Parade is a musical that opened on Broadway at the Vivian Beaumont Theater on December 17, 1998 with a book by Alfred Uhry and music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown. The premier was directed by Harold Prince and closed 28 February 1999 after 85 performances.
The closing of the show was not because of the quality of Parade, but was due largely to the charges of the fraud against Garth Drabinksy, and the ensuing bankruptcy of Livent, the company producing Parade.
The show garnered 9 Tony Award nominations and won two awards, for Best Book of a Musical (Uhry) and Best Original Musical Score (Brown).
The show was received very coolly by the public and some critics, many of whom felt the show took too many liberties when it came to the use of racial slurs in the show. However, Brown was praised unanimously for his score.
The UK première ran from 5th to 28 August at the Southside Theatre as part of the 2005 Edinburgh Fringe, playing by the end of the run to packed houses and standing ovations.
The musical concerns the 1913 trial of Jewish factory manager Leo Frank who was accused of raping and murdering a 13 year old employee, Mary Phagan. The trial, sensationalized by the media, aroused anti-Semitic tensions in Atlanta and the state of Georgia. When Frank's sentence was commuted due to possible problems with the trial and he was transferred to a prison in Milledgeville, Georgia, a lynching party broke him out of the prison. Frank was taken to Phagan's hometown of Marietta, Georgia and he was hanged.
The emotional backbone of the show is how Leo and his wife, Lucille, discover a deep love for each other out of what was essentially an arranged marriage. A listener can hear their relationship shift from cold to warm in songs like "Leo at Work/What am I Waiting For?," "You Don't Know This Man," and, in Act II, "Do it Alone," and "All the Wasted Time".
The show also doesn't shy away from making it clear that the likely killer was the African-American drifter Jim Conley, though the real villains of the piece are prosecutor Hugh Dorsey and rabid publisher Tom Watson.