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Alumni of Vanier College Productions at York University have taken their love for theatre to the big city as part of StageWorks Toronto’s presentation of Parade, playing at the George Ignatieff Theatre until Aug. 18.
Directed by Lorraine Kimsa, with music directed by Tom Kerr (BA ’05), formerly of York University’s Creative Ensemble program, the production promises to entertain and inspire audiences.
Parade is a musical based on a book by Alfred Uhry. It first appeared on Broadway in 1998 and it tells the story of Leo Frank, a factory manager who was convicted of the rape and murder of a 13-year-old employee Mary Phagan. The 1913 trial enraged the community. Already guilty in the eyes of everyone around him, a sensationalist publisher and a janitor’s false testimony seal Frank’s fate. His only defenders are a governor with a conscience and, eventually, his assimilated southern wife who finds the strength and love to become his greatest champion.
From left, Scott Labonte as Leo Frank and York alumna Lauren Lazar as Lucille Frank in StageWorks Toronto’s presentation of Parade. Photograph by Nicholas Jones.
Alumni Michael Yaneff (BA ’06, BEd ’06) and Lauren Lazar (BFA Spec. Hons. ’05) started StageWorks Toronto in 2011. StageWorks Toronto is a theatre company dedicated to bringing dynamic, professional-quality productions to Toronto audiences. Both Yaneff and Lazar are producers as well as performers in the show – Lazar plays Lucille Frank and Yaneff steps into the role of Tom Watson in addition to his duties as assistant director. Other York graduates involved in the show are: Justin Buyukozer (BA ’13) as a chorus member; Vincent Perri (BFA Spec. Hons. ’13) as Officer Ivey; Michelle Tracey (BFA Spec. Hons. ’13) as the set designer; and Alannah Garrett (BA ’13) as an assistant stage manager. Current York music student Astrid Atherly plays Angela.
Daring, innovative and bold, Parade won well-earned Tony Awards for best book and best score in 2000. Its subject matter offers a moral lesson about the dangers of prejudice and ignorance.
Tickets are now on sale for Parade, which runs until Aug. 18 at the George Ignatieff Theatre. Tickets are $25 each (reserved seating). For more information, contact the theatre box office at 416-803-5287.