November 15th, 2009

Doug & Sheri

PARADE... at the Mark Taper Forum

Saw a second showing of PARADE yesterday at the Taper and I have to say,... at first I was a little apprehensive about seeing the show again. The first time I saw it, on Friday night... it affected me so much (it was so morally disturbing to me...) that I knew I'd have a hard time seeing it again.

This time we were sitting in the front row, near center... SOOOO close that I could literally see the actors' make up. It was... a bit too close for me. For such a emotional show,... it may have been a bit TOO personal to be that close to the actors. But, I think being so close made the show even more incredible,... it was amazing.

For some reason, seeing it a second time made the show click for me. I'd always loved the music, and I knew the Leo / Lucille Frank / Parade story by heart, but I think it really took seeing it a second time for me to see the AMAZING-NESS (not I word, I know...) of the production. I was blown away the first time I'd seen it, but just seeing the starkness of the events portrayed on stage was a bit too much for me. I was morally disturbed (the only way I can put it...) images of the last few scenes haunted me for days afterward... I think seeing it a second time allowed me to get past the "events" and focus more on the AMAZING performances.

T.R. Knight was absolutely INCREDIBLE yesterday. I was able to get into his performance 100 times more than I did the first time I saw it - he was wonderful on Friday, but his vocals were SO amazing yesterday... He broke my heart. Lara Pulver is just radiant on stage as Lucille (and surprised me at the stage door with her British accent!) Will Collyer was a surprise understudy and went on (thankfully) the 1st time I saw the show on Friday, but wasn't in the show at all yesterday. I'm so glad I got to see both him and Curt Hansen in the role of Frankie Epps - both were so different in their approach to the role... The entire cast was pretty amazing!

The staging of the show, at first, was a little unsettling to me. Michael Berresee, for example, plays two pretty key characters (the Governor, and the reporter) in tandem. He'd exit the stage as one character and enter the stage the next minute as the other. This was a pretty common occurrence amongst the supporting cast (playing two or sometimes 3 key roles at once) and while I was never confused at who anyone was playing at any given time, it did (at first) disspell the image I had of the "community" of Parade... at first it was, "Oh look... there's Davis Gaines as the judge... oh look there he is again as the soldier..." Just a bit... distracting, maybe. It surprisingly didn't matter or concern me too much the second time I saw the show, though, and I could concentrate more on the AMAZING performances.

Collapse )

So glad I got to see the show twice! I really do think that it's one of the more amazing productions that I've seen recently! It closes this Sunday and it's a shame... such a talented cast... hope that it has a life outside of the Taper!

Still have to write about Michael's concert with Upright, BARE last night, Bonnie & Clyde at La Jolla, and seeing Bets in the Andrews Brothers (I'm slowly catching up!) Tonight is David Burnham's concert at Ramsey's!! SO excited!! :) Thanks for putting up with all my theatre babbling!! HUGS!
  • Current Mood
    awake awake