Tuesday, August 6, 2019

review - PARADE - Arizona Regional Theatre

Mary Ott and Seth Tucker
Photo by Jason M. Hammond / JALT Media
highlights from local critics reviews - (click link at bottom of each review to read complete review)

Click here for more information on this production that runs through August 18th.

"With anti-Semitic threats on the rise and a recent weekend with two mass shootings, in which one was aimed apparently at Hispanic immigrants, Jason Robert Brown and Alfred Uhry's 1996 musical Parade, which focuses on outright bigotry and the hatred, lies and false accusations aimed at an outsider who is a Jewish man on trial for murder in 1913 Georgia, proves, unfortunately, to be incredibly timely. Arizona Regional Theatre presents an exceptional production of this Tony Award winning musical, with a superb cast led by Seth Tucker and Mary Ott....Alfred Uhry's book, which beautifully weaves together dozens of characters and the facts of Leo Frank's trial, and Jason Robert Brown's stirring, sweeping, and emotionally rich music and lyrics work well together to portray this heartwrenching story and the unfortunate truth of what can result from years of hatred and prejudice...However, as interesting as the show is, it is also a little hard to swallow at times ..Director Phillip Fazio has found a sensational cast for this production....As Leo Frank, Seth Tucker has a glorious singing voice and a firm stage presence, delivering a beautiful portrayal, ...As Leo's wife Lucille, Mary Ott has a soaring singing voice and does a good job depicting this woman who doesn't quite know how to act once her husband is jailed... Fazio's direction derives emotionally rich portrayals from the cast that are full of passion and pain...Parade may not be a completely perfect musical, and it is one that is somewhat uncomfortable at times to watch, but it does an exceptional job in depicting the ugly undertones of prejudice and bigotry that were present 100 years ago. Unfortunately, the feelings represented in the musical are still very much in existence today... " -Gil Benbrook, Talkin' Broadway (click here to read the complete review)

"...the music and lyrics of Jason Robert Brown are the stars of the show ~ and there is not a voice among this immensely talented cast that does not do justice to them....(Seth) Tucker, the master of a pitch perfect and sonorous voice, presents a stoic and private man ~ a rather unremarkable man who attends to his business with frugality and discipline and to his wife Lucille (Mary Ott) with a formality that was common to the time. What may be missing in the portrayal is that irritability and contempt for his accusers that worked against him in his trial. We witness instead a quieter, gentler, more self-contained man, riddled with confusion and despair about the inevitable...  - Herbert Paine, Broadway World (click here to read the complete review)

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