New York, NY – Protestors outside the first preview performance of Parade tonight greeted audience members with chants such as “[Leo Frank is] a Jewish Pedophile.”
Jake Wasserman, the Engagement Editor for The Forward, a leading source of news, opinion and culture through a Jewish lens since 1897, shared a video of protestors outside the theatre on Twitter.
One protestor can be heard shouting “Learn the truth about what you’re going to see tonight. You’re paying $300 to go fucking worship a pedophile, you might as well know what you’re talking about.” Another protestor can be heard saying, “Romanticizing pedophiles, Wow!”
t is now widely accepted that Leo Frank was innocent and his conviction was a result of growing antisemitism in the American South at the time.
This comes at a time where antisemitism is on the rise in the United States once more. More than 80% of Jewish adults in the United States say antisemitism has increased in the last five years, with 26% saying they’ve seen antisemitic remarks and threats online, say a pair of new surveys from the American Jewish Committee.
After decades of sporadic news coverage and a decline, high-profile incidents like the statements made by Ye (a rapper formerly known as Kanye West), and Donald Trump dining with an outspoken Holocaust denier, have created an atmosphere that has emboldened fringe groups and individuals both online and offline with real-world implications – such as creating incidents like the Fall 2022 New Jersey Synagogue threats.
Inspired by historical events, Parade follows Lucille and Leo Frank (Diamond and Platt)-a Jewish couple living in Marietta, Georgia-as they are pulled apart and drawn together by Leo’s 1913 murder trial, conviction, appeal, and eventual lynching. Brutal legal drama contrasts with haunting pastoral lyricism as a love story unfolds amid unlikely circumstances.
Jason Robert Brown (music and lyrics) and Alfred Uhry (book) both won Tony Awards for their juxtaposition of brutal historical detail with hauntingly pastoral lyricism in this musical interpretation of the 1913 trial of Jewish factory manager Leo Frank in Marietta, Georgia.