Upon its debut in late 1998, Harold Prince (director, co-conceiver), Alfred Uhry (book), and Jason Robert Brown's (music, lyrics) Parade was hailed as a landmark in modern musicals. That was a sign of not only the musical's quality, but the state of American theater, since there simply hadn't been many serious musicals during the '90s. Nevertheless, RCA Victor's release of the Original Broadway Cast Recording of Parade illustrates that the praise would have been justified, even if there had been a surplus of great original musicals throughout the decade. The main key to its success is Brown, whose music is rich, varied, and unpredictable, building upon classic Broadway traditions and American music while retaining a self-awareness and flair for pastiche that keeps it modern, witty, and lively. Conventions of cast albums, such as spoken dialogue and interludes, will be irritating to anyone that isn't accustomed to such things, but the music itself is dynamic and original, heralding the arrival of a major talent in the form of Jason Robert Brown.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine