Parade or Songs for a New World?

evitakita
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Parade or Songs for a New World?#0
Posted: 2/2/06 at 11:28pm
I'm currently obsessed with The Last 5 Years. What next--any thoughts?
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re: Parade or Songs for a New World?#1
Posted: 2/2/06 at 11:33pm
Parade, though it's probably the saddest thing you'll ever listen to... I cried so hard the first time I listened to the full recording.

Understand that it's not very historically accurate, though.
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re: Parade or Songs for a New World?#2
Posted: 2/2/06 at 11:35pm
I don't think that's the case...Parade fills in a lot of the blanks, but the authors stayed fairly close to the actual events.
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evitakita
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re: Parade or Songs for a New World?#3
Posted: 2/2/06 at 11:37pm
I cried so hard the first time I listened to the full recording.

Wow...and I'm still sniffling after listening to "See I'm Smiling" for the millionth time. Maybe I should take a break from Jason Robert Brown...or not.

Keep the opinions coming! Thanks much!
Updated On: 2/2/06 at 11:37 PM
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re: Parade or Songs for a New World?#4
Posted: 2/2/06 at 11:40pm
Not really, Parade overplays the anti-semitism. It also changes many, many things. Not to mention that it warps Leo and Lucille's personalities as well as their marriage. Steve Oney, author of IMO the best book on the case, wrote a great article on the musical's inaccuracies.

I know that these were done for creative purposes, and I still love it. I'm just saying.
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re: Parade or Songs for a New World?#5
Posted: 2/2/06 at 11:45pm
I first got The Last 5 Years over 2 years ago. I loved what I heard and had high expectations based on word of mouth. However, people kept raving so much, I really kind of kept raising my expectations only to get let down.
I did the same thing with Parade, however this has become easily one of the best recordings I own
Between this and the end of the Color Purple cd, I have not heard anything as emotionally impacting as what can be heard on these cds. It is just so overwhelmingly beautiful, haunting, and yet at the end you get peaceful because the show, although ending in tragedy, ends with a sense of hope and don't get me started about "Mr. Frank" "What is it?" "Happy Memorial Day". It definitely heightened my liking of JRB and I respect him SO much more now.
Parade all the way. You can't be disappointed, its too good not to be. If you loved L5Y that much, than this could easily exceed your hopes.
Updated On: 2/26/06 at 11:45 PM
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re: Parade or Songs for a New World?#6
Posted: 2/2/06 at 11:49pm
Parade is IMO a work of genius. I love the contrasts... the upbeat, beautiful music even when horrible things are going on.... but also the music can get sinister when it needs to. Hard to describe.

Sorry, I could rave about this musical all day re: Parade or Songs for a New World?
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re: Parade or Songs for a New World?#7
Posted: 2/3/06 at 12:07am
I havn't heard the full recording of Parade, only a couple of songs. I absolutely love Songs for a New World. You should definatly check that out. The Opening song is amazing.
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re: Parade or Songs for a New World?#8
Posted: 2/3/06 at 12:38am
Get BOTH CDS! You won't be disappointed. And also get JRB's solo album.
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re: Parade or Songs for a New World?#9
Posted: 2/3/06 at 12:40am
"Understand that it's not very historically accurate, though."


actually, I read a book on the Murder of mary Phagin and the Lynching of Leo Frank and its actually very accurate, just some name changes and things that the show doesnt discuss.
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re: Parade or Songs for a New World?#10
Posted: 2/3/06 at 1:01am
Wearing Someone Else's Clothes.

Although you really can't go wrong with either Parade or SFANW, his solo album is my favorite CD I own.
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re: Parade or Songs for a New World?#11
Posted: 2/3/06 at 2:17am
Parade.
I always find it interesting how many times this show is rediscovered & enjoyed. Time for a restaging?
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re: Parade or Songs for a New World?#12
Posted: 2/3/06 at 12:55pm
Attendthetale: I've read a lot on the case (including the book you read, if it's the one I'm thinking of) and I can safely say that Parade is not accurate, especially where the full libretto is concerned. The biggest inaccuracies involve the role of anti-semitism in the trial and also the relationship of Leo and Lucille. This artistic license is not a bad thing. It gets the main points across, and even though I hate how it makes it appear that Frank was only convicted because he was Jewish, and also misrepresents real people, it's still a fantastic musical.

