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  WINDY CITY TIMES

Writers Theatre to present Parade
From a press release
2017-05-04

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Glencoe, IL— Writers Theatre, under the leadership of Artistic Director Michael Halberstam and Executive Director Kathryn M. Lipuma, concludes its 2016/17 season with the musical Parade, with book by Alfred Uhry and music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown, co-conceived by Harold Prince. The Writers Theatre production of Parade is directed by Gary Griffin and features musical direction by Michael Mahler and choreography by Ericka Mac. Parade runs May 24 — July 2, 2017 in the Alexandra C. and John D. Nichols Theatre at 325 Tudor Court, Glencoe.

This stirring, Tony Award-winning musical explores the endurance of love and hope against seemingly insurmountable odds, telling the true story of Leo Frank, a Brooklyn-born Jewish man falsely accused of murder in 1913 Atlanta. Innovative and daring, and filled with soaring music, Parade is a moving love story, a riveting murder mystery, a gripping courtroom drama and a powerful exploration of innocence and naÃŻveté coming face-to-face with ignorance and prejudice.

Acclaimed director Gary Griffin, who directed the original Broadway production of Jason Robert Brown's Honeymoon in Vegas and the world premiere of his The Trumpet of the Swan at the Kennedy Center, stages an intimate revival of this celebrated musical. With a book by playwright Alfred Uhry ( Driving Miss Daisy ) and a score by Brown ( The Last Five Years, The Bridges of Madison County ) that combines folk, rock, R&B and gospel, Parade ends WT's 25th Anniversary Season with spectacular impact.

"I had the pleasure of being directed by Gary in a Writers Theatre production of Joe Orton's Loot. He is one of my favorite directors and one of my closest friends, and it is a privilege to be in collaboration with him again," said Artistic Director Michael Halberstam. "I have enjoyed many, many years of conversation with him over copious glasses of wine discussing masterwork musicals and how best to make them work. I cannot express how happy I am then to be working on supporting Gary's vision for Parade, a musical that has suddenly become disturbingly relevant given the deeply unsettling swell of anti-semitism. The Anti-Defamation League recently announced that cases of anti-semitism have spiked 86% in the first quarter of this year, proving the old adage that 'the more things change the more they stay the same.'

"Gary has assembled a first-rate cast with breathtaking vocal prowess and a first-rate design team to create the world in which they bring Mr. Brown and Mr. Uhry's bravura masterwork to life. Parade is a fully cohesive musical voyage into the triumph of love and the dangers of what can happen when the fires of hatred are irresponsibly stoked within an unhappy and angry populace. Musically, it defies simple definition while maintaining accessibility and a deep emotional core. It is a fitting way to close the season and it passes a symbolic baton to Trevor, a brand new musical which opens next season and strikes open a whole new adventure of its own."

The cast of Parade includes: Larry Adams ( Old Soldier/Judge Roan/Ensemble ), Patrick Andrews ( Leo Frank ), Brianna Borger ( Lucille Frank ),Jonathan Butler-Duplessis ( Jim Conley ), McKinley Carter ( Mrs. Phagan/Sally Slaton ), Devin DeSantis ( Britt Craig/Young Soldier/Ensemble ), Kevin Gudahl ( Hugh Dorsey/Ensemble ), Derek Hasenstab ( Governor John Slaton/Ensemble ), Nicole Michelle Haskins ( Minola "Minnie" McKnight/Angela ),Caroline Heffernan ( Mary Phagan/Essie/Ensemble ), Zoe Nadal ( Monteen/Ensemble ), Jake Nicholson ( Frankie Epps/Ensemble ), Jeff Parker ( Tom Watson/Ensemble ), Leryn Turlington ( Iola Stover/Ensemble ), and Jonah D. Winston ( Newt Lee/Riley ).

The creative team includes: Matt Deitchman ( Associate Music Director & Piano/Conductor ), Scott Davis ( Scenic Designer ), Mara Blumenfeld( Costume Designer ), Christine Binder ( Lighting Designer ), Ray Nardelli ( Sound Designer ) and Scott Dickens ( Properties Master ). Bobby Kennedy is the Dramaturg, David Castellanos is the Production Stage Manager and Nick Moran is the CFM Contractor.

Single tickets for Parade, priced $35 - $80, are available online at www.writerstheatre.org, by phone at 847-242-6000, or in person at the box office at 325 Tudor Court in Glencoe.

PARADE On-stage Seating

For adventurous theatregoers who want to be part of the action, Writers Theatre is offering a limited number of special on-stage seats for every performance of Parade!

These special on-stage seats, reachable via curved staircases, will be on a raised platform at the back of the stage so that the audience will fully surround the action on stage. This exclusive vantage point provides audience members an immersive experience of Parade, as the area will be located near the orchestra and will also be used by actors during the performance…


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