Parade – Donmar Warehouse

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I made it out of the house to see Parade at the Donmar, which bills itself as “A New Musical.” Well, it isn’t really new, and it’s actually more of an opera, given the heavy subject matter and lack of tap dancing. It was a way more satisfying experience than Billy Elliot, and yet it was obvious why Billy is getting the filled-to-the-rafters houses. To be honest, I think every standing spot at the Donmar was filled tonight, but, still, it’s a tiny house, so maybe that shouldn’t count for much. Every performance was quite good, but … I just couldn’t get into the rather esoteric subject matter. I’m more interested in internal struggle rather than historical moments, and the struggle of the characters in this play was just too slight. That said, the “character definition and story telling through music” was far stronger than last night, and, to be honest, the dancing was better, too. But Venus as a Boy is still winning my prize for best play of the fall – the perfect combination of actor and storytelling. (Macbeth is a great night at the theater, but it didn’t make me care as much as Venus did.)

In retrospect, my uncle voted this his favorite show of his stay (over Impepe Yomlingo and Sir Ian’s Lear), but I found it not memorable. Apparently he did research on this case back in college, but, as I had never heard of it, it didn’t capture my imagination at all.

(This review is for the performance of November 23rd, 2007.)

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