‘Parade’ concludes its 6-day run at City Center


New York City Center

Mariana Oliva

New York City Center’s Annual Gala Presentation of “Parade” closed on Nov. 6, ending a six-day run that quickly garnered positive reviews.

“Parade” provided a raw performance, containing hate speech, violent imagery, enacted violence and non-firing prop firearms. The show was recommended for audiences 13 and older.

The musical is based on the book written by Alfred Uhry, with music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown. It draws inspiration from the 1913 trial and imprisonment and 1915 lynching of Leo Frank, a Jewish-American who lived in Georgia. Frank was convicted of the rape and murder of Mary Phagan, a 13-year-old worker in the same building.

After his lynching, Frank’s case garnered social, political and racial concerns, specifically in regards to antisemitism. The case resulted in both the formation of the Anti-Defamation League and the resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan.

Frank is portrayed by Ben Platt, who is most known for originating the titular role in the Tony-award winning Broadway production of “Dear Evan Hansen.” Opposite Platt is Micaela Diamond as Lucille, Frank’s wife.

The production also stars Gaten Matarazzo, well-known for his role as Dustin Henderson in “Stranger Things,” portraying Frankie Epps, who is Phagan’s love interest.

Phagan is portrayed by Erin Rose Doyle.

The performance marks Platt’s first major role and return to the stage since his departure from “Dear Evan Hansen” in 2017, a role he reprised for the musical’s film adaptation.

“Parade” has a run time of about two hours and 30 minutes, with one intermission. Act 1 ends with the closing statements in the case and Frank’s verdict. After being taken into custody, Platt’s character sits on stage during the entire intermission.

It is an interesting directing choice, giving the audience insight as to what it must have been like for Frank to be held in confinement. Platt sits quietly on stage, facing away from the audience.

Upon the commencement of Act 2, Platt’s character impassively and quietly walks off stage. Nothing is said, but the action speaks a thousand words. It shows Frank’s new solitary life, convicted of a crime he did not commit.

Throughout the performance, there are 31 musical numbers, each one performed incredibly. Matarazzo gives an outstanding performance with “It Don’t Make Sense.”

Platt and Diamond’s vocals were exhilarating in their duet, “This Is Not Over Yet,” marking one of the few uplifting songs in Frank’s heart-wrenching story. Viewers can clearly see the chemistry between Platt and Diamond.

The orchestra also gave an excellent performance throughout the musical.

The entire production left the audience waiting for more. Up until the very end, viewers watched anxiously and attentively, fully immersed in Frank’s story. It gave great insight into what life was like for a Jewish man in a state like Georgia at the time.

By the end of the musical, the cast was given a standing ovation by audience members.

Although the production consisted of only seven performances in six days, viewers can only hope it will have a Broadway run that it so rightfully deserves. Just ask anyone who was lucky enough to see Frank’s story brought to life.