Parade: Serious Musical At Players By The Sea.

July 15, 2010 2 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

Staci Cobb, one of the most engaged theatre personalities in the city, gives MetroJacksonville insight into her current show, Parade, which will open shortly at Players By the Sea.

I am so seriously proud of the show that I am currently in rehearsal for:  Parade.  It just may be the best musical I've ever done - 100% because of the incredibly gifted group of actors and uncompromising creative team working together.

When I first heard of this show, it was making its premier at Lincoln Center in NYC.  I had a friend who actually invited me to attend one of the closing performances with him and I declined!  

I thought I'd be sitting through something along the lines of The Music Man.  Meh.  (No offense to all the 76 Trombone lovers, but I am not a big fan of shows like that, and with a title like Parade...)  

When my friend came back raving about the show, I was bummed I missed it.  It's a true story that took place in 1913 Georgia:  "The State of Georgia vs. Leo Frank". The case is still studied today because of the tension it stirred.  I play the wife of the man accused.

It runs July 16 - 31 at Players by the Sea ( thru Saturday evenings.  You can make reservations at 249-0289!  (This show will sell out.)

With the direction, production values and amazing storytelling I KNOW you will not be disappointed!

Music and Lyrics by Jason Robert Brown
Book by Alfred Uhry

DIRECTED by Michael Lipp
JULY 16, 17, 22, 23, 24, 29, 30, and 31
at 8:00 p.m.
Players by the Sea Theatre
106 Sixth St. North
Jacksonville Beach, FL
Information and Reservations: (904) 249-0289 or visit

The tragic, true story of the trial and lynching of a man wrongly accused of murder is brought to emotional and theatrical life by acclaimed Southern playwright Alfred Uhry (Driving Miss Daisy) and Jason Robert Brown, one of Broadway's most promising young composers (Songs For A New World and The Last Five Years).

In 1913, Leo Frank (Josh Waller), a Brooklyn-raised Jew living in Georgia, is put on trial for the murder of 13-year-old Mary Phagan (Katie Sacks), a factory worker under his employ. Already guilty in the eyes of everyone around him, a sensationalist publisher and a janitor's false testimony seal Leo's fate.

His only defenders are a Governor with a conscience and eventually his assimilated Southern wife, Lucille (me!) who finds the strength and love to become his greatest champion. Parade was the winner of the 1999 Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical and Best Original Musical Score, and was also the winner of the 1999 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Musical, Outstanding Book of a Musical, and Outstanding Score of a Musical.

PARADE features a cast of THIRTY of some of Jacksonville's strongest musical theatre performers, led by an award-winning creative team and accompanied by an eight-piece orchestra .

This powerful and moving theatrical event is sure to sell out its eight performances ... don't miss out!!

Staci Cobb

Interesting side note.  A filmmaker who was a frequent and familiar presence around Jacksonville during the Norman Studios hey day went on to make three separate films about Frank, according to Wikipedia:
Murder in Harlem (1935), by director Oscar Micheaux, was one of three films Micheaux made based on events in the Leo Frank trial. He portrayed the character analogous to Frank as guilty and set the film in New York, removing sectional conflict as one of the cultural forces in the trial. In this version the Frank character was instead a Boston Brahmin. Micheaux's first version was a silent film, The Gunsaulus Mystery (1921). Lem Hawkins' Confession (1935) was also related to the Leo Frank trial.