Archive for the ‘Leo Frank’ Category

The Lynching of Leo Frank

It was April 26, in the spring of 1913, that Mary Phagan went down to the pencil factory in Atlanta where she worked. She was going to pick up $1.20, which she had earned working twelve hours that week. Mary Phagan was thirteen-years-old.

The man who paid her, Leo Frank, was the last person to acknowledge seeing her alive. Her body, bruised and bloody, was found that night in the factory cellar. Her murder electrified Atlantas population, so repulsed by rumors of sexual assault and the senseless murder of a young girl. They followed the story in the news and demanded swift action by authorities.

Leo Frank became the prime suspect. He was Jewish, a member of The Temple, and hed come to Atlanta from the north. As such, he was an easy target for the anti-Semitic population who distrusted northern merchants who had come south following the Civil War. It hardly mattered that the evidence against Frank was circumstantial and thin, at best.

The primary witness was a janitor who claimed he had helped Frank dispose of the body. He had given four different, and conflicting, affidavits prior to trial. Mobs of people gathered outside the courthouse, cheering on the prosecutor as he came and went each day. Whipped into a frenzy by newspaper coverage, much of it anti-Semitic in tone, they erupted in cheers when the jury returned a guilty verdict following twenty-five days of trial.

Following a series of failed appeals, the governor of Georgia, John Slaton, was contacted by Franks attorneys. They sought a commutation to save their clients life. At the same time, Thomas E. Watson, the publisher of the Jeffersonian began a campaign against Frank and commutation of the sentence. His open rants against Jews generally and Frank particularly sent his readership soaring. Public outrage grew right along with his circulation numbers.

Yet Slaton began to review the case in great detail, even going so far as to visit the pencil factory. After reviewing more than 10,000 pages of documentation, Governor Slaton commuted the sentence to life in prison. His decision flew wildly in the face of public opinion. Enraged Atlantans marched on the governors mansion, forcing Slaton to declare martial law and call out the National Guard.

His term of office ended just a few days later, at which time he was escorted to a train station by police. Slaton and his wife boarded a train, left the state, and did not return to Georgia for more than ten years, so great was the public outcry against them.

Franks fate was considerably worse. The mob that had marched on the governors mansion turned their attention to the prison where Frank was being held. They stormed the gates, dragging Frank out and transporting him to Marietta, where Phagan was from.

From an oak tree, on the morning of August 17, 1915, Leo Frank was hung by a lynch mob. In the crowd were prominent political and business leaders, including the son of a United States senator. Later, the leaders of the lynch mob, calling themselves the Knights of Mary Phagan, gathered atop Stone Mountain. There, they revived the Ku Klux Klan.

Franks death at the hands of an openly anti-Semitic lynch mob, led by the leaders of the community, whipped into a frenzy by the editor of a popular publication, alarmed Jewish leaders across America. This dark chapter in Americas history frightened members of The Temple and Atlantas Jewish community even more.

A sense of security that had pervaded the Jews of Atlanta was shattered, and it would not be restored for decades. In the wake of the lynching, the Anti-Defamation League was founded to combat bigotry generally and anti-Semitism specifically. Yet here in Atlanta, many Jews retreated from public life. Once present across the spectrum of political life, no Jew ran for office for over two decades after the Frank lynching.

Frank himself received the smallest measure of justice in 1986, when he was given a posthumous pardon. Four years earlier, eighty-three-year-old Alonzo Mann testified that as an office boy at the factory, he had seen the janitor carrying Mary Phagans body. He was threatened to remain silent, and did so for almost seventy years. While the testimony did not fully exonerate Frank, it was a major development that led to his 1986 pardon.

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The Lynching of Leo Frank

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July 20, 2017   Posted in: Leo Frank  Comments Closed

O.J.’s last defender F. Lee Bailey is broke, disbarred and … – Washington Post

Johnnie Cochran is dead.

Marcia Clark writes murder mysteries.

Judge Lance Ito is retired.

Kato Kaelin tweets a lot.

And F. Lee Bailey, the famed criminal defense attorney, is flat broke.

On Thursday, O.J. Simpson the NFL icon who brought them together more than two decades ago was granted parolefrom his prison sentence for a Nevada robbery conviction, asserting during a highly anticipatedhearing thatIm not a guy who has lived a criminal life.

But of all the characters who played a role in Simpsons unforgettable acquittal for the murder of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, no ones life has changed as dramatically as Baileys.

By changed, we mean cratered.

O.J. Simpson was found not guilty of the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman in 1995. The investigation and trial lasted more than a year and included a number of memorable moments. Here are a few of them, starting with O.J.’s infamous car chase which took place June 17, 1994. (The Washington Post)

Bailey joined Simpsons defense team with a courtroom rsum that even Perry Mason would be jealous of. Baileygot neurosurgeon Sam Sheppard a new trial on charges he brutally killed his wife and a not-guilty verdict. He defended fugitive newspaper heiress Patty Hearst, the Boston Strangler and scores of other accused murderers. He was rich, flew on private jets and even played himself in a movie.

[Unsolved and overlooked murders: Investigating cold cases of the civil rights era]

Today he lives with a hairstylist in Maine. At 83, he works above her salon.

I wont say its depressing, because I dont think I ever get depressed, Bailey told writer Andrew Goldman in a remarkable profile this month in Town & Country magazine.

The story details Baileys life post-O.J. not just his remarkable fall but also his steadfast belief that a Los Angeles jury reached the correct verdict in acquitting the actor and Hertz pitchman of killing Nicole and her friendRonald Goldman.

[The Ku Klux Klan was dead. The first Hollywood blockbuster revived it.]

Last year, Bailey filed for bankruptcy after a string of scandals inside and outside the courtroom left him disbarred and shamed. He was accused of misappropriating funds from his defense of an alleged drug dealer.

Heres what he had left: a 1999 Mercedes station wagon (gold, of course).

Unable to practice law, Bailey runs a consulting business above the salon. His office is decorated with models of jets he once owned. But to thefine people of Yarmouth, Maine, Bailey is still famous, a courtroom legend in their midst.

The Town & Country writer had lunch there with Bailey, who ordered a pinot grigio:

Next to him sits Debbie Elliot, his girlfriend of seven years. A pretty good-looking 62, he remarks, an accurate assessment of the curvaceous salon owner, who is dressed in head-to-toe black, her platinum blond hair pulled back in a ponytail. Bailey, who in the 1970s wore sideburns so bushy they resembled a barristers wig, now has thin white hair clipped close to the scalp, a side effect of cohabitation with a hairdresser.

Bailey tried to return to the courtroom, but hehas been turned down, even after passing the bar exam not long ago in Maine. His old lawyer pals, including Alan Dershowitz, have a not-so-complicated legal theory about why.

O.J.

Without a doubt, Dershowitz told Town & Country. I think it was a major factor in the vindictive way in which hes been treated.

Bailey wont object tothat one.

People at every level, judges on down, pointed the finger and said, If you hadnt prostituted your talents for this guy, he would have gone to jail, he told Town & Country.

Bailey used to keep in touch with Simpson, who would call to chat about life and, later, from jail, about how to get out. And then suddenly, after Simpson was convicted in the Nevada case, the calls stopped.

He says he was told that Simpson was warned by prison officials to steer clear of Bailey if he wanted to get on the good side of the parole board, Town & Country reported.

Accused murderers used to walk free with Bailey at their side.

Now they have a better chance if he stays just where he is, above the salon.

Read more Retropolis:

Six Nazi spies were executed in D.C. White supremacists gave them a memorial on federal land.

Virginia Tech was not the worst school massacre in U.S. history. This was.

Leo Frank was lynched for a murder he didnt commit. Now neo-Nazis are trying to rewrite history.

Assassins!A Confederate spy was accused of helping kill Abraham Lincoln. Then he vanished.

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O.J.’s last defender F. Lee Bailey is broke, disbarred and … – Washington Post

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PARADE to Be Staged at World’s Oldest Paper Factory This Autumn – Broadway World

Alfred Uhry and Jason Robert Brown’s 1998 Tony Award-winning musical PARADE, based on the infamous trial and lynching of Leo Frank, is set to be professionally staged at the world’s oldest working paper factory this September.

Staged at the Frogmore Papermill in Apsley, Hertfordshire, the production will be directed as an immersive experience where audiences will follow the actors through the atmospheric building as they create a thrilling and visceral retelling of this true poignant story.

PARADE tells the heart wrenching true story of Leo Frank, a Brooklyn-born Jew living in Atlanta, Georgia. Frank was accused of the murder of his 13-year-old employee Mary Phagan in 1913. Already guilty in the eyes of everyone around him, a sensationalist publisher and a janitor’s questionable testimony along with a litany of false testimonies, clearly lacking any clear, real evidence seals Leo’s fate. His only defenders are a Governor with a conscience, and, eventually, his Southern wife who finds the strength and love to become his greatest champion.

Directed by Dan Cowtan, PARADE THE MUSICAL will run at the Frogmore Papermill from the 7thto 16thof September. PARADE will be the first professional production to help revive the life of the Frogmore Papermill, hoping to create a safe and innovative space for future arts related events.

Casting is yet to be announced.

PARADE is presented by Vivo D’Arte, a theatre company looking to change the norms of a theatrical experience and offer a platform for both graduates and professional performers to showcase themselves.

For more information, follow @_PARADEMusical or visit www.vivodarte.co.uk for the latest news and casting regarding this production.

VIVO D’ARTE Ltd is a theatre arts training organisation and Production Company. We work with new writers as well as performing established works, working in a traditional theatre setting as well as finding new and innovative spaces to perform in. Our Production Company focuses on creating performance opportunities for graduates and students as well as older performers who may be professional or semi-professional. Our popular Vivo Youth Theatre company provides opportunities for performers from a wide age range from 6 up to 23 years of age to have high-quality stage experiences.

Photo Credit: Jamie Scott

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PARADE to Be Staged at World’s Oldest Paper Factory This Autumn – Broadway World

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The week ahead in LA theater, July 16-23: ‘Our Great Tchaikovsky’ and more – Los Angeles Times

THEATER

Capsule reviews are by Philip Brandes and Daryl H. Miller (D.H.M.) Compiled by Matt Cooper.

Kids Koncerts Family-friendly show with Auntie Kayte. Will Geers Theatricum Botanicum, 1419 N. Topanga Canyon Blvd., Topanga. Sun., 10:30 a.m. $10; under 2, free. (310) 455-3723.

King of the Yees Lauren Yee explores her family history and Chinese American heritage in this world-premiere tale. Kirk Douglas Theatre, 9820 Washington Blvd., Culver City. Sun, 6:30 p.m.; Tue.-Wed., 8 p.m.; Thu., 8:30 p.m.; Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 8 p.m.; next Sun., 1 and 6:30 p.m.; ends Aug. 6. $25-$70. (213) 628-2772.

