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Big Noise Theatre to Present RAGTIME, 4/25-5/11

Big Noise Theatre to Present RAGTIME, 4/25-5/11

Big Noise Theatre Company will present the Tony Award-winning epic musical RAGTIME, opening April 25 and playing weekends through May 11, 2014. Performances will be held at Prairie Lakes Theatre in Des Plaines, IL. The cast, featuring 37 actors from the Chicagoland area, is directed by Stacey Flaster, with musical direction by Robert Deason of Chicago.

Based on the 1975 novel by E.L. Doctorow, Ragtime the Musical is a powerful portrait of life in early 20th century America, as well as a relevant tale for today. Written by the award-winning composer/lyricist team of Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens, the musical intertwines the stories of three distinctly American families-- from upper-class New Rochelle, Harlem and Ellis Island-- as they confront history's timeless contradictions of wealth and poverty, freedom and prejudice, hope and despair, and what it means to live in America.

"Ragtime is truly an American classic," says director Flaster. "The stakes are always high, the music always lush, and the stories deeply felt. Ragtime is an emotional, riveting and glorious show. You can watch it and feel sad and proud at the same time. And I think it will live in your memory forever. Our wonderful cast feels a deep sense of commitment to the story, as do I," Flaster (Highland Park) says. Flaster, who directed last season's hit, Jesus Christ Superstar, recently received critical acclaim as director/choreographer of Cabaret at Light Opera Works. Her production, A Class Act at Porchlight Theatre won the 2013 Jeff Award for Best Midsize Musical.

Starring as Sarah and Coalhouse Walker are Chicago actors Sydney Charles and David Simmons. Charles is currently appearing in the title role in Bailiwick Chicago Theater's Dessa Rose. Simmons most recently performed in both The Story of Curtis Mayfield and Chicago's Golden Soul at the renowned Black Ensemble Theatre. Ragtime also stars Chicago's Amanda Horvath and Northbrook's Kevin Kirkpatrick as Mother and Father, with Ryan Dooley (Chicago) as Younger Brother, Joe Schmitt (Glenview) as Grandfather and Daniel Pass (Highland Park) as Little Boy.

Starring as Tateh, the immigrant father, is David Lundholm of Waukegan, with India Rose Renteria (Maywood) as Little Girl. Other featured Chicago performers include Marian Kaderbek as Emma Goldman, Maddy LaRoche as Evelyn Nesbit, Kris Hyland as Houdini, Patrick Stengle as Henry Ford and Randolph Johnson as Booker T. Washington. Glencoe's Mike Weaver plays financier J.P. Morgan, Northbrook's David Whitlock is featured as Willie Conklin, and Pascale Trouillot (Bolingbrook) and Tavia Hunt (Oak Park) play Sarah's friends.

Appearing as ensemble members and other characters in this truly American story are Alexis Armstrong (Glencoe), Alison Stake (Chicago), Amy Stricker (Prospect Heights), Ariana Cappuccitti (Mt Prospect), Carrie Vignali Rossi (Schaumburg). Christopher Jackson (Chicago), Darius Colquitt (Chicago), Haley Noll (Libertyville), Jerome Riley (Chicago), Jessica Vann (Chicago), Kathleen Messmer (Glenview), Kelli Bledsoe (Chicago), Peter Rasey (Chicago), Richard Blakeney (Chicago), Roy Brown (Chicago), Saja Blevins (Streamwood), Jonathan Simkus (Hawthorn Woods), Michael Greenlief (Chicago) and Dustin Rothbart (Northbrook).

Tickets for Ragtime are $28 for adults and $23 for seniors and students, and can be ordered by calling 847-604-0275 or online at www.bignoise.org

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