'Parade' marches through Chanhassen chain

The Rodgers and Hammerstein Organization has teamed with Chanhassen Dinner Theaters to develop a stage adaptation of the 1948 Irving Berlin movie-musical “Easter Parade.”

Show follows in the footsteps of “White Christmas,” another Berlin movie-tuner that has been turned into a stage show, and has already begun to establish itself as an annual staple in regional markets.

The R&H org established a relationship with Chanhassen, outside Minneapolis, when it granted the company the first post-Broadway license for the 1996 stage adaptation of the Rodgers and Hammerstein movie “State Fair.”

Ted Chapin, prexy of R&H, was impressed by their work. “Yes, it’s a dinner theater, but it’s a real theater,” he said.

Plot of “Parade” follows a dancer, played in the movie by Fred Astaire, who takes on a new protegee (Judy Garland) in the wake of a breakup with his former partner.

Developed by Chanhassen and the R&H org, the show bows in February 2007. “Hopefully, it’ll be one for the catalog,” Chapin said.

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