OG Summer Desmadre Comedy trio Culture Clash joins forces with Latin R&B band Tierra, Pacifico Dance Company and others for an evening of political satire, music and more. Ford Theatres, 2580 Cahuenga Blvd. East, Hollywood. Sun. 7:30 p.m. $35 and up. (323) 461-3673. (323) 461-3673.

Rapture, Blister, Burn Santa Monica Rep presents a staged reading of Gina Gionfriddos feminist fable about two friends who take different paths in their lives. The Edye at the Broad Stage, 1310 11th St. Santa Monica. Sun., 2 p.m. $25. (310) 434-3200.

13th Annual New Play Reading Festival Staged readings of new works, plus panel discussions, etc.; details at www.bostoncourt.com. Boston Court, 70 N. Mentor Ave., Pasadena. Mon., 7:30 p.m.; Sat., 11 a.m., 2:30 and 5 p.m.; ends July 29. Free; reservations recommended. (626) 683-6801.

Costume Runway Show Retrospective features costumes from past productions. A Noise Within, 3352 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena. Tue., 6 p.m. $75, $150. (626) 356-3103.

Our Great Tchaikovsky Hershey Felder portrays the Russian composer in this musical bio-drama. Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Bram Goldsmith Theater, 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills. Wed.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 and 7 p.m.; ends Aug. 6. $35-$100. (310) 746-4000.

Martha Limited return engagement of Ellen Melavers bio drama about modern-dance maven Martha Graham; Christina Carlisi stars. The Whitefire Theatre, 13500 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks. Wed., 8 p.m.; also Aug. 16, Sept. 30. $25. (818) 687-8559.

The Anatomy of Love Workshop production of Ted Malawers new drama about parents confronted with the possibility that their 7-year-old daughter might be transgender. Chance Theater, 5522 E. La Palma Ave., Anaheim. Thu., 8 p.m.; Sat., next Sun., 7 p.m.; ends July 23. $15. (888) 455-4212.

Born for This Bio-musical tells the story of gospel greats and siblings BeBe and CeCe Winans. The Broad Stage, 1310 11th St., Santa Monica. Thu.-Fri., 7:30 p.m.; Sat., next Sun., 2 and 7:30 p.m.; ends Aug. 6. $50 and up. (310) 434-3200.

ICONversations Vocal artist Reign Morton shares stories and salutes Sinatra, Prince, Whitney, et al. in the cabaret show. The Colony Theatre, 555 N. 3rd St., Burbank. Thu.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun. 3 p.m.; ends July 23. $35. (866) 811-4111.

Sequence The stories of a gambler and a genetics researcher intertwine in West Coast premiere of Arun Lakras thriller. Theatre 40, Reuben Cordova Theatre, 241 S. Moreno Drive, Beverly Hills. Thu., 8 p.m.; Fri., 7 p.m.; Sat, 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends Aug. 20. $30. (310) 364-0535.

Shine Storytellers share tales about moving somewhere new. Santa Monica Playhouse, 1211 4th St., Santa Monica. Thu., 7 p.m. $12; discounts available. (310) 452-2321.

Soliloquy Broadways James Snyder (If/Then) performs in this cabaret show. Catalina Bar & Grill, 6725 W. Sunset Blvd., Hollywood. Thu., 8:30 p.m. $15-$30; food and drink minimums apply. (323) 466-2210.

We Will Not Be Silent Staged reading of David Meyers fact-based drama about Sophie Scholl, the German college student who led a public act of resistance against the Nazis during WWII. The Fountain Theatre, 5060 Fountain Ave., L.A. Thu., 7 p.m. Free. (323) 663-1525.

Yitzhak Rabin: Chronicle of an Assassination Two actresses read from late Israeli prime ministers memoirs in this music-enhanced bio-drama. Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., L.A. Thu., 7 p.m. $8-$12. (310) 440-4500.

Gaga Gardens Musical send-up of Grey Gardens, the classic 1975 documentary about two faded New York socialites. Cavern Club Theater, 1920 Hyperion Ave., L.A. Fri.-Sat., 9 p.m. $25. (800) 838-3006.

The Marvelous Wonderettes Hit jukebox musical features classic songs from the 1950 and 60s. Sierra Madre Playhouse, 87 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2:30 p.m.; ends Aug. 27. $25-$35. (626) 355-4318.

The MisMatch Game Host Dennis Hensley returns with a new edition of his off-color send-up of the 1970s-era game show. L.A. Gay & Lesbian Centers Renberg Theatre, 1125 N. McCadden Place, Hollywood. Fri., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 7 p.m. $15. (323) 860-7300.

My Janis Arianna Veronesi portrays the 1960s singer in this bio-drama. The New Collective Theatre, 6440 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m. $10. www.hollywoodfringe.org

The Rainbow Bridge A man struggling to get on with his life is haunted by his familys past in Ron Nelsons new comedy. Ruskin Group Theatre, 3000 Airport Ave., Santa Monica. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends Sept. 17. $20, $25. (310) 397-3244.

So Long Boulder City Writer-performer Jimmy Fowlies comedic take on Emma Stones characters one-woman show in the hit 2016 movie musical La La Land. Celebration Theatre @ The Lex, 6760 Lexington Ave, Hollywood. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; ends Aug. 19. $25. www.celebrationtheatre.com.

The Spidey Project Musical send-up of the comic-book characters origin story. Studio/Stage, 520 N. Western Ave., L.A. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m. $20. (818) 849-4039.

Cowboy Versus Samurai Wyoming-set update of Cyrano de Bergerac puts an Asian American twist on the classic romantic comedy. The Studio at Long Beach Playhouse, 5021 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach. Sat., 8 p.m.; ends Aug. 19. $14-$20; opening night only, $27. (562) 494-1014.

Nocturne Triptych Theatre Company stages Adam Rapps drama about a man whose world is shattered after he accidentally causes a death. Vs. Theatre, 5453 W. Pico Blvd., L.A. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 7 p.m. $25. www.triptychgroup.org.

Fritz Colemans One Night Comedy Show The comic/weatherman performs in his benefit show. El Portal Theatre, 5269 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood. July 23. Next Sun., 7 p.m. $25-$50. (866) 811-4111.

The Scott Brothers House Party The stars of HGTVs Property Brothers share clips, stories, songs and more. Segerstrom Hall, Segerstrom Center for the Arts, 600 Town Center Dr., Costa Mesa. Next Sun., 7 p.m. $49 and up. (714) 556-2787.

Sondheim on Sondheim Guest vocalists including Vanessa Williams and Glees Matthew Morrison join Gustavo Dudamel, the LA Phil and Youth Orchestra Los Angeles for a cabaret-style presentation of this survey of the legendary Broadway composers classic songs. Hollywood Bowl, 2301 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood. Next Sun., 7:30 p.m. $14-$189. (323) 850-2000.

The Cake With understanding, respect and compassion for opposing points of view, This is Us writer/co-producer Bekah Brunstetters impeccably staged new dramedy explores the human repercussions when that quintessential symbol of union and hope the wedding cake becomes a flashpoint in the culture war over marriage equality. (P.B.) Echo Theater Company, Atwater Village Theatre, 3269 Casitas Ave., L.A. Sun., next Sun., 4 p.m.; Mon., Fri.-Sat, 8 p.m.; ends Aug. 6. $34. (310) 307-3753.

Parade Time and the daily headlines just keep reaffirming the power of this underappreciated stunner of a musical. A mans religion and origin mark him for scapegoating when the public needs an outlet for its collective rage. Alfred Uhry and Jason Robert Brown base their work on the 1913 trial of Leo Frank, a Jewish Northerner indicted for the murder of a 13-year-old girl at the factory he supervised in Atlanta, a city still hurting from the Civil War. Director Kari Hayter and a committed cast deliver a fluid, coiled production that shakes the audience to its core. (D.H.M.) Chance Theater, 5522 E. La Palma Ave., Anaheim. Sun., next Sun., 3 p.m.; Thu., 7:30 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; ends July 30. $31-$45; discounts available. (888) 455-4212.

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The week ahead in LA theater, July 16-23: ‘Our Great Tchaikovsky’ and more – Los Angeles Times

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At the Chance Theater, ‘Parade’ marches to the drumbeat of history – Los Angeles Times

A martial cadence is heard throughout the soul-rattling musical Parade. You could think of it as the drumbeat of history a history from which we repeatedly fail to learn.

Time and the daily headlines just keep reaffirming the power of this 1998 musical by Alfred Uhry and lyricist-composer Jason Robert Brown. A difficult show about wrenching topics, Parade is infrequently staged, but the Chance Theater in Anaheim is making a go of it just when it should be heard. This visually arresting, emotionally potent production is hard to shake off afterward.

In Parade, a mans religion, origin and social position mark him for persecution at a moment when the public needs an outlet for its collective frustration. Uhry and Brown base their work on the 1913 trial of Leo Frank, a Jewish Northerner indicted for the murder of a 13-year-old girl at the factory he supervised in Atlanta, a city still hurting from the Civil War. Though Frank is not the only suspect, he is, as an outsider, the preferred scapegoat of a showboat prosecutor whos under pressure from a constituent-wary governor. The public devours every bit of news, true or fake, that reinforces its worldview.

This is the tale not of one man, but of a society, which director-choreographer Kari Hayter subtly underscores by keeping the cast close at hand to, literally, set the stage for each new development in the story by precisely rearranging the minimal scenic elements a collection of chairs and small tables on the raw-plank playing area.

Uhry (Driving Miss Daisy) and Brown (whose subsequent shows include The Last Five Years) launch the show with a rousingly patriotic number The Old Red Hills of Home that yearns for the past, When the Southland was free. The song segues into 1913s Confederate Memorial Day in Atlanta as Brooklyn-raised Frank (Allen Everman) stiffly departs his wife, Lucille (Erica Schaeffer), and heads to the factory like a fish against a stream of celebrating townsfolk.

He is no clear-cut hero, just as the townsfolk are not cardboard villains. Lean, with slick hair and bookish, wire-framed glasses, Everman bears a striking resemblance to the real Frank, pictured in a lobby display. His body language, like that of the man in the pictures, is prim and closed. He is curt, officious, hard to like. These qualities work against him when the local solicitor general (the towering, truly imposing Chris Kerrigan) tries to pin him for the murder of young Mary Phagan (Gabrielle Adner, with large bows at each side of her face like the real Mary in the lobby photos).

The first act is a slowly tightening noose. The second act seems to loosen it as Lucille works inexhaustibly in her husbands defense, despite his objections, until he finally recognizes her as the equal partner she always has been. Their voices twine, gorgeously, in All the Wasted Time. Here, as always, Schaeffer displays a crystalline voice and true heart; Everman brings a finely calibrated performance to its penultimate moment.

