Daddycatcher’s MUSICAL MONDAY: Brent Carver & Carolee Carmello in PARADE

Continuing down the list of Daddycatcher’s Top 10 Favorite musicals – number 9 is the short-lived 1998 musical, Parade.

When Daddycatcher purchased the original cast recording of Parade, he had only seen the clip of the show below and their performance on the Tony Awards.  From the beginning drum beats of the Confederate parade that opens the show, Daddycatcher listened to the entire recording (while following the lyrics in the liner notes) in one sitting.  He had never heard a score so daring, controversial, and serious.  It was his first introduction to the music of Jason Robert Brown.

The next summer, the national tour of Parade came through Dallas while he was working for Dallas Summer Musicals.  It was the most controversial show he had ever seen.  People left in droves at intermission.  One patron walked out remarking, “Well they can’t all be The Sound of Music.”  The patrons that stayed ended up seeing a musical that never wavered in its portrayal of the wrongful conviction and sentence of Leo Frank, who was accused of raping and murdering a young girl.  They also saw two brilliant performances from David Pittu, as Leo Frank, and Andrea Burns, as Leo’s wife, Lucille.

One of Daddycatcher’s favorite moments in the theater occurred during the song “That’s What He Said.”  The song is sung by the character Jim Conley, the janitor at Leo Frank’s factory where the little girl was found dead.  Prosecuting attorney Hugh Dorsey has made an unethical deal with Conley and forced him to lie on the stand.  As Conley is singing the climax of the song, the entire company and set turn and suddenly the audience is viewing the courtroom from the jury’s point of view.  It was one of the exhilarating stage transitions Daddycatcher has ever seen.

The original cast was headed by Tony Award winner Brent Carver (who appears in another of Daddycatcher’s favorite musicals – #4) and Tony Award nominee Carolee Carmello.  Both were nominated for Tony’s for their performances in this musical but lost to two stars in traditional musical comedy performances – Martin Short in Little Me and Bernadette Peters in Annie Get Your Gun.

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One Response to “Daddycatcher’s MUSICAL MONDAY: Brent Carver & Carolee Carmello in PARADE”

  1. Just discovered we have a mutual friend in Steve on Broadway. Pity he didn’t introduce us last week 🙂

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