Carolee Carmello walks West 45th Street and has a blast from her past while living in the present. Directly across from the Imperial Theatre — her home as the evil Stepmother in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Bad Cinderella — is the first-ever Broadway revival of the musical that essentially launched her career, Jason Robert Brown and Alfred Uhry’s Parade.
Carmello originated the role of Lucille Frank, the headstrong Atlanta housewife who takes it upon herself to try and save her husband Leo, who was wrongly convicted of murder. Playing Lucille now is Micaela Diamond, an actor on a similar path as Carmello’s, poised to become one of Broadway’s biggest talents following her dynamic turn. We caught up with the pair to discuss the emotional musical and their respective histories.
Carolee, what is it like for you to be working within eyeshot of Parade, and Micaela, do you feel pressure knowing that Carolee is performing directly across the street from you?
Carolee Carmello: Yeah, it’s pretty weird. I remember standing in the middle of 45th Street when we first moved into the Imperial, looking left and looking right, and feeling like it’s my whole life in one little block of New York City. I’m thrilled Parade is being done again, and I’m thrilled for Micaela. I know she’s brilliant, though I haven’t been able to see it yet because of our schedule. I’m excited that audiences get to experience that show, that score, that brilliant writing again. But it’s weird to be so close to it and yet so far away. It was such an important part of my life, and still is kind of the artistic highlight of my life.
Micaela Diamond: Since the New York City Center run, Jason Robert Brown has paid homage to everybody who has kind of had their hand in this show. I think the original was sacred for him. He was my age when he first started writing, so it’s been a part of his life in a big way, too. Everybody who’s had a hand in the piece [over time[ has gotten us to where we are today, and everybody in the room now feels so much luck to be doing it, because the theater community knows how beloved the piece is. So, it’s not lost on me how much I listened to Carolee in my ears for so long [on the original cast recording], and now I’m doing it and she’s across the street...READ MORE