The African American perspective is concisely conveyed by Summer Greer and Robert Stroud in the gospel-blues number A Rumblin and a Rollin, which observes that, although Theres a black man swingin in evry tree, the North is finally paying attention because a white man is set to hang.

Robert Collins, portraying a factory janitor turned informant, pins the audience to its seats with the shows big, powerhouse number: the chain-gang-like Blues: Feel the Rain Fall.

In this song as in so many others, spellbinding melodies carry chilling messages. The singing, with a couple of exceptions, is superb. The most arresting voice belongs to Dillon Klena, whose expert phrasing and emphasis magnify the already considerable power of the material hes given in a succession of young-man roles, including a friend of Marys who thirsts for vengeance. Robyn Manion leads six offstage instrumentalists.

Richly evocative throughout, Hayters staging (moodily complemented by Masako Tobarus lighting) delivers its defining image just moments from the end, when two characters, forever linked by tragedy, somberly exit the story side by side.

Frank is perceived as an elitist, out of touch with the common man. At the same time, he is regarded as a dangerous outsider who should be shut behind walls. He can be read any number of ways, all pertinent to Americas persistent divisions. Such is the enduring relevance of Parade.

Where: The Chance Theater, 5522 E. La Palma Ave., Anaheim

When: 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays, 3 and 8 p.m. Saturdays, 3 p.m. Sundays; ends July 30

Tickets: $40 and $45

Information: (888) 455-4212, www.ChanceTheater.com

Running time: 2 hours, 30 minutes

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daryl.miller@latimes.com

Twitter: @darylhmiller

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At the Chance Theater, ‘Parade’ marches to the drumbeat of history – Los Angeles Times

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BWW Review: PARADE is Breathtaking at The Merry Go Round Playhouse – Broadway World

Chilling, breathtaking, and astonishing are just some of the words that come to mind after seeing the latest production playing at The Merry- Go- Round Playhouse. Under the meticulous and masterful direction of Brett Smock, Parade is stunning audiences at the Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival.

This musical features a Tony Award-winning book by Alfred Uhry along with Tony Award-winning music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown. This serious musical, based on real events, dramatizes the 1913 trial of Leo Frank (Aaron Galligan-Stierle), a Jewish factory manager accused of raping and murdering his employee, thirteen-year-old Mary Phagan (Shannon Beel) in Georgia. The trial proved to be a media event, and it stirred a lot of anger and prejudice within the community. Mr. Frank originally received the death sentence, which was changed to life in prison. This change led some members of the community to take matters of “justice” into their own hands, which has huge consequences for Mr. Frank and his dutiful wife Lucille (Kristin Wetherington).

The artistic elements of the show are some of the best that have graced the stage at the Merry – Go – Round Playhouse. The set by Czerton Lim evokes power and intensity before the show even begins. The audience sees chairs hanging from the rafters, which are constantly carried in and out by the performers. The lighting by Jose Santiago adds another layer of intensity to the thought-provoking production, while the costumes by Tiffany Howard and wig designs by Al Annotto help bring the complex characters to life within a specific historical era. This production of Parade is brilliantly done. Although it’s a large-scale production, the staging is still very intimate, which makes it all the more absorbing. It is truly special.

The large committed cast is truly phenomenal.

Aaron Galligan-Stierle, as Leo Frank, is consistently intense and highly believable. Galligan-Stierle portrayal of Leo Frank sends chills down the spine, especially as he sings the emotional song “It’s Hard to Speak My Heart.” He captures the perceived crudeness and uneasy feeling that Leo Frank gives off to the factory girls in “Come Up to My Office.”

Kristin Wetherington, as Lucille Frank, is truly stunning. She shows off her passionate and powerful vocals at every moment, and uses this passion to convey Lucille’s devotion to her husband. Her devotion to the role is evident. Her well-trained voice shines in “You Don’t Know This Man” and “Do It Alone” as she passionately belts out the powerful lyrics. Her duets with Aaron Galligan-Stierle, namely “This is Not Over Yet” and “All the Wasted Time,” are equally powerful and passionate. They represent some of the best moments on stage.

Shannon Beel, as Mary Phagan, is incredibly likeable. She captures the wide-eyed innocent girl beautifully. She charms the audience in “The Picture Show” along with Brendan Jacob Smith playing her friend Frankie Epps. Speaking of Brendan Jacob Smith, he oozes confidence in his numbers “There is a Fountain/It Don’t Make Sense” and “Frankie’s Testimony.” He’s highly memorable.

Other memorable performances include Marcus Jordan as Newt Lee in the “Interrogation Sequence,” and Alexander Zenoz as the Young Soldier opening the show with the breathtaking number “The Old Red Hills of Home” along with David Atkinson as the old soldier. Jamison Stern, as Hugh Dorsey, makes his mark with “Twenty Miles from Marietta.” Likewise, Dave Shoonover, as Governor John Slaton, performs a lovely rendition of “Pretty Music” while Scott Guthrie as Britt Craig shows off in “Real Big News;” Erin Katzkar, as Mrs. Phagan, sings an emotional rendition of “My Child Will Forgive Me.” Banji Aborisade and Crystal Sha’nae charm in “A Rumblin’ and a Rollin’.” Fergie L. Philippe, as Jim Conley, is confident and intense while Jake Mills is most memorable as Tom Watson. Finally, the talented Emma DeGroff, Madeline VanRiper, and Adeline Whitener portray the Factory Girls with such maturity and professionalism.

Brett Smock has brought a show that is powerful, passionate, and stunning to Central New York audiences. There is no doubt that Parade has exquisite and gorgeous music by the incomparable Jason Robert Brown. That music beautifully played by the live orchestra under the musical direction of Jeff Theiss. But this production doesn’t just feature amazing songs. It showcases a talented cast that captures the intensity of the story perfectly. Parade does not disappoint. It is a definite must-see at the Merry-Go-Round Playhouse, a theatre that once again proves that they definitely know how to put on a show that surpasses some current Broadway productions. It truly is Broadway in the Finger Lakes.

Running Time: Approximately Two hours and twenty minutes with one twenty-minute intermission.

Parade runs through July 26, 2017 at The Merry – Go – Round Playhouse as part of the 2017 Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival. For tickets and information on Parade and other upcoming productions at The Merry-Go-Round Playhouse click here, or call (315)255-1785 (toll free 1-800-457-8897).

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BWW Review: PARADE is Breathtaking at The Merry Go Round Playhouse – Broadway World

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A potently tragic ‘Parade’ of human nature in Anaheim Orange … – OCRegister

Erica Schaeffer and Allen Everman as Lucille and Leo Frank epitomize the sterling acting in Chance Theaters intimate staging of the fact-based 1998 musical Parade. (Photo by Doug Catiller, True Image Studio)

Leo Frank (Allen Everman) is convicted of murder and sentenced to death by hanging and the entire courtroom bursts into a jubilant cakewalk. (Photo by Doug Catiller, True Image Studio)

Georgia Governor John Jack Slaton (Tucker Boyes) promises the citizens of Atlanta that hell see that murder victim Mary Phagan receives justice. (Photo by Doug Catiller, True Image Studio)

On a fishing trip, Judge Roan (Devin Collins, left) and Hugh Dorsey (Chris Kerrigan) discuss their political options, with Dorseys star rising high after convicting Leo Frank of murder. (Photo by Doug Catiller, True Image Studio)

Under pressure from Lucille Frank (Erica Schaeffer, right), Governor Slaton (Tucker Boyes) starts to re-interview the witnesses in her husbands trial, including Minola Minnie McKnight (Asia Washington). (Photo by Doug Catiller, True Image Studio)

Alfred Uhry gained recognition for Driving Miss Daisy and The Last Night of Ballyhoo, which revealed what its like to be a native of the Deep South while also being of Jewish heritage.

Both plays in part touch on issues unique to those who, like the Uhrys, identified themselves as part of Atlanta society while steeped in Judaism and who rarely saw these markers as mutually exclusive.

The 1998 musical Parade, though, is brutal in exposing the anti-Semitism that roiled, unseen, just beneath the surface in Atlanta circa 1913, until a brutal murder brought it to light.

Broadway-style productions of the show strive for large-scale treatments complete with sets and special effects. Chance Theaters intimate version brings the tragic story of Leo Frank up close and personal too close for comfort, some might say with regard to director Kari Hayters staging.

With music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown, Parade revolves around the 1913 trial of Leo Frank (Allen Everman), an Atlanta factory manager accused and convicted of raping and murdering 13-year-old employee Mary Phagan (Gabrielle Adner).

Police and prosecutors had little, if any, physical evidence against Frank but he was a New Yorker, and Jewish, making him not just an outlier, but a despised one at that.

Self-serving prosecutor Hugh Dorsey (Chris Kerrigan), clearly motivated by political ambition, led the charge against Frank. Influential right-wing journalist Tom Watson (Ryan Lloyd) helps sway public opinion, while newspaper reporter Britt Craig (Mitchell Turner) recognizes his coverage of the case could make him famous and wealthy.

Leo Frank, as Parade shows us, was guilty of just one thing: Being different. Period. Chance Theaters powerhouse staging magnifies the levels of corruption even further in Act 2, as Gov. John Jack Slaton (Tucker Boyes), with prodding from Leos wife Lucille (Erica Schaeffer), begins to uncover Dorseys pressuring witnesses to exaggerate or fabricate testimony.

To call these events, and Uhry and Browns masterful handling of them, sobering and heartbreaking is to understate. Parade shows human nature at its worst. The case against Frank was a travesty, his mistreatment brutal and ultimately tragic.

And while Chances production is by no means small in scale, its stripping away of theatrical window dressing proves that the shows power lies in handling it as a chamber musical. Nothing in Hayters heart-wrenching staging separates us from the characters and their words and actions, and her choreography and Robyn Manions musical direction amplify the force of the story and songs.

Their work is bolstered by Fred Kinneys mostly bare raked wooden stage, Masako Tobarus subtle lighting, Ryan Brodkins sound design and Elizabeth Coxs spare-looking early 20th-century costumes.

Chances up-close handling puts our focus wholly onto the actions, emotions and vocal work of every member, top to bottom, of Hayters superlative 18-person cast. Each songs potency lies in how it links to those before and after it, driven home by the casts singing, and Manion and her unseen combos playing, of Browns score.

All the more shattering is the Franks newfound love: Before his arrest, Leo ignores Lucille, and during and just after his trial, hes stubbornly determined to win an appeal on his own.

Her success in getting his sentence commuted from capital murder to life in prison opens Leos eyes and his heart. At Chance, Everman and Schaeffer arent just a tense, ill-at-ease Leo and quiet Southern belle Lucille; the scenes of the two falling in love as if for the first time are genuinely moving, albeit tinged with melancholy.

Our realization that Leos life will be spared offers some consolation, helping us ward off feelings of outrage and despair. So in its depiction of the vigilante justice Leo ultimately was victim to, the closing moments are like a sucker punch to the gut.

