It's scary how easy Micaela Diamond can get into character as Lucille Frank in Parade. She walked into the Playbill video shoot, filmed at Alchemical Studios, in a breezy summer dress as Micaela. But then as soon as the cameras were on, the bright smile was gone, and instead, Lucille was there—sad, haunted, angry as she's singing the blistering ballad, "You Don't Know This Man." It's no wonder the 23-year-old Diamond is Tony-nominated this year for playing Lucille.
Parade, with music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown and a book by Alfred Uhry, is based on a true story. Set in 1913 Georgia, it is about a Jewish man named Leo Frank who is accused of murdering a 13-year-old girl, and who is then convicted in a sham trial. The current production has been nominated for six Tony Awards, including Best Revival of a Musical. Diamond tells Playbill that she grew up with the Parade 1998 Broadway cast album, featuring Carolee Carmello and Brent Carver.
"I have loved this score for so long," she says. "I can vividly remember listening to Carolee and Brent sing it, to the point where I had to stop listening to them so that I could kind of find my own version of the piece."
Diamond plays Lucille in the show, the wife of Leo who goes from a timid housewife to a fierce advocate for her husband and against injustice. "You Don't Know This Man" takes place in the show after Leo has been arrested, and the press has begun making antisemitic attacks against Leo. "You Don't Know This Man" is Lucille's response.
Diamond is Tony nominated opposite her co-star Ben Platt, who plays Leo. But she says that the accolades are just icing. "I love our show so much. I love that we get to do it again and again for audiences over and over again. And that to me is the reward."