Monday, November 2, 2009
PARADE at the Mark Taper
A very well done production of PARADE at the Mark Taper. J.R. Knight is terrific as Leo Frank and the supporting cast delivers as well.
This production makes you think and is a "serious" musical. It reminded me of a production of RICHARD CORY that I produced at NYMF back in 2005 - and the struggle to get something "serious" to be produced on a large scale. Even though we won the NYMF Best Musical Award and sold out our limited engagement we have been unable to give it a life it deserves on Broadway. Launching "serious" musicals can be very difficult for many reasons: 1) Not many folks in this economic climate want to spend $80-$150 bucks to be depressed; 2) No commercial producer wants to risk millions of dollars on a "serious" show that will not appeal to the younger market (the ones who ask their parents to buy them tickets over and over again, i.e. Wicked) 3) No not-for-profit theater has any money at all to risk right now - they are just trying to make payroll if they haven't already closed their doors. Just those reasons alone make me depressed and in need of an entertaining "forget your troubles" musical!
But thoughtful pieces must continue to be done, and we have to continue to find a way to make it happen. If this economic climate is indeed about to change, and I hope it is, perhaps we will all want to start "thinking" again - and not just get through the day whistling happy tunes to distract us through our 60 hour work week!