(Bloomfield, NJ) – 4TH WALL THEATRE will close out its 15th anniversary season with a main stage production of the musical Parade. With a book by Alfred Uhry, and music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown, Parade tells the real life story of Leo Frank, a Brooklyn-raised Jew living in Georgia, who is put on trial in 1913 for the murder of 13-year-old Mary Phagan, an Atlanta pencil factory worker in his employ. Through the difficult process of proving his innocence, Leo and his wife find a new way to love and support each other.
4th Wall’s cast features Danny Arnold and Sandy Taylor of Bayonne, David Simon of Berkeley Heights, Todd Shumpert and Danny Egan of Bloomfield, Uton Onyejekwe of Maplewood, Cathryn Hardy of Matawan, Bob Russell of Hackensack, Tara Haight of Little Falls, Lindsay Adkins of Metuchen, Brandon Wright of Newark, Lisa Carter and Jordan Gulick of Astoria, New York, Vinny Dupree, Annie Nelson, Brian Walters, Bill Saunders and Caroline Langlois of New York City, Marcus Turnage of Brooklyn, New York, and Vanessa Robinson of Bronx, New York.
Bob Cline, a New York casting director and frequent 4th Wall director, is back to lead this production. He is joined by music director, Markus Hauck, who has also worked on several 4th Wall shows. Kathy Iannacone, formerly of West Orange, is the Production Manager, and Martha Thalheimer of Glen Ridge serves as the Stage Manager.
The Leo Frank case, which serves as the basis for Parade, is one of the most notorious and highly publicized cases in the annals of Georgia legal history. The real life events of that morning in April of 1913, still inspires debate and controversy. Based mainly on the testimony of the janitor, who was an initial suspect and who told several conflicting stories, Leo Frank was arrested and later convicted. Numerous reports and reviews of the trial note that the jury was greatly influenced by the time and temperament of a community that was looking for swift and brutal justice and this northern Jewish “outsider” was an obvious choice.
Director Bob Cline has wanted to direct Parade for many years. “I love this piece and it has always been on my short list of ‘must do” musicals. The events, the relationships between the characters, and the music all weave together to create a compelling and dramatic story. I’m so happy that 4th Wall asked me to direct this in their 15th anniversary season.”
Music Director, Markus Hauck is equally excited to work on this production.. “I have wanted to conduct this show for a long time. Parade has one of the most exciting scores in contemporary musical theater. It’s a very dark story, and the depth of the libretto offers dramatic possibilities that are usually found only in straight plays. The fact that it is based on actual events gives the narrative extra punch.”
Parade will play at the Westminster Center for the Arts on the campus of Bloomfield College in Bloomfield with performances on June 8, 9, 15, 16, 22, and 23 at 8:00 p.m and Sunday June 17 at 3:00 pm. Tickets are $24.00 General Admission with discount tickets available for students and seniors. Tickets may be purchased by calling 973-748-9000 ext. 1279. Visa, MasterCard and Discover are accepted. Tickets may also be purchased on-line, and additional information is available at http://www.4thwalltheatre.org.
The group will also host a one-night only fundraiser on July 16 at Westminster Arts Center entitled “A JERSEY VOICE: Sinatra to Springsteen…and Everyone in Between,” featuring John Michael Coppola, a former Bloomfield resident, and a former cast member from the Chicago company of Jersey Boys. Along with a seven piece band and a few stories of how he moved his family from Bloomfield, NJ, to Chicago to be a part of the cast of Jersey Boys, this makes for a great evening of entertainment you’re sure to enjoy. The show features song selections from the 1940s through today, made popular by such artists as Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen, and, of course, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.