't Right). Craig exalts in his opportunity to cover a "real" story and begins an effective campaign vilifying Leo Frank. (Real Big News).

Leo meets with his lawyer, Luther Z. Rosser.  Meanwhile, Dorsey makes a deal with factory janitor and ex-convict Jim Conley to testify against Frank in exchange for immunity for a previous escape from prison. Lucille, hounded by reporters, collapses from the strain and privately rebukes Craig when he attempts to get an interview (You Don't Know This Man). She tells her husband that she cannot bear to stay, but he begs her to stay in the courtroom, as her not appearing would make him look guilty.

The trial of Leo Frank begins, presided over by Judge Roan. A hysterical crowd gathers outside the courtroom, as Tom Watson spews invective (Hammer of Justice) and Hugh Dorsey begins the case for the prosecution (Twenty Miles from Marietta). The prosecution produces a series of witnesses, most of whom give trumped evidence which was clearly fed to them by Dorsey. Frankie Epps testifies, falsely, that Mary mentioned that Frank "looks at her funny",  a sentiment echoed verbatim by three of Mary’s co-workers, Iola, Essie, and Monteen (The Factory Girls). In a fantasy sequence, Frank becomes the lecherous seducer of their testimony (Come Up to My Office). Testimony is heard from Mary's mother (My Child Will Forgive Me) and Minnie McKnight before the prosecution's star witness, Jim Conley, takes the stand, claiming that he witnessed the murder and helped Frank cover up the crime (That's What He Said).

Leo is desperate, but Rosser insists he stay silent, assuring him that he has a plan. As prosecutor Hugh Dorsey whips the observers and jurors at the trial into a frenzy, Rosser is given the opportunity for his client to deliver a statement. Leo offers a heartfelt speech, pleading to be believed (It's Hard to Speak My Heart), but it is not enough. He is found guilty and sentenced to hang. The crowd breaks out in jubilee as Lucille and Leo embrace, terrified (Summation and Cakewalk).

Act II

Leo has begun his process of appeal. The trial has been noted by the press in the north, and the reaction is strongly disapproving of the way in which it was conducted, but the African-American domestics wonder if the reaction would have been as strong if the victim had been black (A Rumblin' and a Rollin'). Lucille tries to help Leo with his appeal, but reveals crucial information to Craig, provoking a fight between Leo and Lucille (Do it Alone). Lucille then finds Governor Slaton at a party (Pretty Music) and attempts to advocate for Leo.  Meanwhile, Tom Watson approaches Hugh Dorsey and tells him that he will support his bid for governor should he choose to make it.

Dorsey and Judge Roan go on a fishing trip, where they discuss the political climate and the upcoming election (The Glory).

The governor agrees to re-open the case, and Leo and Lucille rejoice (This is Not Over Yet). Slaton visits the factory girls, who admit to their exaggeration, and Minnie, who claims that Dorsey intimidated her and made her sign a statement. Slaton also visits Jim Conley, who is back in jail as an accessory to the murder, who refuses to change his story despite the noticeable inconsistencies with the evidence, and along with his Chain Gang, does not give any information (Blues: Feel the Rain Fall).

After much consideration, he agrees to commute Frank's sentence to life in prison in Milledgeville, Georgia, a move that effectively ends his political career. The citizens of Marietta are enraged (Where Will You Stand When the Flood Comes?). Leo realizes his deep love for his wife and how much he has underestimated her (All the Wasted Time). After Lucille departs from the prison, a party of masked men arrives and kidnaps Leo. They take him to Marietta and demand he confess to the murder on pain of death. Leo refuses, and although Ivey is convinced of his innocence, the rest of crowd is determined to kill him. As his last request, Leo is given a pair of pants, since he is wearing only his nightshirt, and gives his wedding ring to Ivey to be given to Lucille. The crowd hang him from an oak tree (Sh'ma).

Some time later, a remorseful Britt Craig gives Leo's ring, to Lucille. He is surprised to discover that she has no plans to leave Atlanta, but she refuses to let Leo's ordeal be for nothing. Alone, she gives into her grief, but she takes comfort in believing that Leo is with God and free from his ordeal. The Confederate Memorial Day Parade begins again (Finale).