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BWW Exclusive: Ben Platt, Michaela Diamond & More Lead Michael Arden-Helmed PARADE Reading

BWW Exclusive: Ben Platt, Michaela Diamond & More Lead Michael Arden-Helmed PARADE Reading

BroadwayWorld has learned that just last week, Roundabout Theatre Company held a star-studded reading of Jason Robert Brown and Alfred Uhry's Parade, helmed by two-time Tony nominee Michael Arden and led by Ben Platt as Leo Frank and Michaela Diamond as Lucille Frank.

Roundabout Theatre Company frequently holds readings for plays and musicals, so a future production might not necessarily be in the cards (or if it is, not with this full team), but we can still dream!

The rest of the cast included: Mallory Bechtel (Iola Stover), John Behlmann (Hugh Dorsey), Kevin Chamberlin (Luther Rosser/Mr. Peavy), Eddie Cooper (Newt Lee/Riley), Rodrick Covington (Jim Conley), Luther Creek (Officer Ivey), Andrew Durand (Britt Craig), Mark Jacoby (Old Soldier/Judge Roan), Mia Sinclair Jenness (Essie), Howard McGillin (Governor Slaton), Kenita Miller (Minnie McKnight/Angela), Renee Rapp (Monteen), John Rapson (Prison Guard), Brian Sears (Young Soldier), Laura Shoop (Sally Slaton), Brooklyn Shuck (Mary Phagan), Will Swenson (Tom Watson), Melissa Van Der Schyff (Mrs. Phagan), and Oscar Williams (Frankie Epps).

The reading featured music direction by Thomas Murray, with Caleb Hoyer (Asst. Music Director) and Graham Miller (Asst. Director).


Parade is a musical with a book by Alfred Uhry and music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown. The musical premiered on Broadway in 1998 and won Tony Awards for Best Book and Best Original Score (out of nine nominations) and six Drama Desk Awards. The original cast was led by Brent Carver and Carolee Carmello.

Manhattan Concert Productions' 2015 concert version of the musical starred Jeremy Jordan, Laura Benanti, Ramin Karimloo, and Joshua Henry.

The musical dramatizes the 1913 trial of Jewish factory manager Leo Frank, who was accused and convicted of raping and murdering a thirteen-year-old employee, Mary Phagan. The trial, sensationalized by the media, aroused antisemitic tensions in Atlanta and the U.S. state of Georgia.

Photo Credit: Walter McBride / WM Photos

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