The title refers to the annual parade held April 26 Confederate Memorial Day in most Southern states to remember the Souths Civil War dead. But it also, in a sense, alludes to life itself as a parade of humanity, often flawed as unable to see the truth nor even to demonstrate any desire to find truth if it runs counter to ingrained beliefs.

People and events conspired to destroy Leo Frank, their shame intensified by their refusal to admit their actions were driven by prejudice and a thirst for revenge. Chances Parade makes it impossible for us, just by being human, to not partly own that shame.

When: Through July 30. 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 3 p.m. Sundays

Where: Cripe Stage, Chance Theater at Bette Aitken Theater Arts Center, 5522 E. La Palma Ave., Anaheim Hills

Tickets: $31-$45

Length: 2 hours, 30 minutes

Suitability: Adults and teens (for content)

Information: 888-455-4212, chancetheater.com

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A potently tragic ‘Parade’ of human nature in Anaheim Orange … – OCRegister

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Two theatre works 400 years apart shock with effects of anti-Semitism – People’s World

left to right, Willow Geer, Peter Magnus Curry, Tavis L. Baker, Tim Halligan and Alan Blumenfeld / Ian Flanders

LOS ANGELESSome days it seems like the old prejudiceswe could easily name a dozen offhandwill never die away. All the well-intentioned groups have been working for decades, yet poisonous bigotry still pollutes modern life at every turn. Hate crimes are up, while worldwide, agencies of religion, media and the state continue to inhibit gender, ethnic, racial, nationaland other forms of equality.

Two successive nights of theatergoing, two Jews lynched, one by law, the other by rope: William Shakespeares The Merchant of Venice (1597) and the American musical Parade (1998), book by Alfred Uhry, music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown, which take us back to Atlanta, Ga., in 1913, when Leo Frank, a Brooklyn-raised Jew making his life with his new Southern-born wife Lucille, was put on trial for the murder of a 13-year-old girl.

Merchant is part of the Will Geers Theatricum Botanicum summer season of five plays under the rubric Rising Up. Ellen Geer, daughter of Will and Merchants director, says it points up a lack of caring about humanityit puts it right in front of your faceperfect for now because it mirrors our own society a bit.

I am most interested in exploring Parade as an intimate and exposed platform that reveals the most raw and universal truths of a community, says director Kari Hayter of Chance Theater in Orange County, Calif., in order to remind us of our responsibilities today to demonstrate love, tolerance, and acceptance.

The Merchant of Venice is considered both a comic tragedy and a tragic comedy (for it ends with a trio of marriages and the thorough humiliation of the Jew), a forerunner of the dark and jet black comedies in theaters today. Against a long history of denigration on the public Venetian Rialto which the yellow-badged Shylock has endured for years, he upholds his dignity by tossing off a merry prank, absurdly demanding a pound of flesh from the borrower Antonio, one of his chief tormentors, if the debt goes unpaid in three months time. No one ever imagined the bond would in fact come due.

In his courtroom defense, Shylock insists on punctilious adherence to the law of contracts, about the only sure thing he as a Jewish alien can depend on. Answering the courts appeal for him to show mercy, Shylock throws the idea back in societys face. He summons up the foundational story of the Jewish nation, its liberation from hateful slavery:

What judgement shall I dread, doing no wrong? You have among you many a purchased slave, Which, like your asses and your dogs and mules, You use in abject and in slavish parts, Because you bought them: shall I say to you, Let them be free, marry them to your heirs? Why sweat they under burthens? let their beds Be made as soft as ours, and let their palates Be seasond with such viands? You will answer The slaves are ours: so do I answer you: The pound of flesh, which I demand of him, Is dearly bought; tis mine and I will have it. If you deny me, fie upon your law!

The chutzpahthe gallof the court preaching mercy when Venice is so profoundly corrupt and cruel! Even Portias (Willow Geer) famous The quality of mercy is not straind speech is maliciously delivered by a duplicitous masqueraded character (Portia in the disguise of a distinguished lawyer) who has no mercy whatsoever for Shylock but expects him to forfeit his bond with magnanimity. One law for Christians, another for Jews. The actor who plays Shylock, the magisterial Alan Blumenfeld, was quoted in the local Jewish Journal, saying that his character endured what is going on today, Christians yanking the hijab off of Muslim womens heads, the skullcaps off of Jews, and turbans off of Sikhs.

Comedy often entails taking the oppressor down a notch and lifting the oppressed, a social leveling that affirms our common humanity; but such is not Merchants agendano, the oppressed get a few final kicks before the curtain descends. A viewer is hard-pressed to identify any character in this play who fits into a neat box of good guy or bad guy.

Perhaps old Will is simply trying to tell us we are all flawed human beings, most of us blind to our own prejudiceshimself included, for dramaturgs argue to this day whether the playwright was ultimately trying to portray Shylock sympathetically or if he was simply reflecting the ignorance, intolerance and a shrewd business sense of his own time. The Merchant of Venice dates from 1597. Was his play a rejoinder to Christopher Marlowes immensely popular and highly inflammatory The Jew of Malta (1589), or was he merely capitalizing on the surefire success of demonizing the Jew? In 1594 a crypto-Jewish physician, Roderigo Lopez, was tortured and executed, implicated in a plot to kill Queen Elizabeth. In the anti-Jewish frenzy surrounding the case, The Jew of Malta was immediately revived to great acclaim.

In this staging, although Shylock does say, I am content when he loses his case and is severely punished, even forced to become a Christian, he is later seen donning a Jewish prayer shawl and reciting Hebrew prayers, obviously remaining a Jew in secret. Vigilantes snatch him away to an uncertain fate.

Its not a coincidence that the titular merchant has investments and commerce with Lisbon, Barbary, India, the (West) Indies, Mexico, in other words, in that post-1492 era of European expansion through colonialism and mercantilism. They times they were a-changing, and its always convenient to haul out the ancient hatreds, shine them up for re-use, and take the peoples minds off the upset to the old order.

Atlanta, Georgia, 1913

And thats kind of what happened to poor Leo Frank (Allen Everman). Atlanta had become an industrial-based town, far removed in its ethos from the agrarian past. Farmers moved into the city for work in factories, such as young Mary Phagan (Gabrielle Adner), a 13-year-old pencil factory worker earning 10 cents an hour. The populace are still drenched in Civil War glory, hatred of Northern Yankees, resentment of change, loyal to their nostalgic memories of The Old Red Hills of Home, the opening chorus of Parade.

When Mary is found dead in the factory basement, the mousy, meticulous Jewish factory manager Leo Frank finds himself preposterously accused of murder. The double Tony Award-winning Parade (Best Book and Best Score) is based on a true historical incident, which gave rise to the Anti-Defamation League, so outrageous was the miscarriage of justice in the urgency to find a scapegoat.

Parade highlights the role of yellow journalism, the sensationalistic ginning up of popular sentiment even as it ignores the truth. Newspapers catered to fear and insecurity. Georgia Governor John Slaton (Tucker Boyes) finally begins to entertain doubts about the obviously coerced testimony in the trial and is voted out of office. Populist rabble rouser Tom Watson (Ryan Lloyd) forms an opportunistic alliance with the prosecutor Hugh Dorsey (Chris Kerrigan), who later becomes governor himself. Although spared his life by the governor, Frank was sent to a state farm, whence he was abducted and lynched, one Jew among the over 450 lynchings in Georgia alone between 1882 and 1930, almost all of them Black.

The response of the Black community, as depicted in the musical, was understandably skeptical. What if a little black girl had been killed? How could Shakespeares Venetians be so upset about Antonio while the slaveowners among them treat their property so abjectly?

Anaheims Chance Theater gave this show a stunning, innovative production (scenic design by Fred Kinney) on bare wooden planks in a staging involving little more than tables and chairs in constant motion. Costuming by Elizabeth Cox brought out the class disparities of a deeply racist society given to populist appeals against outsiders who besmirch our Southern womanhood. Confederate flags are prominently waving.

It has become one of the great American social commentary musicals, a powerful story not just of prejudice and discrimination, but also of feminist emergence as Leos wife Lucille (Erica Schaeffer) rises to her husbands defense, even as he tried to discourage her from asserting herself so visibly (typical mans I can handle this pride).

The singing and acting are completely engaging, proving, as many companies are coming around to appreciate today, that glitz and lots of stage furniture do not necessarily a musical make. The emphasis is purely on the fine performances by a cast of 18. An unseen orchestra of six players directed by keyboardist Robyn Manion is highly effective, and the choral singing is a strong contribution. The inspired score sheds a bright though tragic light on a dark corner of history with all too much contemporary meaning.

Parade will be performed through July 30 on Thurs. at 7:30 pm, Fri. at 8 pm, Sat. at 3 and 8 pm, and Sun. at 3 pm. There is one additional special performance on Wed., July 12 at 7:30 pm. The Cripe Stage at the Chance Theater at the Bette Aitken Theater Arts Center is located at 5522 E. La Palma Ave., Anaheim CA 92807. For tickets and other information, call (888) 455-4212 or visit www.ChanceTheater.com. Discounts are available for seniors, students and military.

Future performances of The Merchant of Venice will take place on July 15 at 3:30, Aug. 6 at 3:30, Aug. 12 at 7:30, Aug. 19 at 3:30, Aug. 27 at 3:30, Sept. 2 at 3:30, Sept. 10 at 3:30, Sept. 17 at 7:30, Sept. 23 at 3:30, and Oct. 1 at 3:30 pm. Will Geers Theatricum Botanicum is located at 1419 N. Topanga Canyon Blvd., Topanga 90290 (midway between Pacific Coast Highway and the Ventura [101] freeway). Their website can be viewed here.

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Two theatre works 400 years apart shock with effects of anti-Semitism – People’s World

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Brianna Borger and Patrick Andrews sing from ‘Parade’ – Chicago Tribune

This week’s Showcase features a song from Writers Theatre’s production of the Alfred Uhry and Jason Robert Brown’s “Parade,” the 1998 musical based on the real-life trial and eventual lynching of Leo Frank, a Jewish factory manager accused of murdering a young employee in 1913 Georgia.

In the video, Patrick Andrews and Brianna Borger, who star as Leo and Lucille Frank, sing “All the Wasted Time.” The numbercomes late in the second act of the musical andtakes place in Leo’s cell during a visit from Lucille, marking a rare moment of hope and reconciliation for the couple.

In the Tribune review, Chris Jones called Gary Griffin’sproduction “an accomplished piece of direction that makes more of an overt statement about the work, rendering ‘Parade’ as a meditation on a new American moment.”

See “Parade” at Writers Theatre, 325 Tudor Court, Glencoe, through July 15.

