Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Connecticut Arts Connections

The Mark Twain House and Museum presents an exciting evening with Jeffrey Richardson, author of COLT: The Revolver of the American West. Mr. Richardson will discuss this new book and the connections to Hartford, where the Colt Armory still stands along I-91. This event (rescheduled from a snowy December date) takes place on Thursday, January 30, at 7:00 p.m. in the Mark Twain House Museum Center. A reception at 6 pm catered by the Colt Cafe and sponsored by Colt's Manufacturing Company, LLC, will precede the lecture.This is a free event. A book singing with the author will follow.

Parade, the Tony Award-winning musical, with book by Alfred Uhry (Driving Miss Daisy and Edgardo Mine) and music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown (Songs for a New World and The Last 5 Years), will be staged by the Trinity College Department of Music, Feb, 13-15.

Gerald Moshell, Professor of Music and Director of the Musical-Theater Program at Trinity College, directs an undergraduate cast of 25 and a professional chamber orchestra. Choreography is by Julia Strong ’94 and Micah Greene.

Parade is a work of musical theater inspired by a notorious trial a century ago in Atlanta. Leo Frank, a Jewish, Brooklyn-bred, Cornell-educated, and recently married manager of a pencil factory, was wrongly accused and found guilty of murdering a 13-year-old girl in his employ. Some legal historians believe that the all-white jury was the first to convict a white man on the basis of a black man’s testimony. Frank’s death sentence was commuted by the governor to life in prison, but vigilantes unhappy with this decision abducted the prisoner and lynched him.

A symposium on Saturday, Feb. 15 at 3  pm that will explore the historical, racial, religious, and journalistic issues raised by the case of Leo Frank will be held in the Terrace Rooms of Mather Hall, 300 Summit Street.Admission is free and no tickets or reservations are needed for the symposium.

Ben Brantley, chief theater critic of the New York Times, and Gerald Moshell will discuss the place Parade holds in the history of the serious American musical. Issues raised by the Leo Frank case will be discussed by Melissa Fay Greene, an award-winning journalist and author of “The Temple Bombing,” a book exploring Atlanta Jewry and the Civil Rights movement, and William Jelani Cobb, Associate Professor of History and Director of the Institute for African American Studies at the University of Connecticut. How the Leo Frank case has affected the municipal psyche of Atlanta for 100 years will be discussed by Mark Silk, Professor of Religion and Director of the Leonard Greenberg Center for the Study of Religion in Public Life at Trinity College, and a former columnist for the Atlanta Constitution, and James F. Jones, Jr., President of Trinity College, a native of Atlanta whose earliest recollections include hearing his grandparents speak of the Leo Frank case.

A 6:30 p.m. dinner in Hamlin Hall between the symposium and performance is available for $20 per person. Reservations are required for the dinner; please call Christine McMorris at (860) 297-2353 or e-mail her atchristine.mcmorris@trincoll.educhristine.mcmorris@trincoll.edu>.

Parade will be performed Thursday and Friday, Feb, 13 and 14, at 7:30pm and Saturday, Feb. 15 at 8:30 pm, at the Austin Arts Center’s Goodwin Theater. General admission is free, but ticket reservations are strongly suggested; call (860) 297-2199.

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Lauren Yarger with playwright Alfred Uhry at the Mark Twain House. Photo: Jacques Lamarre)

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