Photo Flash: Opening Night of Drury Lane Oakbrook's RAGTIME
Kicking off their 2010 season, Drury Lane Oakbrook, 100 Drury Lane, Oakbrook Terrace, IL, presents an epic production of the nostalgic and powerful portrait of life in turn of the century America, RAGTIME. Previewing March 18, opening March 24, and running through May 23, the riveting production will be directed and choreographed by Rachel Rockwell, who received a Jeff Award nomination for her direction of last season's smash hit Miss Saigon. Quentin Earl Darrington will star as "Coalhouse Walker" (Broadway: RAGTIME, National Tours of THE COLOR PURPLE, RAGTIME and THE LION KING; and Regionally RAGTIME at Paper Mill Playhouse; ABYSSINIA at Goodspeed Opera House; A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC at California Music Theatre, and DREAMGIRLS at Madame Walker Theatre; and Valisia LeKae (Broadway: RAGTIME, 110 IN THE SHADE, THE THREEPENNY OPERA; Off-Broadway: ALMOST HEAVEN; 1st National Tours of ALL SHOOK UP, MAMMA MIA) will star as "Sarah".
Featuring a cast of 33, the largest ever assembled on the Drury Lane stage, Drury Lane Executive Producer Kyle DeSantis has pulled out all the stops to make this production the most captivating theatrical experience ever for their patrons. Drury Lane Oakbrook has secured the original costumes from the 1998 Tony Award-Winning Broadway production by costume designer Santo Loquasto. Set Designer Kevin Depinet (AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY Broadway/Steppenwolf, Public Enemies) brings unprecedented effects and design elements to the stage. Impressive projections by Projection Designer Sage Carter will add to Depinet's set.
RAGTIME is a joyous celebration of the human spirit, described by Time Magazine as "A triumph for the stage," and by the International Herald Tribune as "the best musical in twenty years". AP raves, "Joyous and thrilling with a soaring score. This is what musical theater is all about! ". This acclaimed show won 1998 Tony Awards for Best Score, Book and Orchestrations, and won both the Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for Best Musical and Best Score.
RAGTIME is not only a powerful portrait of life in turn-of-the-century America, but a relevant tale for today. Written by the award-winning composer/lyricist team of Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens (ONCE ON THIS ISLAND, SEUSSICAL, LUCKY STIFF), noted playwright Terrence McNally, (KISS OF THE SPIDER WOMAN, MASTER CLASS), and based on E.L. Doctorow's distinguished novel, RAGTIME intertwines the stories of a Harlem musician, a wealthy New York family and a Latvian Jewish immigrant, and poignantly explores history's timeless contradictions of wealth and poverty, freedom and prejudice, hope and despair, and love and hate.
The Tony-winning score by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty is just as diverse as the melting pot of America itself. It draws upon traditional Jewish folk sounds to color the haunting music and yearning lyrics of the immigrants, Vaudeville's outrageous style, and Joplin and Jazz to evoke the enlivened spirit of Harlem. Featured are such show stopping songs as "Getting Ready Rag," "Your Daddy's Son," "Wheels of a Dream," "Till We Reach That Day," "Back To Before," and "Make Them Hear You."
Joining Quentin Earl Darrington as "Coalhouse Walker, Jr." and Valisia Lakae as "Sarah" in RAGTIME are a cast of Chicago's A-list musical talent; Larry Adams as "Father", Don Forston as "J.P. Morgan", Cory Goodrich as "Mother", Robert Hildreth as "Grandfather", James Earl Jones II as "Booker T. Washington", Mark David Kaplan as "Tateh", George Keating as "Stanford White", Michael Aaron Lindner as "Willie Conklin", Catherine Lord as "Emma Goldman", Max Quinlan as "Mother's Younger Brother", Summer Naomi Smart as "Evelyn Nesbit", Stef Tovar as "Harry Houdini" and Jonathan Weir as "Henry Ford". Daniel Coonley and Zachary Keller will share the role of "The Little Boy", Jennifer Baker and Elianna Schnittman will share the role of "The Little Girl" and Justin Hurst and Gabriel Simpson will share the role of "Young Coalhouse".
The cast will also feature ensemble members Anne Acker, Melody Betts, Karen Burthwright, Gary Carlson, McKinley Carter, Jameson Cooper, Dwelvan David, Stephane Duret, Caitlainne Rose Gurreri, Brandon Koller, Ann McMann, Genevieve H. Perrino, Karen Marie Richardson, Travis Turner and George Andrew Wolff.
Joining Director and Choreographer Rachel Rockwell will be Assistant Director Amber Mak and Musical Director Roberta Duchak. Set Design is by Kevin Depinet, Original Costume Design by Santo Loquasto with additional costumes being designed by Brenda Winstead with Costume Manager Erika Senase, Lighting Design is by Jesse Klug, Sound Design is by Garth Helm with Associate Sound Design by Ray Nardelli, Projection Design by Sage Carter and Properties Design is by Michelle N. Warner.
The performance schedule is as follows: Wednesdays at 1:30 p.m. ($31), Thursdays at 1:30 p.m. ($31) and 8 p.m. ($38), Fridays at 8:30 p.m. ($45), Saturdays at 5 p.m. ($45) and 8:30 p.m. ($45) and Sundays at 2:00 p.m. ($45) and 6 p.m. ($40). There will only be one performance at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, April 4. Lunch and dinner theater packages range from $45.75 to $68 depending on the day of the week. Subscriptions for the hit 2010, 5 show season start at $115. Student tickets start as low as $19 and Senior Citizen tickets start as low as $27 for matinees and $41.75 for a matinee luncheon package. For reservations, phone (630) 530-0111 or call TicketMaster at 800.745.3000. You may also visit www.drurylaneoakbrook.com.
Rachel Rockwell and Justin Hurst
Karen Marie Richardson and Dwelvan David
Cory Goodrich and Genevieve H. Perrino