Also, I think Smith gets shafted. :/ Poor guy.
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re: Parade or Songs for a New World?#13
Posted: 2/3/06 at 1:59pm
Songs for a New World is more similar to Last 5 Years, but Parade is a better (and more important) score. Carolee Carmello and Brent Carver give career defining performances.
Updated On: 2/3/06 at 01:59 PM
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re: Parade or Songs for a New World?#14
Posted: 2/3/06 at 3:04pm
I love all 3 of his shows in so many ways. I have recently listened to Parade and I fell in love with it as well. I also cried lol! But I love SOngs for a New World too and it's so different from Parade. But I think I def enjoy Parade more!
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voztimbrada
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re: Parade or Songs for a New World?#15
Posted: 2/3/06 at 5:26pm
"Understand that it's not very historically accurate, though."

I absolutely love Parade, and I have always felt like it is a sorley underappreciated piece of art and historical perspective. To say that it is "historically incaccurate" is a pretty bold statement. History has always been written by those that win a conflict. In this case, most of the history of this incident was recorded by the media in that area of the country during that time period. The media was and still is highly influneced by local government, etc. Do you think it's possible that the historical records portray a slight slant in the direction of those who were against Leo Frank? History has always been that way. It slants in the direction of those that win. It is literally impossible to know exactly how every event unfolded. This musical is simply a perspective based on historical facts, most of which are presented in the musical. All one can really present are the events that seem to be agreed upon by all parties. The rest (personalities, what someone said, etc.) is perspective. Saying that Parade is historically inacurrate is a broad generalization, that is probably misleading.
Updated On: 2/3/06 at 05:26 PM
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re: Parade or Songs for a New World?#16
Posted: 2/3/06 at 5:41pm
Parade, hands down. Although SFAWN is excellent as well, and of course, Last 5 Years. re: Parade or Songs for a New World?. But between those two most definitely Parade.
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re: Parade or Songs for a New World?#17
Posted: 2/3/06 at 6:56pm
Er... most books out there are pro-Leo Frank. The only one I've seen that isn't is The Murder of Mary Phagan by Mary Phagan-Kean. In fact, most people just think that Frank v. Magnum was an example of government-supported antisemitism, when it's really a lot more complicated than that.

Yes, there are historical facts that can be agreed to by all parties regarding the court case. And except for the basic outline of events, Parade for the most part does not follow these facts. That's why I regard it as historically inaccurate.
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re: Parade or Songs for a New World?#18
Posted: 2/3/06 at 7:06pm
Okay, cool. I appreciate your objective and un-adgitated response. And I mean that in all sincerity. So many people on these boards react angrily to debate. I love calm, rational evidence based discussion. I'll be sure to watch your posts in the future, for some good discussion. Just out of curiosity, what are a couple of examples of misrepresented facts in Parade?

By the way, I agree with you that Parade is a complete work of genius.
Updated On: 2/3/06 at 07:06 PM
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re: Parade or Songs for a New World?#19
Posted: 2/3/06 at 7:29pm
Voztimbrada - I had to comment on your comment about intelligent discourse. I agree completely. So many times on these boards people get into heated exchanges and its nice when people can just disagree without any extra emotion. And I also really liked your earlier comment about history being told by the winners. That's also one of the themes of Wicked, and it's extremely powerful.
As to the question of the three shows, I love all three CDs of JRB. I wish I could see all of these shows (see my comments in the First Visit to New York City thread about newer shows). The music on all of them is excellent. I think Songs for a New World is the more accessible CD on a first listen, because there isn't a story to follow. All three CDs pack a lot of emotion into the songs. I can't wait to see what he comes up with next. I'm hoping as he gets more famous that more theaters might produce his earlier works.
Updated On: 2/3/06 at 07:29 PM
Dirty Rotten Scoundrel
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re: Parade or Songs for a New World?#20
Posted: 2/3/06 at 7:34pm
Parade.
I always find it interesting how many times this show is rediscovered & enjoyed. Time for a restaging?


Me as well! And Amen to the time for restaging! Yes PLEASE. lol. Man oh man what I wouldn't give to actually see Brent Carver and Carolee Carmello play those roles.
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re: Parade or Songs for a New World?#21
Posted: 2/3/06 at 9:14pm
The two CDs are great!
musically, Songs for a new world is very much similar to L5Y. this kind of music is kinda JRB's territory.

