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Park Square Theatre Presents RAGTIME 1/20-2/19


Journey back to turn-of-the-century America, where Scott Joplin's ragtime music fills the air with an infectious beat. Ragtime: the Musical, weaves a spellbinding story of three families whose lives collide against the backdrop of New York in "the American Century"-a white family living the privileged life in New Rochelle, a disillusioned Jewish immigrant bent on achieving success, and a handsome young black piano man courting the woman he loves.

Based on the novel by E. L Doctorow, who "found a fresh way to orchestrate the themes of American innocence, energy and ambition" (Newsweek), Ragtime won four Tony Awards in 1998, including Best Score. The book is by Terrence McNally (who also wrote the book for Spider Woman as well as the award-winning plays Master Class and Love!Valour!Compassion!-both of which have been presented by Park Square), with music by the composer/lyricist team of Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens (Seussical). Gary Gisselman will direct this lavish production, working with musical director Denise Prosek.

Harry Waters, Jr., is Coalhouse Walker, Jr., the ragtime musician, joined by Dieter Bierbrauer (Tateh), Christina Baldwin (Mother), Brittany Bradford (Sarah) and Lee Mark Nelson (Father). Noah Coon, who just finished the run of Oliver Twist at Park Square, returns in the role of the Little Boy. Aleks Knezevich is Younger Brother and FrEd Mackaman is in the role of Grandfather. Megan Fischer is Tateh's daughter (Little Girl).

Real-life characters of the period are wrapped into the fictional story: The radical Emma Goldman is played by Kersten Rodau; Caroline Innerbichler is vaudeville star Evelyn Nesbit; John Hegge is the entrepreneur Henry Ford; Sasha Andreev is escape artist Harry Houdini, Shawn Hamilton is the African American reformer/educator Booker T. Washington and Jay Hornbacher is the financier J. P. Morgan.

The ensemble includes Traci Allen, Dan Beckmann, Adara Bryan, Paul R. Coate, Robert C. Droddy, Ben Goodlund, James Grigsby, Suzie Juul, Timotha Lanae, Celena Morgan, Brittany Parker, Suzanne Reyburn, Whitney Rhodes, James Rodriguez, John Rynders, Carl Schoenborn, Andrea Shoals, Emily Rose Skinner, Joshua Walker and Jamaka Young.

The artistic staff, under the direction of Gisselman and Prosek, includes Michael Matthew Ferrell (choreographer), Rick Polenek (scenic designer), Andrea M. Gross (costume designer), Michael P. Kittel (lighting designer), Kirby Moore (properties designer), Thomas Sandelands (sound designer),Cindy Milow Harloff (assistant choreographer), Terry Lynn Carlson (stage manager) and Jamie J. Kranz (assistant stage manager).

Previews begin January 20 and run through January 26. Opening night is January 27. The show runs Wednesday through Sunday for four weeks, closing on February 19. All performances are at 7:30 p.m., except for Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. There are three student matinees Tuesdays January 31, February 7 & 14. Student matinee start times vary-contact the box office (651.291.7005) for times and availability. All performances will take place at Park Square Theatre, located off the West Seventh Place Mall in the historic Hamm Building, Saint Paul.

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