In 1998, the musical Parade swept Broadway with its tragic tale of a man accused and murdered for a crime he didn't commit. Based on the true story of Leo Frank, who was tried and lynched for the murder of one of his employees in 1917, the musical won Tony Awards for Alfred Uhry's book and Jason Robert Brown's score, as well as Drama Desk Awards for Outstanding New Musical, Outstanding Actor, Outstanding Book and Outstanding Music.Theater Works' Jim Linde, director of Arizona's première production, says Parade is especially relevant because of its timeless theme. "Its lessons speak directly to a world in which, even today, cultural misunderstanding turns easily to hatred, and a powerful media makes us constantly hungry for more," he says.
Parade, starring Childsplay's Scott Withers as Leo Frank, will be performed at Theater Works' temporary location, the Lakes Club at 10484 West Thunderbird in Sun City. Performances run Friday, May 9, through June 1. Tickets are $19.50 for adults, $17.50 for seniors and military personnel, and $16 for students under 18; half-price student rush tickets are available 15 minutes before each show. Call 623-815-7930.- Quetta Carpenter
The 'lo Down
Looking to make dreams come true
From the Supremes to Sisqó, Amateur Night at the Apollo has launched an array of acts. The songs (and thongs?) will soar on Saturday, May 10, when the theater's Amateur Night on Tour hits the Scottsdale Center for the Arts, 7380 East Second Street. Audience reaction determines the winner, as 14 finalists -- vocalists, comedians, a spoken-word artist, jazz band, belly dancer and dance group -- compete for a cool grand and a performance slot at the legendary Harlem theater. Tickets are $40; call 480-994-ARTS.- Jill Koch
Scorpius salutes the '60s
Rock is on a roll. The Scorpius Dance Theatre production returns for a third annual run, celebrating the sounds of the '60s at the Scottsdale Center for the Arts on Friday, May 9. Troupe founder and choreographer Lisa Starry says the success of last year's show spurred the current reprisal, which touts peace, love and understanding with tunes by the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, and the Doors. Members of FootKlan, a local hip-hop/break-dancing group, join Scorpius dancers onstage, and the Valley's Krak Smokin Grannies rock out, '60s-style, at a post-show party. Showtime is 8 p.m. at the center, 7380 East Second Street in Scottsdale. Tickets are $18; call 480-994-ARTS.
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Second to None
Chicago troupe is the first name in comedy
At Second City Chicago, the laughs had gotten too big to keep in one place, so somebody suggested "road trip!" The alma mater of such notables as Mike Myers, Eugene Levy, Chris Farley, John Candy and Bill Murray, Second City sends its National Touring Company to the Chandler Center for the Arts on Saturday, May 10. The oldest comedy ensemble in the U.S., Second City still churns out hilarious comedy, Saturday Night Live-style. In fact, SNL adopted Second City's format and continues to recruit jokesters from the comic breeding ground. What can you expect at the Chandler performance? Six or seven comedians fill a fairly empty stage, à la Whose Line Is It Anyway?, and the skits -- some rehearsed, some improvised -- deliver wit and satire as reverent as John Belushi in a nun suit.
Showtime is 8 p.m. at 250 North Arizona Avenue in Chandler. Tickets are $12 to $16; call 480-782-2680.-Kim Toms