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Brianna Borger and Patrick Andrews sing from ‘Parade’ – Chicago Tribune

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The Lynching of Leo Frank

It was April 26, in the spring of 1913, that Mary Phagan went down to the pencil factory in Atlanta where she worked. She was going to pick up $1.20, which she had earned working twelve hours that week. Mary Phagan was thirteen-years-old. The man who paid her, Leo Frank, was the last person to acknowledge seeing her alive. Her body, bruised and bloody, was found that night in the factory cellar. Her murder electrified Atlantas population, so repulsed by rumors of sexual assault and the senseless murder of a young girl. They followed the story in the news and demanded swift action by authorities. Leo Frank became the prime suspect. He was Jewish, a member of The Temple, and hed come to Atlanta from the north. As such, he was an easy target for the anti-Semitic population who distrusted northern merchants who had come south following the Civil War. It hardly mattered that the evidence against Frank was circumstantial and thin, at best. The primary witness was a janitor who claimed he had helped Frank dispose of the body. He had given four different, and conflicting, affidavits prior to trial. Mobs of people gathered outside the courthouse, cheering on the prosecutor as he came and went each day. Whipped into a frenzy by newspaper coverage, much of it anti-Semitic in tone, they erupted in cheers when the jury returned a guilty verdict following twenty-five days of trial. Following a series of failed appeals, the governor of Georgia, John Slaton, was contacted by Franks attorneys. They sought a commutation to save their clients life. At the same time, Thomas E. Watson, the publisher of the Jeffersonian began a campaign against Frank and commutation of the sentence. His open rants against Jews generally and Frank particularly sent his readership soaring. Public outrage grew right along with his circulation numbers. Yet Slaton began to review the case in great detail, even going so far as to visit the pencil factory. After reviewing more than 10,000 pages of documentation, Governor Slaton commuted the sentence to life in prison. His decision flew wildly in the face of public opinion. Enraged Atlantans marched on the governors mansion, forcing Slaton to declare martial law and call out the National Guard. His term of office ended just a few days later, at which time he was escorted to a train station by police. Slaton and his wife boarded a train, left the state, and did not return to Georgia for more than ten years, so great was the public outcry against them. Franks fate was considerably worse. The mob that had marched on the governors mansion turned their attention to the prison where Frank was being held. They stormed the gates, dragging Frank out and transporting him to Marietta, where Phagan was from. From an oak tree, on the morning of August 17, 1915, Leo Frank was hung by a lynch mob. In the crowd were prominent political and business leaders, including the son of a United States senator. Later, the leaders of the lynch mob, calling themselves the Knights of Mary Phagan, gathered atop Stone Mountain. There, they revived the Ku Klux Klan. Franks death at the hands of an openly anti-Semitic lynch mob, led by the leaders of the community, whipped into a frenzy by the editor of a popular publication, alarmed Jewish leaders across America. This dark chapter in Americas history frightened members of The Temple and Atlantas Jewish community even more. A sense of security that had pervaded the Jews of Atlanta was shattered, and it would not be restored for decades. In the wake of the lynching, the Anti-Defamation League was founded to combat bigotry generally and anti-Semitism specifically. Yet here in Atlanta, many Jews retreated from public life. Once present across the spectrum of political life, no Jew ran for office for over two decades after the Frank lynching. Frank himself received the smallest measure of justice in 1986, when he was given a posthumous pardon. Four years earlier, eighty-three-year-old Alonzo Mann testified that as an office boy at the factory, he had seen the janitor carrying Mary Phagans body. He was threatened to remain silent, and did so for almost seventy years. While the testimony did not fully exonerate Frank, it was a major development that led to his 1986 pardon.

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O.J.’s last defender F. Lee Bailey is broke, disbarred and … – Washington Post

Johnnie Cochran is dead. Marcia Clark writes murder mysteries. Judge Lance Ito is retired. Kato Kaelin tweets a lot. And F. Lee Bailey, the famed criminal defense attorney, is flat broke. On Thursday, O.J. Simpson the NFL icon who brought them together more than two decades ago was granted parolefrom his prison sentence for a Nevada robbery conviction, asserting during a highly anticipatedhearing thatIm not a guy who has lived a criminal life. But of all the characters who played a role in Simpsons unforgettable acquittal for the murder of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, no ones life has changed as dramatically as Baileys. By changed, we mean cratered. O.J. Simpson was found not guilty of the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman in 1995. The investigation and trial lasted more than a year and included a number of memorable moments. Here are a few of them, starting with O.J.’s infamous car chase which took place June 17, 1994. (The Washington Post) Bailey joined Simpsons defense team with a courtroom rsum that even Perry Mason would be jealous of. Baileygot neurosurgeon Sam Sheppard a new trial on charges he brutally killed his wife and a not-guilty verdict. He defended fugitive newspaper heiress Patty Hearst, the Boston Strangler and scores of other accused murderers. He was rich, flew on private jets and even played himself in a movie. [Unsolved and overlooked murders: Investigating cold cases of the civil rights era] Today he lives with a hairstylist in Maine. At 83, he works above her salon. I wont say its depressing, because I dont think I ever get depressed, Bailey told writer Andrew Goldman in a remarkable profile this month in Town & Country magazine. The story details Baileys life post-O.J. not just his remarkable fall but also his steadfast belief that a Los Angeles jury reached the correct verdict in acquitting the actor and Hertz pitchman of killing Nicole and her friendRonald Goldman. [The Ku Klux Klan was dead. The first Hollywood blockbuster revived it.] Last year, Bailey filed for bankruptcy after a string of scandals inside and outside the courtroom left him disbarred and shamed. He was accused of misappropriating funds from his defense of an alleged drug dealer. Heres what he had left: a 1999 Mercedes station wagon (gold, of course). Unable to practice law, Bailey runs a consulting business above the salon. His office is decorated with models of jets he once owned. But to thefine people of Yarmouth, Maine, Bailey is still famous, a courtroom legend in their midst. The Town & Country writer had lunch there with Bailey, who ordered a pinot grigio: Next to him sits Debbie Elliot, his girlfriend of seven years. A pretty good-looking 62, he remarks, an accurate assessment of the curvaceous salon owner, who is dressed in head-to-toe black, her platinum blond hair pulled back in a ponytail. Bailey, who in the 1970s wore sideburns so bushy they resembled a barristers wig, now has thin white hair clipped close to the scalp, a side effect of cohabitation with a hairdresser. Bailey tried to return to the courtroom, but hehas been turned down, even after passing the bar exam not long ago in Maine. His old lawyer pals, including Alan Dershowitz, have a not-so-complicated legal theory about why. O.J. Without a doubt, Dershowitz told Town & Country. I think it was a major factor in the vindictive way in which hes been treated. Bailey wont object tothat one. People at every level, judges on down, pointed the finger and said, If you hadnt prostituted your talents for this guy, he would have gone to jail, he told Town & Country. Bailey used to keep in touch with Simpson, who would call to chat about life and, later, from jail, about how to get out. And then suddenly, after Simpson was convicted in the Nevada case, the calls stopped. He says he was told that Simpson was warned by prison officials to steer clear of Bailey if he wanted to get on the good side of the parole board, Town & Country reported. Accused murderers used to walk free with Bailey at their side. Now they have a better chance if he stays just where he is, above the salon. Read more Retropolis: Six Nazi spies were executed in D.C. White supremacists gave them a memorial on federal land. Virginia Tech was not the worst school massacre in U.S. history. This was. Leo Frank was lynched for a murder he didnt commit. Now neo-Nazis are trying to rewrite history. Assassins!A Confederate spy was accused of helping kill Abraham Lincoln. Then he vanished.

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PARADE to Be Staged at World’s Oldest Paper Factory This Autumn – Broadway World

Alfred Uhry and Jason Robert Brown’s 1998 Tony Award-winning musical PARADE, based on the infamous trial and lynching of Leo Frank, is set to be professionally staged at the world’s oldest working paper factory this September. Staged at the Frogmore Papermill in Apsley, Hertfordshire, the production will be directed as an immersive experience where audiences will follow the actors through the atmospheric building as they create a thrilling and visceral retelling of this true poignant story. PARADE tells the heart wrenching true story of Leo Frank, a Brooklyn-born Jew living in Atlanta, Georgia. Frank was accused of the murder of his 13-year-old employee Mary Phagan in 1913. Already guilty in the eyes of everyone around him, a sensationalist publisher and a janitor’s questionable testimony along with a litany of false testimonies, clearly lacking any clear, real evidence seals Leo’s fate. His only defenders are a Governor with a conscience, and, eventually, his Southern wife who finds the strength and love to become his greatest champion. Directed by Dan Cowtan, PARADE THE MUSICAL will run at the Frogmore Papermill from the 7thto 16thof September. PARADE will be the first professional production to help revive the life of the Frogmore Papermill, hoping to create a safe and innovative space for future arts related events. Casting is yet to be announced. PARADE is presented by Vivo D’Arte, a theatre company looking to change the norms of a theatrical experience and offer a platform for both graduates and professional performers to showcase themselves. For more information, follow @_PARADEMusical or visit www.vivodarte.co.uk for the latest news and casting regarding this production. VIVO D’ARTE Ltd is a theatre arts training organisation and Production Company. We work with new writers as well as performing established works, working in a traditional theatre setting as well as finding new and innovative spaces to perform in. Our Production Company focuses on creating performance opportunities for graduates and students as well as older performers who may be professional or semi-professional. Our popular Vivo Youth Theatre company provides opportunities for performers from a wide age range from 6 up to 23 years of age to have high-quality stage experiences. Photo Credit: Jamie Scott

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The week ahead in LA theater, July 16-23: ‘Our Great Tchaikovsky’ and more – Los Angeles Times

