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RAGTIME at the Kennedy Centre 
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Post RAGTIME at the Kennedy Centre
A new production of Ragtime is running at the Kennedy Centre, having opened on April 25 and running through May 17:

Marcia Milgrom Dodge directs and choreographs. The cast of Ragtime... is headed by Ron Bohmer as Father, Quentin Earl Darrington as Coalhouse Walker Jr., Manoel Felciano as Tateh, Christiane Noll as Mother, Jennlee Shallow as Sarah, Bobby Steggert as Younger Brother, Christopher Cox as The Little Boy and Sarah Rosenthal as The Little Girl. The ensemble comprises Mark Aldrich as Willie Conklin, Susan Derry as Kathleen, Gavin Esham as Stanford White, Aaron Galligan-Stierle as Henry Ford, David Garry as J.P. Morgan, Jonathan Hammond as Harry Houdini, Leigh Ann Larkin as Evelyn Nesbit, Dan Manning as Grandfather, Donna Migliaccio as Emma Goldman, Tracy Lynn Olivera as Brigit, Bryonha Parham as Sarah's Friend, Josh Walden as Harry K. Thaw, Eric Jordan Young as Booker T. Washington, as well as Sumayya Ali, Melvin Bell III, Kevin Boseman, Corey Bradley, Shelby Braxton-Brooks, Elizabeth Loren Earley, Carrie A. Johnson, Gregory Maheu, Sarah Rosenthal, Elisa Van Duyne, Nellesa Walthour and Jim Weaver.

The reviews are raves - some excerpts and links to the full review are in the title of the publication:

Director/Choreographer Marcia Milgrom Dodge... has assembled a top-rate cast and thankfully, there is a lush sound emanating from a 28 piece orchestra under the capable hands of music director Jams Moore so Stephen Flaherty's music can heard loud and clear. Leading the cast in the pivotal role of Coalhouse Walker, Jr. is Quentin Earl Darrington whose powerful yet sensuous voice is fit for the task. I thoroughly enjoyed Jennlee Shallow as Sarah.... Playing the tough role of Tateh, the Jewish immigrant, is Manoel Felciano, who is best known for his Tony-nominated role of Toby in Sweeney Todd. Felciano shines in this challenging part. Playing Tateh's young daughter is Sarah Rosenthal. The Baltimore native, 13, is making her professional debut and what a way to start.

As The New York Times’ Ben Brantley put it in January 1998: “Ragtime … has the aura of something assembled by corporate committee, and when an actor playing Henry Ford shows up to extol the miracle of the assembly line, you may draw uncomfortable parallels. The skills and virtues of Ragtime … are many and undeniable; but a distinctive human personality is not among them.” I can’t address the differences between that production and this Kennedy Center revival, directed by Marcia Milgrom Dodge. I can say that despite its undeniable pageant-of-history aspects, the show crept up on my heart, went boom, and startled it many times, and that it moved me greatly and struck me as a genuine theatrical triumph.

The Kennedy Center pulls out all the stops, devotes all the resources and brings in all the talent necessary to make its revival of the last great musical of the 20th century nothing less than a landmark production. It is more than just a must see - it is a must hear as well.... Director/choreographer Marcia Milgrom Dodge concentrates on telling the story, not competing with the memory of the earlier production. Her swirl of the full cast in the openings of both acts are beautiful pieces of stagecraft. The onstage talent is a marvelous mix of Broadway, regional and even international theater veterans, Potomac Region regulars and a number of major performers with both sets of credentials.

Derek McLane fills the massive stage with a towering structure that is abstract but also highly evocative of both the era's urban style and the machinery of the burgeoning Industrial Age. Appearing as wrought-iron stairways, railings, landings and walkways, the architecture encompasses four distinct levels that provide such disparate settings as the deck of an ocean liner and Henry Ford's assembly line. Other scenic details are abstract -- from the keyless "piano" that Coalhouse pounds and tickles to the Ford Model T that ultimately propels him into tragedy.

Variety wrote:
The principal roles are in capable hands, without exception supplying sensitive perfs and terrific voices. Christiane Noll as Mother sets the bar high early with her strong soprano and insightful depiction of a sympathetic character yearning for cultural change. Bobby Steggert as the crusading Brother is equally adroit in acting and vocal assignments, while Ron Bohmer's Father nicely personifies the tradition of prejudice under assault. Minor roles of note include Leigh Ann Larkin's enjoyable turn as vaudeville entertainer Evelyn Nesbit and Donna Migliaccio as strident political activist Emma Goldman. But the soul of "Ragtime" is its two intriguing stories of discrimination, both told here with deep compassion. Manoel Felciano captures the heartache and determination of Jewish Latvian immigrant Tateh, who overcomes every hardship in his pursuit of the American dream. Jennlee Shallow is beautifully on target as Sarah, the innocent victim of racial prejudice.

