Bay Ridge

Jeff Samaha Theater Productions presents ‘Parade’

Musical recounts infamous 1913 murder case

November 18, 2014 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Actors rehearse an emotional scene from “Parade,” a musical about a famous murder trial in 1913. Photo courtesy Karen Tadross
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Jeff Samaha Theater Productions, a Bay Ridge-based performing arts company, is exploring murder and injustice in its next stage production. The company announced that it will present “Parade,” a musical which looks at the famous Leo Frank murder trial of 1913.

Frank, convicted of the murder of 13-year-old Mary Phagan in Atlanta, Georgia, was at the center of a media storm in the years before World War I. “Parade” is based on the true story surrounding the infamous murder case.

Jeff Samaha Theater Productions, founded by musical conductor and producer Jeff Samaha, will present “Parade” at a special one-weekend-only event. The performances will take place at the High School of Telecommunication Arts and Technology, 350 67th St. in Bay Ridge, on Friday, Dec. 5 at 8 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 6 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., and on Sunday, Dec. 7 at 3 p.m.

With book by playwright Alfred Uhry and music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown, “Parade” is a Tony Award-winning play and a powerful work of art, according to Samaha.

“Parade” recounts the press frenzy and public outrage about Frank’s trial, and his wife’s crusade for justice. Amid religious intolerance, political injustice and racial tension, the musical explores the endurance of love and hope against all odds.

Directed by Jeff Samaha, with music direction by Evan Alparone and choreography by Gabrielle Mangano, the show will feature a cast of 35, many of whom were also part of the cast of “Les Miserables,” the previous show presented by Jeff Samaha Theater Productions. The show will be produced by Karen Tadross and technical elements will be directed by John Olsen and Rich Konert.

The company earned the rights to present a full-scale production of “Les Miserables” last year. The Samaha production was met with great acclaim.

Samaha and Tadross jointly issued a statement to the Brooklyn Eagle on the upcoming production.

“We must say that ‘Parade’ is the best show that we could have chosen as our follow-up to ‘Les Miserables.’ The story of Brooklyn-born Leo Frank will leave an imprint on everyone’s heart, especially since what the audience will see is a true story. These events actually happened. They will not be able to walk away from the theater thinking what they saw was a piece of fiction and
just forget it. It is hauntingly beautiful and it will stay with them.  It is also a story about what it is to be an American and to have humanity and how each and every one of us can influence it or change it for the better or the worse. Not to mention that the music is nothing short of glorious and our cast is to-notch with talent that people expect from one of our productions,” the statement read.

Reserved seating tickets can be purchased through the company’s website, or can be ordered by phone at 718-989-9566.





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