Sheri (shutterbug93) wrote,

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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.

I was VERY shocked and pleasantly surprised to see Will Collyer go on as Frankie Epps on Friday night!!
What luck! I think he was only on one night and I'd thankfully been in the audience to see it! :)

Christian Hoff was great as Dorsey and told us about the documentary on Leo Frank that would
be airing. He talked about his family from Hawaii and was just generally as nice as I remembered him
from NYC a couple of years ago.

T.R. Knight was very sweet and seemed a little shy. He thanked us for coming and introduced himself
to us (and to me, twice - which I thought was adorable). I told him that it was a hard show to watch
so close up, and he said it was a hard show to do. ;) He was just very soft-spoken and shy, but so nice.

Lara Pulver was just so beautiful in person (and on stage as Lucille) She immediately recognized us
from the front row and surprised me with her lovely British accent. She was very sweet!

Michael Berresee was SO nice as well! He took time out of his dinner (he was holding his chicken
with him) ;) to speak with us. He said that, at first, having an audience THAT close to him took
a while to get used to, but he said now he's intrigued by it and likes to see the reactions. :)

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!

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