Wallace Buice Theatre
through October 7, 2018
For a small fairly new theatre company to bring this one to the stage, is quite an accomplishment. The play is a classic by Alfred Uhry with music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown. It’s a story about justice gone wrong, anti-Semitism, and the rising up again of the Klan.
If you don’t know the story, it is simple. A Jewish man, Leo Frank (Jared Bradshaw) was from NYC and working at a pencil factory in Atlanta. He was the bookkeeper for the factory. A 13 year old worker, Mary Phagan (Molly Wiley) is found dead in the factory and Leo was one of the last to see her alive. As he was a Yankee and a Jew, the odds were stacked against him from the start.
He was the person of interest, and despite no significant evidence of his involvement, it was convenient to indict and try him. Prosecutor Hugh Dorsey (Matthew Sidney Morris) did as he felt people wished him to do, which was to get it done and do it quickly. Leo Frank was found guilty and sentenced to hang. But Governor Slaton (Jeremy Wood) commuted his sentence to work on a prison farm in Milledgeville. His wife, Lucille (Maggie Salley) knew he wasn’t capable of this heinous act and does everything she can do to gain his release. To no avail.
For on that day in 1913 a gang invaded the prison farm, abducted Leo Frank and brought him to Marietta, where they lynched him on what is now Route 120 near Cobb Parkway. The small park area and a bronze plaque sign stand there in memory of what occurred.
Taylor Buice grandly directed a cast of 17 players, with 9 orchestra players under the baton of Ed Thrower; as they worked their way through the more than 30 numbers. This production is being staged in Marietta at the Atlanta Lyric Studio Theatre, just off the square. Easy to get to and fair amount of on-street parking usually available. It’s a small stage production and all the seats have a good view. It is a real accomplishment for this new company and you can get more info at WallaceBuiceTheatre.com