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Parade - Seymour Centre (NSW)

Book by Alfred Uhry. Music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown.

A harrowing musical that holds great magic and complex, resonating messages for our modern times


Reviewed by Chanele Mao

Everest Theatre, Seymour Centre

Season 9 May – 25 May 2024


There is great magic in the music and lyrics of Parade, a Tony-Award winning Broadway musical. If you thought musicals were all feel-good, jolly fun times at the theatre, let me warn you - this is not one of those Wicked or Cinderella tales.

Parade is a musical marvel with a difficult and disturbing narrative. A true story. An unsolved murder. A nation divided. It’s set in America, in 1913 in Georgia, a southern state. After the American Civil War, the nation was still quite fragile and emerging from racial tensions. The musical tells the harrowing tale of a Jewish American man, a factory manager and newly-wed, Leo Frank (Aaron Robuck) who was charged and convicted of a crime he seemingly did not commit - the rape and murder of a young 13-year-old girl and former worker at his factory, Mary Phagan (Adeline Hunter).

Parade at Sydney's Seymour Centre (2024). Images by Matthew Chen


There is stellar story telling about how Phagan and the other factory girls were allegedly taken advantage of by Frank during the trial. Brown’s score becomes very eery, poetic and dramatic, with lyrics such as:


He calls my name / I turn my head / He got no words to say / His eyes get big / My face gets red / And I want to run away / And he looks / And I wait / And he smiles - The Factory Girls


When I first heard ‘The Factory Girls’ and the cries from the other girls who allegedly were also harassed by Frank, I could not unhear it. Parade has a number of stunning songs that will allow your emotions to soar, or given the context, feel sick to the stomach.


Robuck’s Frank is portrayed as a sensitive, kind and honest man - not one to take any short-cuts. The audience can’t help but like the straight-laced Frank, who will cross his t’s and dot his i’s – surely he is not a murderer? His newly wedded wife, Lucille (Montana Sharp) complements him well, as she is also not one to give up on fighting for her husband’s innocence.

stellar storytelling...beautiful scores!


Harry Gill’s set, props and stage was well designed and executed to weave the ins and outs of the story following the various stages the characters go through in the storyline. The costumes were fitting and reflected the characters personalities and roles. Due to Parade having a large host of characters and actors, it can sometimes be difficult to keep track of everyone and understand their motives and agendas. For example, is Frank really who he seems or does he hide a secret?

If you are interested in true crime, a murder mystery musical with a splashing of bias, bigotry and discrimination against others - will justice prevail or will a murderous mob get their way? Parade will tick all those boxes and more. Enjoy the show and the beautiful scores! 


The show runs for approximately 2 hour 30 mins with a 20 minute interval.  



Book Alfred Uhry

Music & Lyrics Jason Robert Brown

Co-Conceived and Directed on Broadway Harold Prince

Director Mark Taylor

Producer Benjamin Samuel

Lighting Designer Sidney Younger

Set Designer Harry Gill

Costume Designer Harry Gill

Choreography Freya List



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