Opening Night of Parade With Ben Platt and Micaela Diamond
Parade, starring Tony Award-winner Ben Platt and Micaela Diamond, released photos from last night’s Opening Night performance at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre. During curtain call, Platt and Diamond were joined by two-time Tony nominated director Michael Arden, two-time Tony Award-winning book writer Alfred Uhry, three-time Tony Award winning composer Jason Robert Brown. Immediately after the show New York State Governor Kathy Hochul came backstage to congratulate Platt, Diamond, and the entire cast and creative team.
Parade’s original Broadway production, directed by 21-time Tony Award-winning legend Harold Prince (who co-conceived of the musical alongside Uhry and Brown), premiered in 1998. This new production is the first time Frank’s story has been told on Broadway since.
Parade also features Alex Joseph Grayson as ‘Jim Conley,’ Tony Award nominee Sean Allan Krill as ‘Governor Slaton,’ Tony Award nominee Howard McGillin as ‘Old Soldier/Judge Roan,’ and Paul Alexander Nolan as ‘Hugh Dorsey.’ They will be joined by Jay Armstrong Johnson as ‘Britt Craig,’ Kelli Barrett as ‘Mrs. Phagan,’ Courtnee Carter as ‘Angela,’ Eddie Cooper as ‘Newt Lee,’ Erin Rose Doyle as ‘Mary Phagan,’ Tony Award nominee Manoel Felciano as ‘Tom Watson,’ Danielle Lee Greaves as ‘Minnie McKnight,’ Douglas Lyons as ‘Riley,’ and Jake Pedersen as ‘Frankie Epps.’
The cast is completed by Florrie Bagel as ‘Nurse,’ Stacie Bono as ‘Sally Slaton,’ Max Chernin as ‘Mr. Turner,’ Emily Rose DeMartino as ‘Essie & Others,’ Christopher Gurr as ‘Luther Rosser/Mr. Peavy,’ Beth Kirkpatrick as ‘Nina Formby,’ Ashlyn Maddox as ‘Monteen & Others,’ Sophia Maniconeas ‘Iola Stover,’ William Michals as ‘Detective Starnes,’ Jackson Teeley as ‘Officer Ivey,’ and Charlie Webb as ‘Young Soldier.’
Leo and Lucille Frank (Ben Platt and Micaela Diamond) are a newlywed Jewish couple struggling to make a life in the old red hills of Georgia. When Leo is accused of an unspeakable crime, it propels them into an unimaginable test of faith, humanity, justice, and devotion. Riveting and gloriously hopeful, Parade reminds us that to love, we must truly see one another.
The creative team for Parade includes Lauren Yalango-Grant & Christopher Cree Grant (choreography), Tony Award nominee Dane Laffrey (scenic design), Tony Award winner Susan Hilferty (costume design), Tony Award nominee Heather Gilbert (lighting design), Drama Desk Award nominee Jon Weston (sound design), Tony Award nominee Sven Ortel (projection design), Tom Watson (hair and wig design), Tom Murray (music director & conductor), Kimberlee Wertz (music coordinator), Telsey + Co/Craig Burns, CSA (casting director), and Justin Scribner (production stage manager). Parade was originally directed on Broadway by Harold Prince.
Parade will play a strictly limited engagement through Sunday, August 6 only. Tickets for are on sale at www.paradebroadway.com, www.telecharge.com, by calling 800 447 7400, or at the box office at the Jacobs Theatre.
Broadway’s A Doll’s House Meticulously Stunning Revival Soars Like a Birdie Above That Clumsy Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
For a revival to find its footing, it has to have a point of view or a sense of purpose far beyond an actor’s desire to perform a part, whether it suits them or not. It needs to radiate an idea that will make us want to sit up and pay attention. To feel its need to exist. And on one particular day in March, I was blessed with the opportunity to see not just one grande revival, but two. One was a detailed pulled-apart revolutionary revival of Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House that astounded. The other, unfortunately, was a clumsy revival of Tennessee Williams’ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof that fell lazily from that high-wired peak – not for a lack of trying, but from a formulation that never found its purpose.
Relevantly Tuneless Fairytale Bad Cinderella Isn’t Bad, It’s Forgettable
You are seriously asking for it, when you make the title for your musical Bad Cinderella, however the show is not bad, it’s just seriously lacking. For an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, which is normally rich in melody, the only song that has any kind of hold is “Only You, Lonely You” sung by Prince Sebastian (Jordan Dobson or in my performance the wonderful Julio Ray). The lyrics by David Zippel and book by Emerald Fennell, adapted by Alexis Scheer are inane. It doesn’t help that the cast for the most part speaks and sings with mouths full of cotton. The orchestrations sound tinny and computerized, The lead Linedy Genao has no charisma or vocals that soar musically, instead she is rather nasal, like Bernadette Peters with a cold. Why this show is two and a half hours long is beyond me.
The show is based in a town called Belleville (beautiful town en Francais), that is based solely on looks and prides itself on its superficiality. The opening number starts with “Beauty Is Our Duty,” the Queen (a fabulous Grace McLean) is into her hunks including her missing son Charming (Cameron Loyal).
And the fairy godmother (Christina Acosta Robinson) is a plastic surgeon who sings “Beauty Has a Price”. In a day and age, where we are suppose to see past all that, this show is politically incorrect.
Cinderella a Gothic, and a graffiti artist, naturally does not fit into the town’s mold of beauty, which is how she earns her nickname. Her rebel move happens when she defaces a memorial statue of Sebastian’s older brother, Prince Charming. Sebastian is more of a geek, and he and Cinderella are in the “friend zone,” since both lack communication skills in admitting their love.
Sebastian is being forced by his mother, the Queen to find a wife at a ball and invites Cinderella. Cinderella’s stepmother (the always remarkable Carolee Carmello) blackmails the Queen to get one of her daughters Adele (Sami Gayle) or Marie (Morgan Higgins) the gig.
McLean and Carmello are the bright spots in the show and if the show had been about these two, maybe we would actually have a show that could work. These two steal the show.
Cinderella has not one, but two what should have been show stopping numbers “I Know I Have A Heart (Because You Broke It)” and “Far Too Late,” but she does not have the vocals, the character development or the star power to carry them off.
The set and the revenge porn costumes by Gabriela Tylesova, are just over the top, with the storybook set faring much better than the over complicated flowered pastels that waltzed across the stage.
The direction by Laurence Connor is just dull and lacks oomph.
If you like buff men and Chippendale type choreography this is the show for you.
Bad Cinderella, Imperial Theatre, 249 West 45th Street.
Did You Know There Is A Kander & Ebb Way?
On Friday, March 24th, the 96-year-old John Kander was given a Mayoral Proclamation from Mayor Eric Adams in celebration of the first performance of his new Broadway musical New York, New York. Following the proclamation, Lin-Manuel Miranda unveiled the sign renaming 44th Steet ‘Kander & Ebb Way. On hand was the Manhattan School of Music to performed the iconic Kander & Ebb song “New York, New York.”
New York, New York opens Wednesday, April 26, 2023 at Broadway’s St. James Theatre (246 West 44th Street).
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