THEATER Capsule reviews are by Philip Brandes and Daryl H. Miller (D.H.M.) Compiled by Matt Cooper. Kids Koncerts Family-friendly show with Auntie Kayte. Will Geers Theatricum Botanicum, 1419 N. Topanga Canyon Blvd., Topanga. Sun., 10:30 a.m. $10; under 2, free. (310) 455-3723. King of the Yees Lauren Yee explores her family history and Chinese American heritage in this world-premiere tale. Kirk Douglas Theatre, 9820 Washington Blvd., Culver City. Sun, 6:30 p.m.; Tue.-Wed., 8 p.m.; Thu., 8:30 p.m.; Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 8 p.m.; next Sun., 1 and 6:30 p.m.; ends Aug. 6. $25-$70. (213) 628-2772. OG Summer Desmadre Comedy trio Culture Clash joins forces with Latin R&B band Tierra, Pacifico Dance Company and others for an evening of political satire, music and more. Ford Theatres, 2580 Cahuenga Blvd. East, Hollywood. Sun. 7:30 p.m. $35 and up. (323) 461-3673. (323) 461-3673. Rapture, Blister, Burn Santa Monica Rep presents a staged reading of Gina Gionfriddos feminist fable about two friends who take different paths in their lives. The Edye at the Broad Stage, 1310 11th St. Santa Monica. Sun., 2 p.m. $25. (310) 434-3200. 13th Annual New Play Reading Festival Staged readings of new works, plus panel discussions, etc.; details at www.bostoncourt.com. Boston Court, 70 N. Mentor Ave., Pasadena. Mon., 7:30 p.m.; Sat., 11 a.m., 2:30 and 5 p.m.; ends July 29. Free; reservations recommended. (626) 683-6801. Costume Runway Show Retrospective features costumes from past productions. A Noise Within, 3352 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena. Tue., 6 p.m. $75, $150. (626) 356-3103. Our Great Tchaikovsky Hershey Felder portrays the Russian composer in this musical bio-drama. Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Bram Goldsmith Theater, 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills. Wed.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 and 7 p.m.; ends Aug. 6. $35-$100. (310) 746-4000. Martha Limited return engagement of Ellen Melavers bio drama about modern-dance maven Martha Graham; Christina Carlisi stars. The Whitefire Theatre, 13500 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks. Wed., 8 p.m.; also Aug. 16, Sept. 30. $25. (818) 687-8559. The Anatomy of Love Workshop production of Ted Malawers new drama about parents confronted with the possibility that their 7-year-old daughter might be transgender. Chance Theater, 5522 E. La Palma Ave., Anaheim. Thu., 8 p.m.; Sat., next Sun., 7 p.m.; ends July 23. $15. (888) 455-4212. Born for This Bio-musical tells the story of gospel greats and siblings BeBe and CeCe Winans. The Broad Stage, 1310 11th St., Santa Monica. Thu.-Fri., 7:30 p.m.; Sat., next Sun., 2 and 7:30 p.m.; ends Aug. 6. $50 and up. (310) 434-3200. ICONversations Vocal artist Reign Morton shares stories and salutes Sinatra, Prince, Whitney, et al. in the cabaret show. The Colony Theatre, 555 N. 3rd St., Burbank. Thu.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun. 3 p.m.; ends July 23. $35. (866) 811-4111. Sequence The stories of a gambler and a genetics researcher intertwine in West Coast premiere of Arun Lakras thriller. Theatre 40, Reuben Cordova Theatre, 241 S. Moreno Drive, Beverly Hills. Thu., 8 p.m.; Fri., 7 p.m.; Sat, 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends Aug. 20. $30. (310) 364-0535. Shine Storytellers share tales about moving somewhere new. Santa Monica Playhouse, 1211 4th St., Santa Monica. Thu., 7 p.m. $12; discounts available. (310) 452-2321. Soliloquy Broadways James Snyder (If/Then) performs in this cabaret show. Catalina Bar & Grill, 6725 W. Sunset Blvd., Hollywood. Thu., 8:30 p.m. $15-$30; food and drink minimums apply. (323) 466-2210. We Will Not Be Silent Staged reading of David Meyers fact-based drama about Sophie Scholl, the German college student who led a public act of resistance against the Nazis during WWII. The Fountain Theatre, 5060 Fountain Ave., L.A. Thu., 7 p.m. Free. (323) 663-1525. Yitzhak Rabin: Chronicle of an Assassination Two actresses read from late Israeli prime ministers memoirs in this music-enhanced bio-drama. Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., L.A. Thu., 7 p.m. $8-$12. (310) 440-4500. Gaga Gardens Musical send-up of Grey Gardens, the classic 1975 documentary about two faded New York socialites. Cavern Club Theater, 1920 Hyperion Ave., L.A. Fri.-Sat., 9 p.m. $25. (800) 838-3006. The Marvelous Wonderettes Hit jukebox musical features classic songs from the 1950 and 60s. Sierra Madre Playhouse, 87 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2:30 p.m.; ends Aug. 27. $25-$35. (626) 355-4318. The MisMatch Game Host Dennis Hensley returns with a new edition of his off-color send-up of the 1970s-era game show. L.A. Gay & Lesbian Centers Renberg Theatre, 1125 N. McCadden Place, Hollywood. Fri., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 7 p.m. $15. (323) 860-7300. My Janis Arianna Veronesi portrays the 1960s singer in this bio-drama. The New Collective Theatre, 6440 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m. $10. www.hollywoodfringe.org The Rainbow Bridge A man struggling to get on with his life is haunted by his familys past in Ron Nelsons new comedy. Ruskin Group Theatre, 3000 Airport Ave., Santa Monica. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends Sept. 17. $20, $25. (310) 397-3244. So Long Boulder City Writer-performer Jimmy Fowlies comedic take on Emma Stones characters one-woman show in the hit 2016 movie musical La La Land. Celebration Theatre @ The Lex, 6760 Lexington Ave, Hollywood. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; ends Aug. 19. $25. www.celebrationtheatre.com. The Spidey Project Musical send-up of the comic-book characters origin story. Studio/Stage, 520 N. Western Ave., L.A. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m. $20. (818) 849-4039. Cowboy Versus Samurai Wyoming-set update of Cyrano de Bergerac puts an Asian American twist on the classic romantic comedy. The Studio at Long Beach Playhouse, 5021 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach. Sat., 8 p.m.; ends Aug. 19. $14-$20; opening night only, $27. (562) 494-1014. Nocturne Triptych Theatre Company stages Adam Rapps drama about a man whose world is shattered after he accidentally causes a death. Vs. Theatre, 5453 W. Pico Blvd., L.A. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 7 p.m. $25. www.triptychgroup.org. Fritz Colemans One Night Comedy Show The comic/weatherman performs in his benefit show. El Portal Theatre, 5269 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood. July 23. Next Sun., 7 p.m. $25-$50. (866) 811-4111. The Scott Brothers House Party The stars of HGTVs Property Brothers share clips, stories, songs and more. Segerstrom Hall, Segerstrom Center for the Arts, 600 Town Center Dr., Costa Mesa. Next Sun., 7 p.m. $49 and up. (714) 556-2787. Sondheim on Sondheim Guest vocalists including Vanessa Williams and Glees Matthew Morrison join Gustavo Dudamel, the LA Phil and Youth Orchestra Los Angeles for a cabaret-style presentation of this survey of the legendary Broadway composers classic songs. Hollywood Bowl, 2301 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood. Next Sun., 7:30 p.m. $14-$189. (323) 850-2000. The Cake With understanding, respect and compassion for opposing points of view, This is Us writer/co-producer Bekah Brunstetters impeccably staged new dramedy explores the human repercussions when that quintessential symbol of union and hope the wedding cake becomes a flashpoint in the culture war over marriage equality. (P.B.) Echo Theater Company, Atwater Village Theatre, 3269 Casitas Ave., L.A. Sun., next Sun., 4 p.m.; Mon., Fri.-Sat, 8 p.m.; ends Aug. 6. $34. (310) 307-3753. Parade Time and the daily headlines just keep reaffirming the power of this underappreciated stunner of a musical. A mans religion and origin mark him for scapegoating when the public needs an outlet for its collective rage. Alfred Uhry and Jason Robert Brown base their work on the 1913 trial of Leo Frank, a Jewish Northerner indicted for the murder of a 13-year-old girl at the factory he supervised in Atlanta, a city still hurting from the Civil War. Director Kari Hayter and a committed cast deliver a fluid, coiled production that shakes the audience to its core. (D.H.M.) Chance Theater, 5522 E. La Palma Ave., Anaheim. Sun., next Sun., 3 p.m.; Thu., 7:30 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; ends July 30. $31-$45; discounts available. (888) 455-4212.

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July 17, 2017   Posted in: Leo Frank  Comments Closed

At the Chance Theater, ‘Parade’ marches to the drumbeat of history – Los Angeles Times

A martial cadence is heard throughout the soul-rattling musical Parade. You could think of it as the drumbeat of history a history from which we repeatedly fail to learn. Time and the daily headlines just keep reaffirming the power of this 1998 musical by Alfred Uhry and lyricist-composer Jason Robert Brown. A difficult show about wrenching topics, Parade is infrequently staged, but the Chance Theater in Anaheim is making a go of it just when it should be heard. This visually arresting, emotionally potent production is hard to shake off afterward. In Parade, a mans religion, origin and social position mark him for persecution at a moment when the public needs an outlet for its collective frustration. Uhry and Brown base their work on the 1913 trial of Leo Frank, a Jewish Northerner indicted for the murder of a 13-year-old girl at the factory he supervised in Atlanta, a city still hurting from the Civil War. Though Frank is not the only suspect, he is, as an outsider, the preferred scapegoat of a showboat prosecutor whos under pressure from a constituent-wary governor. The public devours every bit of news, true or fake, that reinforces its worldview. This is the tale not of one man, but of a society, which director-choreographer Kari Hayter subtly underscores by keeping the cast close at hand to, literally, set the stage for each new development in the story by precisely rearranging the minimal scenic elements a collection of chairs and small tables on the raw-plank playing area. Uhry (Driving Miss Daisy) and Brown (whose subsequent shows include The Last Five Years) launch the show with a rousingly patriotic number The Old Red Hills of Home that yearns for the past, When the Southland was free. The song segues into 1913s Confederate Memorial Day in Atlanta as Brooklyn-raised Frank (Allen Everman) stiffly departs his wife, Lucille (Erica Schaeffer), and heads to the factory like a fish against a stream of celebrating townsfolk. He is no clear-cut hero, just as the townsfolk are not cardboard villains. Lean, with slick hair and bookish, wire-framed glasses, Everman bears a striking resemblance to the real Frank, pictured in a lobby display. His body language, like that of the man in the pictures, is prim and closed. He is curt, officious, hard to like. These qualities work against him when the local solicitor general (the towering, truly imposing Chris Kerrigan) tries to pin him for the murder of young Mary Phagan (Gabrielle Adner, with large bows at each side of her face like the real Mary in the lobby photos). The first act is a slowly tightening noose. The second act seems to loosen it as Lucille works inexhaustibly in her husbands defense, despite his objections, until he finally recognizes her as the equal partner she always has been. Their voices twine, gorgeously, in All the Wasted Time. Here, as always, Schaeffer displays a crystalline voice and true heart; Everman brings a finely calibrated performance to its penultimate moment. The African American perspective is concisely conveyed by Summer Greer and Robert Stroud in the gospel-blues number A Rumblin and a Rollin, which observes that, although Theres a black man swingin in evry tree, the North is finally paying attention because a white man is set to hang. Robert Collins, portraying a factory janitor turned informant, pins the audience to its seats with the shows big, powerhouse number: the chain-gang-like Blues: Feel the Rain Fall. In this song as in so many others, spellbinding melodies carry chilling messages. The singing, with a couple of exceptions, is superb. The most arresting voice belongs to Dillon Klena, whose expert phrasing and emphasis magnify the already considerable power of the material hes given in a succession of young-man roles, including a friend of Marys who thirsts for vengeance. Robyn Manion leads six offstage instrumentalists. Richly evocative throughout, Hayters staging (moodily complemented by Masako Tobarus lighting) delivers its defining image just moments from the end, when two characters, forever linked by tragedy, somberly exit the story side by side. Frank is perceived as an elitist, out of touch with the common man. At the same time, he is regarded as a dangerous outsider who should be shut behind walls. He can be read any number of ways, all pertinent to Americas persistent divisions. Such is the enduring relevance of Parade. Where: The Chance Theater, 5522 E. La Palma Ave., Anaheim When: 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays, 3 and 8 p.m. Saturdays, 3 p.m. Sundays; ends July 30 Tickets: $40 and $45 Information: (888) 455-4212, www.ChanceTheater.com Running time: 2 hours, 30 minutes SIGN UP for the free Essential Arts & Culture newsletter daryl.miller@latimes.com Twitter: @darylhmiller MORE THEATER COVERAGE: Love, trickery and the drama of uncertainty in ‘Heisenberg’ Denis Arndt, an overnight sensation after 45 years in the biz The dreaded intermission: Long plays at a time when shorter is sweeter A Christian conservative baker, a gay wedding and the smart, funny ‘Cake’

