Arden Theatre Co. to Open 26th Season with PARADE, 9/26-11/3
Arden Theatre Company begins its 26th season of great stories with Parade, the musical with book by Alfred Uhry and music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown. Directed by Terrence J. Nolen and co-conceived with designer Jorge Cousineau, the production runs on the Arden's F. Otto Haas Stage from September 26 through November 3, 2013.
Based on a true story, Parade is set in 1913 Atlanta, Georgia as Leo Frank, a Jewish factory manager accused of killing a young girl, faces a whole town turned against him. "I'm honored to open our season with Parade, a piece that focuses on a pivotal moment in our American history and whose themes continue to resonate in our world today," says Terrence J. Nolen, the Arden's Producing Artistic Director. 2013 marks the 100th Anniversary of Frank's trial, which raised issues of anti-Semitism and social justice, leading to the founding of the Anti-Defamation League.
Playwright Alfred Uhry (Pulitzer Prize winner for Driving Miss Daisy) had a family connection to Frank's story - his great uncle owned the factory where the murder took place - and wrote the book for Parade, originally co-conceived with director Harold Prince. (Uhry narrates a video about Frank in the collection at the National Museum of American Jewish History here in Philadelphia.) Jason Robert Brown (The Last Five Years, Honeymoon in Vegas debuting at Paper Mill Playhouse on September 26, and The Bridges of Madison County opening on Broadway in January 2014) wrote music and lyrics for this soaring musical which won the Tony Awards for Best Book and Best Original Score in 1999. The Arden presents the Donmar Warehouse version of the play, which premiered in 2007 and features additional songs.
Continuing their creative partnership forged during Sunday in the Park with George (2010) and Next to Normal (2012), Terrence J. Nolen co-conceives Parade with scenic and video designer Jorge Cousineau. The creative team also includes costume designer Rosemarie McKelvey (A Little Night Music, Sunday in the Park with George), lighting designer Thom Weaver (A Little Night Music, Next to Normal), and sound designer Daniel Perelstein (Next to Normal). Music Director Ryan Touhey works alongside Associate Music Director and Conductor Amanda Morton to lead an orchestra of eight musicians.
Ben Dibble (A Little Night Music, Candide) leads the cast as Leo Frank alongside Jennie Eisenhower (Baby Case) as Lucille, his wife and only defender. With actors portraying multiple roles, Parade showcases many of Philadelphia's great musical theatre performers including Rachel Camp (Next to Normal), Jeffrey Coon (Sunday in the Park with George), Caroline Dooner (Sunday in the Park with George, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum), Sarah Gliko (Charlotte's Web), Scott Greer (The Threepenny Opera, Sunday in the Park with George), Alex Keiper (A Little Night Music), Anthony Lawton (The Threepenny Opera), and Michael Philip O'Brien (Sweeney Todd). New York-based performers Derrick Cobey (A Little Night Music) and Robert Hager (Next to Normal) return to the Arden for this production alongside newcomers Dennis Holland (The Music Man on Broadway), Kenita Miller (Xanadu and The Color Purple on Broadway), and Temple University student Kathryn Brunner as Mary Phagan, the young girl whose death begins the investigation and trial depicted in the play.
Parade previews begin on Thursday, September 26, 2013 Preview performances run September 26, 27, 28, 29, and October 1. Opening night is set for 7pm Wednesday, October 2. The final performance is scheduled for November 3, 2013. Single ticket prices are $36-$48, with discounts available for seniors, students, military and educators. Groups of 15+ enjoy significant discounts; please inquire about group rates. Mainstage Subscriptions are on sale for $84-$135. Call the Arden Box Office at 215.922.1122, order online at www.ardentheatre.org, or visit the box office at 40 N. 2nd Street in Old City, Philadelphia.
A Pay What You Can performance will be held on Wednesday, September 25 at 8pm with all proceeds benefiting the historic congregation Kesher Israel.
Post-show discussions will be held following performances on October 10 at 8pm, October 16 and 30 at 6:30pm, October 20 and 27 at 2pm.
The Arden is wheelchair accessible and provides assisted listening devices and large-print programs at every performance. Open Captioned and Audio Described performances will take place on Friday, October 25 at 8pm and Saturday, October 26 at 2pm. Reservations are required for accessible seating and may be made by calling the Arden's Box Office at 215.922.1122.
The Scene, the Arden's young professionals networking event, will be held on Friday, September 27. Tickets are $30 and include a pre-show reception at the Arden, a ticket to the show, and a post-show party with the staff and cast. Tickets are available online at www.ardentheatre.org/thescene or by calling 215.922.1122 and mentioning The Scene.
Teen Arden, a program for area teenagers passionate about theatre, hosts Drama, Bites, Access! on Sunday, October 27 at 2pm. Tickets are $10 and include a pre-show party at the Arden, a ticket to the show, and a post-show meet and greet with members of the creative team and cast of Parade. Tickets are available online atwww.ardentheatre.org/tickets/teenarden or by calling 215.922.1122. Teen Arden is made possible by the Albert M. Greenfield Foundation.