I read somewhere that because the proposition of composing parade was not JRB's idea. and it was not a story he related to like he would his own idea, he composed it more "operatically" (his words, i think). a more big-scale operatic numbers. i personaly like this type better.

and since songs for a new world has no storyline, it is not as engaging as any book musical recording (though still, beautifully amazing!)

i suggest, go for PARADE.
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re: Parade or Songs for a New World?#22
Posted: 2/3/06 at 9:55pm
I've been listening (rather unhealthy obsessed) to "Parade" non-stop since my friend introduced the album to me after seeing Carolee Carmello in "Lestat"

This short-lived musical is absolutely beautiful. Ignoring some of its historical inaccuracies, it is one of the most gorgeous collections of music I've ever heard. Jason Robert Brown is beyond musical-genius. The entire show gives me thrills time and time again.
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re: Parade or Songs for a New World?#23
Posted: 2/3/06 at 10:37pm
Lauren Kennedy, current Lady of the Lake in Spamalot, recorded a CD of Jason Robert Brown's songs a few years ago. It includes songs from "Last 5 Years", "Parade", and "Songs for a New World", in addition to some originals. I highly recommend it.

She was the original female lead in "Last 5 Years" before she left for London and Sherie Renee Scott replaced her in NYC.
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re: Parade or Songs for a New World?#24
Posted: 2/3/06 at 10:57pm
voztimbrada: Thanks to you as well for the very nice response. re: Parade or Songs for a New World?

As for some examples... the first one that stands out the most would be the role of anti-semitism. Anti-semitism played a role in the yellow journalism printed about Frank which did bias people's views towards him, and Watson was for sure an anti-semite (though he didn't get involved until later) but as for the trial itself, it didn't have much influence. There was no shouting or out of controlness inside (Mary Phagan Kean loves to point this out) and several people in the jury were Jewish. I'm sure that being Jewish alienated Leo from people, but it wasn't like "Hang the Jew!" In fact, the claims of anti-semitism just further alienated the southerners, who were like "What, just because he's Jewish he shouldn't be punished for committing murder?"

Another big one are the characters and relationship of Leo and Lucille. They're really exaggerated: Leo is shown as this uptight, cold, Jewish Yankee who hates the south and feels that he is surrounded by hicks. On the contrast, Lucille is shown as this southern belle who's completely assimilated into the southern culture and forgotten her Jewish heritage. Parade did this for the sake of character development, which is fine, but in real life Leo didn't hate the south (he was born in Texas, for heaven's sake); he may have felt uncomfortable there, but it wasn't to the extent of what he sings in "How Can I Call This Home?" And Lucille was still immersed in her Jewish background. In Parade for example she asks Leo why he's using a Hebrew (or is it Yiddish? Whatever it is) word, when in real life she often used them herself. And their relationship is shown as very cold and distant until the ordeal brings them together, when actually they were quite close and happy in real life. Steve Oney actually had excerpts from their letters to each other in his book, and he concludes that they were quite in love. Supposedly at one point Lucille was even pregnant, but miscarried. I scanned Steve Oney's section on their relationship if you're really curious (he's the only one who's written in detail about it.)

Another big thing is the trial itself. The musical seems to focus more on the attacks on Frank for "sexual perversion": with the exception of Epps and Conley, it leaves out physical evidence (both for and against Frank) and witnesses who both accounted for Frank's whereabouts during the murder, and challenged it. For example, the biggest witness against Frank aside Conley was Monteen Stover, who claimed that he wasn't in his office at the time he claimed. The "murder notes" (two notes discovered next to Mary's body and allegedly written by her murderer; Conley admitted that he wrote them, but claimed that Frank had dictated them) are an especially large omission.

Some other minor things:
- Conley came up with his affadavit not because he was a runaway convict, but because he was an actual suspect for the murder himself
- According to Conley, Frank gave him $200 not $100 (sorry, for some reason that bothers me XD)
- Lucille did not get Slaton to commute the sentence, and most of Slaton's reasons for the commutation were changed
- Also, according to her mother Mary rather disliked George (Frankie in the musical) Epps; though the boy's father claimed otherwise
- Leo's behavior in jail in the musical also sticks out to me; he acts pretty snotty. In real life he was calm and thought he'd be out of there soon enough. Again, it's all for the sake of character development though...
- Lucille did leave Atlanta for a bit after the lynching
- This is unrelated to the case, but it drives me nuts all the same: the USA did not enter World War I in 1915! I am going to assume that Frankie Epps is going to go volunteer in Europe like Hemingway did.

These are a few examples... I wrote up an entire list on a webpage, actually, though most are just plain nitpicky. re: Parade or Songs for a New World? If you have any further questions or comments, feel free to respond... I love to discuss this infamous court case. I don't know why it fascinates me so much, but it does!
Jimmy, what are you doing here in the middle of the night? It's almost 9 PM!