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Axelrod Pac Revives RAGTIME THE MUSICAL Broadway lyricist Lynn Ahrens, a Neptune native who graduated from Neptune High School, is thrilled to learn that a new production of her Tony-winning show "Ragtime, The Musical" is playing four weekends in March at the Axelrod Performing Arts Center (APAC) in the Deal Park section of Ocean Township, NJ.

Ahrens worked with Luis Salgado, the director-choreographer of show, when he performed on Broadway in her musical "Rocky." A Tony-winning lyricist, Ahrens is enjoying a renowned career on Broadway with two shows currently running: "Anastasia," based on the popular animated film, and a revival of "Once on This Island" starring Lea Solonga.

"I'm very pleased that the Axelrod Performing Arts Center will be putting on 'Ragtime' this season, especially since the Jersey Shore is my home turf," says Ahrens. "Luis Salgado is extremely talented and dynamic. Knowing him, I'm sure he will bring his special sensibility and passion to the production and make it something fresh and resonant for these times."

The composer for "Ragtime" is Ahrens's writing partner, Stephen Flaherty, with whom she has written over a dozen musicals, including "Seussical The Musical," "Lucky Stiff," "Rocky," and many others.

"Ragtime" has been widely regarded as one of the best new musicals of the past quarter century, having won Tony Awards for Best Score and Book. The thought-provoking musical is based on a best-selling novel by E.L. Doctorow, adapted by award-winning playwright Terrence McNally. The original Broadway production was described by critics as both "dazzling" and brimming with "theatrical eloquence."

Flaherty has also weighed in on the new APAC production: "Writing the music to 'Ragtime' was not only a privilege but an honor. The fact that the show and its themes speak so powerfully to audiences today, twenty years after its Broadway premiere, is moving and humbling at the same time. The show has never ceased to encourage a dialogue between those who perform it and the audiences that experience it and their communities, which is exactly what we need today. Dialogue and communication. The fact that I was able to play a small part in helping that dialogue along has been my greatest reward."

The musical, like the novel, intertwines historical and fictional characters into a theatrical diorama and shows the conflict of the upper white classes with the black underclass and the straining flow of immigrants into America at the turn of the century.

Given today's political environment and the ongoing debate about "Dreamers," the border wall and the flood of refugees coming from all corners of the globe, this musical is a great reminder that America's cultural diversity is an ongoing journey.

APAC Artistic Director Andrew DePrisco, who helped Salgado conceive the production, is confident that "Ragtime" will resonate with APAC audiences: "It is Salgado's vision of 'Ragtime' and the talent and dedication of this cast that will make this musical the most talked-about theatrical event in New Jersey this winter."

Show dates are March 3, 10, 17, 24 at 8 PM, March 4, 11, 18, 25 at 3 PM. Tickets can be purchased at and range from $35 to $42.

About the Axelrod Performing Arts Center

The Axelrod Performing Arts Center fosters artistic excellence by showcasing varied and distinct cultural programs that enrich the imaginative, intellectual, and creative soul, while cultivating an appreciation of diverse communities through the pursuit of the arts. For more information, please visit

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