Friday, February 3, 2012

Don’t let the WDL’s Parade pass by without seeing it!

The Wilmington Drama League’s latest production, Parade, doesn’t have the story you would expect from a musical with such a joyous name. The musical written by Alfred Uhry and Jason Robert Brown is based on a true crime story that occurred in 1913 in Georgia. The musical explores the sensationalized murder case of a popular thirteen-year-old girl, Mary Phagan on the day of the annual Confederate Memorial Day parade. The young girl’s boss, Leo Frank, a Jewish factory manager from New York, is falsely convicted for the killing by the corrupt local prosecutor, Hugh Dorsey. Frank’s wife, Lucille, will stop at nothing to prove that her devoted and hard-working husband is innocent, even if it requires the assistance of Georgia’s governor.
The amazingly talented Brendan Sheehan, who in my opinion is one of the best local performers in Delaware, gives an incredible performance as Leo. He finds the heart of this character and takes the audience on a journey into one man’s revelations. Sheehan is joined by a stellar cast, including Rebecca Gallatin as Lucille and Jeffrey Santoro as Hugh. Both performers rise to the challenge of this compelling production and also give outstanding performances. Patrick Sutton as Britt Craig, a journalist covering the case, gives a rousing performance in one of the production’s big dance numbers, “Big News!”  
Chris Turner’s direction and interpretation of the tragic musical is superb. The multimedia production includes pictures from the time period projected on a screen at the back of the stage. This added element engages the audience gives an actual glimpse of the early 1900s lifestyle.
Parade runs until February 11, 2012. For information and tickets, visit

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