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  • Writer's pictureNora Landy

Review: Parade (Broadway)

July 12, 2023

Ben Platt has a beautiful voice and is allergic to likability. That’s why he was amazing in Dear Evan Hansen! You aren’t supposed to like Evan!

Well, unfortunately, much of the effectiveness of Parade hinges on the audience’s unabashed trust in Leo (at least, that’s what I’ve gathered from the analyses I’ve heard in the past. This was my first full live experience of the show). I wanted to like him so badly! But alas. It was very difficult. At the very least, I will give him that he was able to scrounge together some chemistry with Micaela Diamond. Thank God.

Micaela’s performance was inspired and beautiful. Her voice is angelic, and to the midwestern ear, her accent was really fun. I have no idea if it was good! But I’ll be damned if I didn’t love listening to it! She was a shining light through the entire show.

Some really weird production choices in my opinion? I haven’t done a great deal of research, but I got the vibe that someone in a production meeting had said “look! We found all these Real Authentic Photos from The Time Period!” so the team had to scramble how to fit them into a mostly pre-existing show, and they landed on projections. That probably isn’t what happened, I feel like maybe the show was even written AROUND those specific photos? But regardless, the projections felt like a cheap afterthought and didn’t land as intended.

A lot of the staging also felt juvenile and high-school-production-y to me. Have I just been watching high school productions my whole life and assuming that Broadway would be better, not knowing how close my peers were actually getting to the Real Thing? Is this as good as it gets? I’m not from here.

Did I cry: Yes

Photo by Joan Marcus

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