The original production was very ugly, and Prince has spoken famously about how important the look of a show is. I think he would have been the first to admit that some of his lesser received shows suffered from this problem. Certainly Merrily, which he said he could never get the look of. Doesn't mean there aren't things to like in these shows, just an observation.
I started to like Parade about halfway through the second act...lol...but that's too late. It IS a nice album with some great songs and great performances.