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July 14, 2017   Posted in: Leo Frank  Comments Closed

BWW Review: PARADE is Breathtaking at The Merry Go Round Playhouse – Broadway World

Chilling, breathtaking, and astonishing are just some of the words that come to mind after seeing the latest production playing at The Merry- Go- Round Playhouse. Under the meticulous and masterful direction of Brett Smock, Parade is stunning audiences at the Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival. This musical features a Tony Award-winning book by Alfred Uhry along with Tony Award-winning music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown. This serious musical, based on real events, dramatizes the 1913 trial of Leo Frank (Aaron Galligan-Stierle), a Jewish factory manager accused of raping and murdering his employee, thirteen-year-old Mary Phagan (Shannon Beel) in Georgia. The trial proved to be a media event, and it stirred a lot of anger and prejudice within the community. Mr. Frank originally received the death sentence, which was changed to life in prison. This change led some members of the community to take matters of “justice” into their own hands, which has huge consequences for Mr. Frank and his dutiful wife Lucille (Kristin Wetherington). The artistic elements of the show are some of the best that have graced the stage at the Merry – Go – Round Playhouse. The set by Czerton Lim evokes power and intensity before the show even begins. The audience sees chairs hanging from the rafters, which are constantly carried in and out by the performers. The lighting by Jose Santiago adds another layer of intensity to the thought-provoking production, while the costumes by Tiffany Howard and wig designs by Al Annotto help bring the complex characters to life within a specific historical era. This production of Parade is brilliantly done. Although it’s a large-scale production, the staging is still very intimate, which makes it all the more absorbing. It is truly special. The large committed cast is truly phenomenal. Aaron Galligan-Stierle, as Leo Frank, is consistently intense and highly believable. Galligan-Stierle portrayal of Leo Frank sends chills down the spine, especially as he sings the emotional song “It’s Hard to Speak My Heart.” He captures the perceived crudeness and uneasy feeling that Leo Frank gives off to the factory girls in “Come Up to My Office.” Kristin Wetherington, as Lucille Frank, is truly stunning. She shows off her passionate and powerful vocals at every moment, and uses this passion to convey Lucille’s devotion to her husband. Her devotion to the role is evident. Her well-trained voice shines in “You Don’t Know This Man” and “Do It Alone” as she passionately belts out the powerful lyrics. Her duets with Aaron Galligan-Stierle, namely “This is Not Over Yet” and “All the Wasted Time,” are equally powerful and passionate. They represent some of the best moments on stage. Shannon Beel, as Mary Phagan, is incredibly likeable. She captures the wide-eyed innocent girl beautifully. She charms the audience in “The Picture Show” along with Brendan Jacob Smith playing her friend Frankie Epps. Speaking of Brendan Jacob Smith, he oozes confidence in his numbers “There is a Fountain/It Don’t Make Sense” and “Frankie’s Testimony.” He’s highly memorable. Other memorable performances include Marcus Jordan as Newt Lee in the “Interrogation Sequence,” and Alexander Zenoz as the Young Soldier opening the show with the breathtaking number “The Old Red Hills of Home” along with David Atkinson as the old soldier. Jamison Stern, as Hugh Dorsey, makes his mark with “Twenty Miles from Marietta.” Likewise, Dave Shoonover, as Governor John Slaton, performs a lovely rendition of “Pretty Music” while Scott Guthrie as Britt Craig shows off in “Real Big News;” Erin Katzkar, as Mrs. Phagan, sings an emotional rendition of “My Child Will Forgive Me.” Banji Aborisade and Crystal Sha’nae charm in “A Rumblin’ and a Rollin’.” Fergie L. Philippe, as Jim Conley, is confident and intense while Jake Mills is most memorable as Tom Watson. Finally, the talented Emma DeGroff, Madeline VanRiper, and Adeline Whitener portray the Factory Girls with such maturity and professionalism. Brett Smock has brought a show that is powerful, passionate, and stunning to Central New York audiences. There is no doubt that Parade has exquisite and gorgeous music by the incomparable Jason Robert Brown. That music beautifully played by the live orchestra under the musical direction of Jeff Theiss. But this production doesn’t just feature amazing songs. It showcases a talented cast that captures the intensity of the story perfectly. Parade does not disappoint. It is a definite must-see at the Merry-Go-Round Playhouse, a theatre that once again proves that they definitely know how to put on a show that surpasses some current Broadway productions. It truly is Broadway in the Finger Lakes. Running Time: Approximately Two hours and twenty minutes with one twenty-minute intermission. Parade runs through July 26, 2017 at The Merry – Go – Round Playhouse as part of the 2017 Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival. For tickets and information on Parade and other upcoming productions at The Merry-Go-Round Playhouse click here, or call (315)255-1785 (toll free 1-800-457-8897).

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July 14, 2017   Posted in: Leo Frank  Comments Closed

A potently tragic ‘Parade’ of human nature in Anaheim Orange … – OCRegister

Erica Schaeffer and Allen Everman as Lucille and Leo Frank epitomize the sterling acting in Chance Theaters intimate staging of the fact-based 1998 musical Parade. (Photo by Doug Catiller, True Image Studio) Leo Frank (Allen Everman) is convicted of murder and sentenced to death by hanging and the entire courtroom bursts into a jubilant cakewalk. (Photo by Doug Catiller, True Image Studio) Georgia Governor John Jack Slaton (Tucker Boyes) promises the citizens of Atlanta that hell see that murder victim Mary Phagan receives justice. (Photo by Doug Catiller, True Image Studio) On a fishing trip, Judge Roan (Devin Collins, left) and Hugh Dorsey (Chris Kerrigan) discuss their political options, with Dorseys star rising high after convicting Leo Frank of murder. (Photo by Doug Catiller, True Image Studio) Under pressure from Lucille Frank (Erica Schaeffer, right), Governor Slaton (Tucker Boyes) starts to re-interview the witnesses in her husbands trial, including Minola Minnie McKnight (Asia Washington). (Photo by Doug Catiller, True Image Studio) Alfred Uhry gained recognition for Driving Miss Daisy and The Last Night of Ballyhoo, which revealed what its like to be a native of the Deep South while also being of Jewish heritage. Both plays in part touch on issues unique to those who, like the Uhrys, identified themselves as part of Atlanta society while steeped in Judaism and who rarely saw these markers as mutually exclusive. The 1998 musical Parade, though, is brutal in exposing the anti-Semitism that roiled, unseen, just beneath the surface in Atlanta circa 1913, until a brutal murder brought it to light. Broadway-style productions of the show strive for large-scale treatments complete with sets and special effects. Chance Theaters intimate version brings the tragic story of Leo Frank up close and personal too close for comfort, some might say with regard to director Kari Hayters staging. With music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown, Parade revolves around the 1913 trial of Leo Frank (Allen Everman), an Atlanta factory manager accused and convicted of raping and murdering 13-year-old employee Mary Phagan (Gabrielle Adner). Police and prosecutors had little, if any, physical evidence against Frank but he was a New Yorker, and Jewish, making him not just an outlier, but a despised one at that. Self-serving prosecutor Hugh Dorsey (Chris Kerrigan), clearly motivated by political ambition, led the charge against Frank. Influential right-wing journalist Tom Watson (Ryan Lloyd) helps sway public opinion, while newspaper reporter Britt Craig (Mitchell Turner) recognizes his coverage of the case could make him famous and wealthy. Leo Frank, as Parade shows us, was guilty of just one thing: Being different. Period. Chance Theaters powerhouse staging magnifies the levels of corruption even further in Act 2, as Gov. John Jack Slaton (Tucker Boyes), with prodding from Leos wife Lucille (Erica Schaeffer), begins to uncover Dorseys pressuring witnesses to exaggerate or fabricate testimony. To call these events, and Uhry and Browns masterful handling of them, sobering and heartbreaking is to understate. Parade shows human nature at its worst. The case against Frank was a travesty, his mistreatment brutal and ultimately tragic. And while Chances production is by no means small in scale, its stripping away of theatrical window dressing proves that the shows power lies in handling it as a chamber musical. Nothing in Hayters heart-wrenching staging separates us from the characters and their words and actions, and her choreography and Robyn Manions musical direction amplify the force of the story and songs. Their work is bolstered by Fred Kinneys mostly bare raked wooden stage, Masako Tobarus subtle lighting, Ryan Brodkins sound design and Elizabeth Coxs spare-looking early 20th-century costumes. Chances up-close handling puts our focus wholly onto the actions, emotions and vocal work of every member, top to bottom, of Hayters superlative 18-person cast. Each songs potency lies in how it links to those before and after it, driven home by the casts singing, and Manion and her unseen combos playing, of Browns score. All the more shattering is the Franks newfound love: Before his arrest, Leo ignores Lucille, and during and just after his trial, hes stubbornly determined to win an appeal on his own. Her success in getting his sentence commuted from capital murder to life in prison opens Leos eyes and his heart. At Chance, Everman and Schaeffer arent just a tense, ill-at-ease Leo and quiet Southern belle Lucille; the scenes of the two falling in love as if for the first time are genuinely moving, albeit tinged with melancholy. Our realization that Leos life will be spared offers some consolation, helping us ward off feelings of outrage and despair. So in its depiction of the vigilante justice Leo ultimately was victim to, the closing moments are like a sucker punch to the gut. The title refers to the annual parade held April 26 Confederate Memorial Day in most Southern states to remember the Souths Civil War dead. But it also, in a sense, alludes to life itself as a parade of humanity, often flawed as unable to see the truth nor even to demonstrate any desire to find truth if it runs counter to ingrained beliefs. People and events conspired to destroy Leo Frank, their shame intensified by their refusal to admit their actions were driven by prejudice and a thirst for revenge. Chances Parade makes it impossible for us, just by being human, to not partly own that shame. When: Through July 30. 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 3 p.m. Sundays Where: Cripe Stage, Chance Theater at Bette Aitken Theater Arts Center, 5522 E. La Palma Ave., Anaheim Hills Tickets: $31-$45 Length: 2 hours, 30 minutes Suitability: Adults and teens (for content) Information: 888-455-4212, chancetheater.com

