“There were some neo-Nazi protesters from a really disgusting group outside the theater,” Platt said after the first preview of the musical based on the real-life murder of Leo Frank.
Ben Platt Talks About Anti-Semitic Protests Over Broadway’s ‘Parade’
Platt stars as real-life factory supervisor Leo Frank, who was wrongfully convicted of the 1913 rape and murder of 13-year-old employee Mary Phagan. In 1915, two men broke into the Georgia State Penitentiary and lynched Frank. The events led in part to the formation of the Anti-Defamation League and the revival of the Ku Klux Klan. Frank’s life story was adapted into the 1998 musical “Parade,” which is now returning to Broadway in a revival. “Parade” stars Platt and Micaela Diamond and is currently in previews before officially opening on March 16 at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre.
However, the first performance was met with anti-Semitic protests, in which the production was accused of “pedophilic romance”. video shared by The Forward editor Jake Wasserman.
“I got off stage and looked at social media and of course there was a lot of word that there were protesters at our show and that kind of (was) the stamp on the night, publicity-wise. perception of the evening,” Platt said in an Instagram video to the protesters.
The ‘Pitch Perfect’ actor continued: ‘For those of you who don’t know, there were some neo-Nazi protesters from a really disgusting group outside the theater who were bothering some of our patrons and saying anti-Semitic things about Leo. Frank, who the show is about, is just spreading the anti-Semitic rhetoric that led to this whole story in the first place. If you don’t know about it, I encourage you to look up the story, and most importantly, come see the show, and it was definitely very ugly and scary, but it’s a wonderful reminder of why we tell this story. how special and powerful art and theater in particular can be. And I just felt extremely grateful that I could be the one to tell that story and carry on Leo’s legacy.”
The “Dear Evan Hansen” alum concluded, “Now is the moment for this play.”
The producers of “Parádé” issued a statement about the protests, in writing (via People), “If there is any doubt about the urgency of telling this story at this moment in history, the vileness on display tonight should put it to rest.”
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