Director-choreographer Marcia Milgrom Dodge arranges the huge cast, nearly three dozen strong, in formations that snake with goosebump-raising authority around the Eisenhower Theater stage. They're on a conga line to the future, the new pieces of a patchwork nation dancing inexorably into place. More successfully than the lavish Broadway original -- a muscular melody machine that delivered ably on the rich-as-a-milkshake score but still left some theatergoers cold -- Dodge manages to make the idea of a turbulently evolving America the star. Perhaps as we've rounded the corner on another century, and the country is experiencing an acutely stressful testing of both its resolve and its way of doing business, a musical tracing the nation's core values strikes an even more resonant chord.

And to round off, a picture from the production:

Image

Anyone going to see this? I thoroughly enjoy the score - we're lucky to have it preserved on such a great OBCR - and would love to see the material showcased in a new production.

Later days
David

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Last edited by RainbowJude on Sun May 10, 2009 8:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Sat May 09, 2009 8:49 pm
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I'm seeing it tomorrow!!!

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Sat May 09, 2009 8:52 pm
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I saw it last weekend! It was great, despite a few glitches I wouldn't have expected at a Kennedy Center production. (Mike static? Really?) It was really nice to see that the cast was entirely comprised of local actors (but maybe that's just becuase I'm from the area too). I was excited about Leigh Ann Larkin as Evelyn Nesbit. She was fun- having never seen the show before, I enjoyed all of the little historical cameos.

The woman playing Mother (who's name escapes me at the moment) was particularly wonderful. Coalhouse and Sarah suffered from not being Brian Stokes Mitchell and Audra MacDonald, respectively. Overall, an excellent production, with a very strong cast.

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Sat May 09, 2009 8:55 pm
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SuperKabob wrote:
I saw it last weekend! It was great, despite a few glitches I wouldn't have expected at a Kennedy Center production. (Mike static? Really?) It was really nice to see that the cast was entirely comprised of local actors (but maybe that's just becuase I'm from the area too). I was excited about Leigh Ann Larkin as Evelyn Nesbit. She was fun- having never seen the show before, I enjoyed all of the little historical cameos.

The woman playing Mother (who's name escapes me at the moment) was particularly wonderful. Coalhouse and Sarah suffered from not being Brian Stokes Mitchell and Audra MacDonald, respectively. Overall, an excellent production, with a very strong cast.


Christiane Noll :)

I LOVED this show, seriously. It was amazing.

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Sun May 10, 2009 7:39 pm
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Post RAGTIME Back to Broadway
No official announcement - but Playbill has reported that the Kennedy Center Ragtime is aiming for Broadway:

Andrew Gans wrote:
According to an Actors' Equity casting notice, the Stephen Flaherty-Lynn Ahrens-Terrence McNally musical will be produced on Broadway by The Kennedy Center, Kevin McCollum, Emanuel Azenberg, Max Cooper, Maberry Theatricals, Jeffrey Sine, Scott Delman, Roy Furman and Roger Berlind. Marcia Milgrom Dodge, who directed and choreographed the D.C. production, will repeat her duties for Broadway as will music director James Moore. Rehearsal dates, preview date and opening date are to be announced, according to the casting notice. No casting has been announced; in fact, the casting notice reads, "Casting Director states that all roles are currently available."


Awesome news!

Later days
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Thu Jun 11, 2009 8:21 pm
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Post Re: RAGTIME Back to Broadway
RainbowJude wrote:
No official announcement - but Playbill has reported that the Kennedy Center Ragtime is aiming for Broadway:

Andrew Gans wrote:
According to an Actors' Equity casting notice, the Stephen Flaherty-Lynn Ahrens-Terrence McNally musical will be produced on Broadway by The Kennedy Center, Kevin McCollum, Emanuel Azenberg, Max Cooper, Maberry Theatricals, Jeffrey Sine, Scott Delman, Roy Furman and Roger Berlind. Marcia Milgrom Dodge, who directed and choreographed the D.C. production, will repeat her duties for Broadway as will music director James Moore. Rehearsal dates, preview date and opening date are to be announced, according to the casting notice. No casting has been announced; in fact, the casting notice reads, "Casting Director states that all roles are currently available."


Awesome news!

Later days
David


:o I want to audition, but I'm not part of Actors Equity :(

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Fri Jun 12, 2009 7:46 am
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I'm not part of Actors Equity (so I can't audition XD) but I thought I'd post this:

Principal Auditions: http://www.playbill.com/jobs/find/job_detail/26131.html
Singer Auditions: http://www.playbill.com/jobs/find/job_detail/26133.html
Dancer Auditions: http://www.playbill.com/jobs/find/job_detail/26132.html

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Fri Jun 12, 2009 7:50 am
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Oh my gosh, I wish I was in NY. This is a show I would wait to audition for all day.

But I'm so excited it's coming back!!!

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Fri Jun 12, 2009 11:47 pm
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Post It's on!
It's offical. Ragtime will be back on Broadway in October. Read about it here.

Later days
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Wed Jul 01, 2009 11:33 am
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Post Re: It's on!
RainbowJude wrote:
It's offical. Ragtime will be back on Broadway in October. Read about it here.

Later days
David


THIS MADE MY DAY!

YES.

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