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July 13, 2017   Posted in: Leo Frank  Comments Closed

Two theatre works 400 years apart shock with effects of anti-Semitism – People’s World

left to right, Willow Geer, Peter Magnus Curry, Tavis L. Baker, Tim Halligan and Alan Blumenfeld / Ian Flanders LOS ANGELESSome days it seems like the old prejudiceswe could easily name a dozen offhandwill never die away. All the well-intentioned groups have been working for decades, yet poisonous bigotry still pollutes modern life at every turn. Hate crimes are up, while worldwide, agencies of religion, media and the state continue to inhibit gender, ethnic, racial, nationaland other forms of equality. Two successive nights of theatergoing, two Jews lynched, one by law, the other by rope: William Shakespeares The Merchant of Venice (1597) and the American musical Parade (1998), book by Alfred Uhry, music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown, which take us back to Atlanta, Ga., in 1913, when Leo Frank, a Brooklyn-raised Jew making his life with his new Southern-born wife Lucille, was put on trial for the murder of a 13-year-old girl. Merchant is part of the Will Geers Theatricum Botanicum summer season of five plays under the rubric Rising Up. Ellen Geer, daughter of Will and Merchants director, says it points up a lack of caring about humanityit puts it right in front of your faceperfect for now because it mirrors our own society a bit. I am most interested in exploring Parade as an intimate and exposed platform that reveals the most raw and universal truths of a community, says director Kari Hayter of Chance Theater in Orange County, Calif., in order to remind us of our responsibilities today to demonstrate love, tolerance, and acceptance. The Merchant of Venice is considered both a comic tragedy and a tragic comedy (for it ends with a trio of marriages and the thorough humiliation of the Jew), a forerunner of the dark and jet black comedies in theaters today. Against a long history of denigration on the public Venetian Rialto which the yellow-badged Shylock has endured for years, he upholds his dignity by tossing off a merry prank, absurdly demanding a pound of flesh from the borrower Antonio, one of his chief tormentors, if the debt goes unpaid in three months time. No one ever imagined the bond would in fact come due. In his courtroom defense, Shylock insists on punctilious adherence to the law of contracts, about the only sure thing he as a Jewish alien can depend on. Answering the courts appeal for him to show mercy, Shylock throws the idea back in societys face. He summons up the foundational story of the Jewish nation, its liberation from hateful slavery: What judgement shall I dread, doing no wrong? You have among you many a purchased slave, Which, like your asses and your dogs and mules, You use in abject and in slavish parts, Because you bought them: shall I say to you, Let them be free, marry them to your heirs? Why sweat they under burthens? let their beds Be made as soft as ours, and let their palates Be seasond with such viands? You will answer The slaves are ours: so do I answer you: The pound of flesh, which I demand of him, Is dearly bought; tis mine and I will have it. If you deny me, fie upon your law! The chutzpahthe gallof the court preaching mercy when Venice is so profoundly corrupt and cruel! Even Portias (Willow Geer) famous The quality of mercy is not straind speech is maliciously delivered by a duplicitous masqueraded character (Portia in the disguise of a distinguished lawyer) who has no mercy whatsoever for Shylock but expects him to forfeit his bond with magnanimity. One law for Christians, another for Jews. The actor who plays Shylock, the magisterial Alan Blumenfeld, was quoted in the local Jewish Journal, saying that his character endured what is going on today, Christians yanking the hijab off of Muslim womens heads, the skullcaps off of Jews, and turbans off of Sikhs. Comedy often entails taking the oppressor down a notch and lifting the oppressed, a social leveling that affirms our common humanity; but such is not Merchants agendano, the oppressed get a few final kicks before the curtain descends. A viewer is hard-pressed to identify any character in this play who fits into a neat box of good guy or bad guy. Perhaps old Will is simply trying to tell us we are all flawed human beings, most of us blind to our own prejudiceshimself included, for dramaturgs argue to this day whether the playwright was ultimately trying to portray Shylock sympathetically or if he was simply reflecting the ignorance, intolerance and a shrewd business sense of his own time. The Merchant of Venice dates from 1597. Was his play a rejoinder to Christopher Marlowes immensely popular and highly inflammatory The Jew of Malta (1589), or was he merely capitalizing on the surefire success of demonizing the Jew? In 1594 a crypto-Jewish physician, Roderigo Lopez, was tortured and executed, implicated in a plot to kill Queen Elizabeth. In the anti-Jewish frenzy surrounding the case, The Jew of Malta was immediately revived to great acclaim. In this staging, although Shylock does say, I am content when he loses his case and is severely punished, even forced to become a Christian, he is later seen donning a Jewish prayer shawl and reciting Hebrew prayers, obviously remaining a Jew in secret. Vigilantes snatch him away to an uncertain fate. Its not a coincidence that the titular merchant has investments and commerce with Lisbon, Barbary, India, the (West) Indies, Mexico, in other words, in that post-1492 era of European expansion through colonialism and mercantilism. They times they were a-changing, and its always convenient to haul out the ancient hatreds, shine them up for re-use, and take the peoples minds off the upset to the old order. Atlanta, Georgia, 1913 And thats kind of what happened to poor Leo Frank (Allen Everman). Atlanta had become an industrial-based town, far removed in its ethos from the agrarian past. Farmers moved into the city for work in factories, such as young Mary Phagan (Gabrielle Adner), a 13-year-old pencil factory worker earning 10 cents an hour. The populace are still drenched in Civil War glory, hatred of Northern Yankees, resentment of change, loyal to their nostalgic memories of The Old Red Hills of Home, the opening chorus of Parade. When Mary is found dead in the factory basement, the mousy, meticulous Jewish factory manager Leo Frank finds himself preposterously accused of murder. The double Tony Award-winning Parade (Best Book and Best Score) is based on a true historical incident, which gave rise to the Anti-Defamation League, so outrageous was the miscarriage of justice in the urgency to find a scapegoat. Parade highlights the role of yellow journalism, the sensationalistic ginning up of popular sentiment even as it ignores the truth. Newspapers catered to fear and insecurity. Georgia Governor John Slaton (Tucker Boyes) finally begins to entertain doubts about the obviously coerced testimony in the trial and is voted out of office. Populist rabble rouser Tom Watson (Ryan Lloyd) forms an opportunistic alliance with the prosecutor Hugh Dorsey (Chris Kerrigan), who later becomes governor himself. Although spared his life by the governor, Frank was sent to a state farm, whence he was abducted and lynched, one Jew among the over 450 lynchings in Georgia alone between 1882 and 1930, almost all of them Black. The response of the Black community, as depicted in the musical, was understandably skeptical. What if a little black girl had been killed? How could Shakespeares Venetians be so upset about Antonio while the slaveowners among them treat their property so abjectly? Anaheims Chance Theater gave this show a stunning, innovative production (scenic design by Fred Kinney) on bare wooden planks in a staging involving little more than tables and chairs in constant motion. Costuming by Elizabeth Cox brought out the class disparities of a deeply racist society given to populist appeals against outsiders who besmirch our Southern womanhood. Confederate flags are prominently waving. It has become one of the great American social commentary musicals, a powerful story not just of prejudice and discrimination, but also of feminist emergence as Leos wife Lucille (Erica Schaeffer) rises to her husbands defense, even as he tried to discourage her from asserting herself so visibly (typical mans I can handle this pride). The singing and acting are completely engaging, proving, as many companies are coming around to appreciate today, that glitz and lots of stage furniture do not necessarily a musical make. The emphasis is purely on the fine performances by a cast of 18. An unseen orchestra of six players directed by keyboardist Robyn Manion is highly effective, and the choral singing is a strong contribution. The inspired score sheds a bright though tragic light on a dark corner of history with all too much contemporary meaning. Parade will be performed through July 30 on Thurs. at 7:30 pm, Fri. at 8 pm, Sat. at 3 and 8 pm, and Sun. at 3 pm. There is one additional special performance on Wed., July 12 at 7:30 pm. The Cripe Stage at the Chance Theater at the Bette Aitken Theater Arts Center is located at 5522 E. La Palma Ave., Anaheim CA 92807. For tickets and other information, call (888) 455-4212 or visit www.ChanceTheater.com. Discounts are available for seniors, students and military. Future performances of The Merchant of Venice will take place on July 15 at 3:30, Aug. 6 at 3:30, Aug. 12 at 7:30, Aug. 19 at 3:30, Aug. 27 at 3:30, Sept. 2 at 3:30, Sept. 10 at 3:30, Sept. 17 at 7:30, Sept. 23 at 3:30, and Oct. 1 at 3:30 pm. Will Geers Theatricum Botanicum is located at 1419 N. Topanga Canyon Blvd., Topanga 90290 (midway between Pacific Coast Highway and the Ventura [101] freeway). Their website can be viewed here.

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July 11, 2017   Posted in: Leo Frank  Comments Closed

Brianna Borger and Patrick Andrews sing from ‘Parade’ – Chicago Tribune

This week’s Showcase features a song from Writers Theatre’s production of the Alfred Uhry and Jason Robert Brown’s “Parade,” the 1998 musical based on the real-life trial and eventual lynching of Leo Frank, a Jewish factory manager accused of murdering a young employee in 1913 Georgia. In the video, Patrick Andrews and Brianna Borger, who star as Leo and Lucille Frank, sing “All the Wasted Time.” The numbercomes late in the second act of the musical andtakes place in Leo’s cell during a visit from Lucille, marking a rare moment of hope and reconciliation for the couple. In the Tribune review, Chris Jones called Gary Griffin’sproduction “an accomplished piece of direction that makes more of an overt statement about the work, rendering ‘Parade’ as a meditation on a new American moment.” See “Parade” at Writers Theatre, 325 Tudor Court, Glencoe, through July 15. MORE FROM THE THEATER LOOP: Blue Man Group is sold to Cirque du Soleil ‘Ferryman’ to Conor McPherson, London theater has an edge this summer Northlight Theatre sets 2017-18 season casting

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July 8, 2017   Posted in: Leo Frank  Comments Closed


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Under the 'fair use' rule of copyright law, an author may make limited use of another author's work without asking permission. Fair use is based on the belief that the public is entitled to freely use portions of copyrighted materials for purposes of commentary and criticism. The fair use privilege is perhaps the most significant limitation on a copyright owner's exclusive rights.

Fair use as described at 17 U.S.C. Section 107:

"Notwithstanding the provisions of section 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phono-records or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright.

In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include:

  • (1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for or nonprofit educational purposes,
  • (2) the nature of the copyrighted work,
  • (3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole, and
  • (4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work."