Neo-Nazis protest outdoors efficiency of Broadway musical about antisemitism

Theatergoers ready to see the sold-out first preview of a basic Broadway musical Tuesday had been interrupted by neo-Nazis chanting, holding banners and passing out false details about the present’s topic.

The group was recognized by the musical’s producers because the Nationwide Socialist Motion. The group is the biggest membership-based neo-Nazi group in the US and is thought for “violent antisemitic rhetoric” and “its racist views,” according to the Southern Poverty Law Center

One patron, who shared brief video of the incident on Twitter, known as the protest “completely wild” and “genuinely scary.” 

The musical, “Parade,” first appeared on Broadway in 1998 and is being revived on the Bernard B. Jacobs Theater in midtown Manhattan after an acclaimed live performance manufacturing in 2022. It tells the true story of Leo Frank, a Jewish manufacturing unit supervisor who was falsely accused of murdering a 13-year-old woman named Mary Phagan in Georgia in 1913. After Frank’s sentence was commuted, he was murdered by a lynch mob.

The trial, which historians imagine included false testimony, and the antisemitic media protection on the time led to the creation of the Anti-Defamation League, which nonetheless exists immediately. Frank was additionally granted a posthumous pardon in 1986, and the Georgia Historic Heart erected a marker honoring Frank in 2008. In 2018, the primary nationwide anti-lynching memorial was positioned on the web site. 

“Parade” revival working at New York Metropolis Heart by Sunday


The members of the Nationwide Socialist Motion outdoors the theater claimed that Frank was a “pedophile” and criticized the ADL. Social media footage of the protest rapidly went viral, resulting in outrage on-line. 

“If there may be any remaining doubt on the market in regards to the urgency of telling this story on this second in historical past, the vileness on show final night time ought to put it to relaxation,” said the play’s producers in a statement Wednesday. “We stand by the valiant Broadway solid that brings this important story to life every night time.” 

Ben Platt, who performs Frank, mentioned in a video message that the primary preview of the present was “so fantastic and particular” till he noticed movies exhibiting the scene outdoors the theater. 

“Naturally, the information of the actual fact that there have been some protesters at our present has unfold rather a lot, and that has form of (been) the stamp on the night, when it comes to public notion of the night,” mentioned Platt, 29. Platt gained a Tony Award in 2017 for his function in “Pricey Evan Hansen.” 

Platt mentioned that the group was “bothering a few of our patrons” and spreading the “antisemitic rhetoric that led to this complete story within the first place.” 

“If you do not know about it, I encourage you to search for the story and most significantly encourage you to return see the present,” Platt mentioned. “It was positively very ugly and scary however a beautiful reminder of why we’re telling this explicit story and the way particular and highly effective artwork, and notably theater, might be. And simply made me really feel additional, additional grateful to be the one who will get to inform this explicit story and to hold on the legacy of Leo.”  

Actors’ Fairness Affiliation, the nationwide labor union that represents greater than 51,000 skilled actors and stage managers, additionally issued a press release. 

“‘Parade’ tells an vital story of what occurs when antisemitism and other forms of hatred are allowed to develop unchecked,” the union mentioned. “We’re happy with our members and their colleagues who’re bringing this tragedy to life on stage, and the presence of antisemitic protestors at their administrative center solely underlines how vital that work is. There isn’t any place for hate in our streets or our workplaces, and we condemn the demonstration within the strongest doable phrases.”

Current years have seen a spike in antisemitism in the US. According to a survey by the American Jewish Committee, greater than 80% of Jewish adults within the U.S. say that antisemitism has elevated previously 5 years. Two-thirds of Jewish adults surveyed mentioned that they’d seen or been the goal of antisemitic remarks and threats on-line. And 43% of survey respondents mentioned they see antisemitism within the U.S. as a “very significant issue.” 

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