Witness the “Trial of the Century” with Avon Players’ ‘Parade’

Stirring musical explores a dramatic chapter from American history

Lori Smith as Lucille and Clay Hargrave as Leo Frank. Photo Credit: Bryan Clifford

Lori Smith as Lucille and Clay Hargrave as Leo Frank.
Photo Credit: Bryan Clifford

One hundred years after the story’s shocking conclusion, Avon Players presents the emotional and haunting musical Parade. With a soaring score by Jason Robert Brown and a gripping true story, Parade runs September 11-26.

Based on historical events, Parade tells the story of Leo Frank (Clayton Hargrave), a Jewish transplant from Brooklyn living in Atlanta in 1913 with his Southern-born wife Lucille (Lori Smith). When a heinous murder incites the community’s outrage, Frank quickly becomes a prime suspect in the investigation that instantly balloons into a media circus. As he continues to maintain his innocence, his trial becomes the subject of national attention and a web of societal tensions. The trial and its shocking aftermath continue to inspire the scrutiny of historians more than a century later.

Parade debuted in 1998 with music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown, book by Alfred Uhry, and direction by the legendary Hal Prince. The original production won Tony Awards for Best Book and Best Original Score and six Drama Desk Awards including Outstanding Musical, Outstanding Book, and Outstanding Music. Composer Brown’s body of work includes Songs for a New World, The Last Five Years (adapted into the 2014 film starring Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan), and The Bridges of Madison County, which earned him multiple awards, including a Tony Award for Best Orchestrations.

image2Tickets for all shows are $20 ($18 on Sundays for students and Seniors). Call 248.608.9077 for tickets or order online at www.AvonPlayers.org. Group rates are available by calling the box office. “Like” Avon Players Theatre on Facebook for special offers on tickets. Visa and MasterCard are accepted. All seats are reserved. Show dates and times follow:

Performance Dates:

Friday, Sept 11         8:00 p.m.

Saturday, Sept 12    8:00 p.m.

Sunday, Sept 13      2:00 p.m.

Friday, Sept 18        8:00 p.m.

Saturday, Sept 19    8:00 p.m.

Sunday, Sept 20      2:00 p.m.

Friday, Sept 25        8:00 p.m.

Saturday, Sept 26    8:00 p.m

Founded in 1947, Avon Players is a 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit community theatre located along the winding banks of Stoney Creek in the quaint Historic District of Rochester Hills, only about two miles from the heart of downtown Rochester. Avon Players has been performing shows in its unique A-frame theater since 1965. With ticket prices set at a fraction of those at professional theatre (plus free parking and concessions on a donation basis) a family of four can experience a sensational live theatrical event for about the cost of one ticket at a “downtown” venue. And for regular theatre-goers, an affordable outing can be an even better bargain by taking advantage of Avon Players’ season ticket packages, which yield discounts of up to 24% per ticket. Additionally, season ticket holders enjoy priority seating selection and voting privileges in Avon’s annual “Stoney Awards.” Additional information regarding tickets and productions is available by calling the Avon Players box office at 248.608.9077 or by visiting the website: www.AvonPlayers.org.

Cast and Production Staff by Community:

Auburn Hills
Clayton Hargrave (“Leo Frank”)

Dan Romzek (“Hugh Dorsey”)

Breon Canady (“Minola McKnight/Angela”)

Tina Castiglione (“Ensemble”)

Lake Orion
Noelle Holth (“Mary Phagan”)

Dean Vanderkolk (“Tom Watson”)

Macomb Township
Richard Boykins (“Newt Lee/Riley”)

Modestina Fernandez (“Sally Slaton”)

Camilla Munaco (“Lola”)

Melissa Nally (“Lila/Monteen”)

Rochester Hills
Brooke Candella (“Essie”)

John (JD) Deierlein (Director/Production Designer)

Peggy Deierlein (Producer/Props Designer)

Susie Jolink (“Ensemble”)

Kyle Mason (“Frankie Epps”)

Adam Wager (“Brit Craig”)

Christian Ziolkowski (Production Intern)

Royal Oak
Clayton Bushmaker (Sound Designer)

Ryan Moore (Associate Director)

Shelby Township
Jeff Bednar (“Governor John Slaton”)

Matt Kush (Conductor)

Kim Monterosso (“Judge Roan”)

Emily Polet-Monterosso (“Ensemble”)

Lori Smith (“Lucile Frank”)

Sterling Heights
Lia DiFonzo (“Mrs. Phagan”)

Eric Rodman (“Offcier Ivey”)

Washington Township
Matt Druminski (“Guard”)

Wolverine Lake
Nic Folson (“Jim Conley”)




About Sarah Hovis

Freelance wordsmith, arts appreciator, grammar geek, sports spectator, stationery snob, and world traveler, Sarah charts her own course as the owner of saliho creative. She uses her creative mind and engaging dialogue to fearlessly bring the written word to life in print and online… all while keeping a watchful eye out for the next literary adventure. You can reach her at sarah@rochestermedia.com.

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