|re: Is "Parade"moving to Broadway?|
|Last Edit: Chazwaza 12:53 pm EST 11/10/22|
|Posted by: Chazwaza 12:43 pm EST 11/10/22|
|In reply to: re: Is "Parade"moving to Broadway? - EvFoDr 08:14 am EST 11/10/22|
|The original production wasn't perfect - it wasn't one of those Prince productions where you are blown away by the direction and the physical production/design/staging are burned into your brain...
BUT... every production I've seen since, including the Donmar and the Encores (and a couple community/regional productions) have been just as "ugly" or uglier, frankly, than the Prince production. And the thing I remember most about the original, besides the material and the performances, was THE TREE... an incredible touch from Prince (or was it the set designer? Or was it conceived by Alfred Uhry?). The sense of history, of nature and something remaining (the country/the land) through all these lives and politics and all this change and lack of change, the sense of foreboding (especially once the word "hung" or "hanged" was starting to get used, and especially when the the servant in act two sings "cause a white man gonna get hung ya see, there's a black man swingin in every tree but they don't never pay attention")... From the beginning of the show with the soldier carving his and his girl's names in the trunk of the tree, to the beautiful picnic under it when Leo and Lucille finally can express themselves and be in love and connected as full people for the first time, to Leo being hung by its branch... which you knew was coming, or you felt it... the tree presiding over the entire series of events. There was nothing ugly about that, it was beautiful and threatening and it tied the show together in concept and theme and history and metaphor in a way that felt integral to the way the show was written (it's even IN the lyrics for "All the Wasted Time", and not by coincidence I'm sure).
Not only has every production since been as "ugly" or uglier in the utility or sparseness of the set (due either to directorial vision or budget), but none had that kind of brilliant touch that made up for the ugliness. Even when Hal wasn't on his best game he was still better than most... and neither Rob Ashford nor Michael Arden did anything to erase my memories of that imperfect but memorable original production.
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