VIDEO: First Look at RAGTIME at Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival
Ragtime, based on E.L. Doctorow's 1975 novel and featuring a book by Terrence McNally, music by Stephen Flaherty, and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens will run June 13 - July 1 on the Main Stage at the Labuda Center for the Performing Arts on the campus of DeSales University.Set in the volatile melting pot of New York, three distinctly American tales are woven together-that of a stifled but determined upper-class homemaker, an indomitable Jewish immigrant, and a daring young Harlem musician-united by their courage and their pursuit of the American dream, against extraordinary odds. Ragtime was nominated for 13 Tony Awards and won for best score, book, and orchestrations.Destinee Rea will play the role of Sarah, the mother of the child of Coalhouse Walker, Jr., the aspiring ragtime pianist. Rea has performed in Broadway's Amélie, the National Tour of Junie B. Jones, and has numerous regional theatre credits including Dreamgirls at the North Shore Music Theatre. Samuel Druhora will play Tateh, Bryant Martin as Father and Richard White as Grandfather. Samuel Druhora has played principal roles across continents in theatre, film, and opera. Career highlights include Jean Valjean (Les Misérables) at Transilvanya Hungarian Theatre, Candide (Candide) with Romanian National Opera, and ThePhantom of the Opera at Bucharest Musical Theatre.Bryant Martin has multiple theatre, film, and television credits, notably at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival and Chicago Shakespeare Theatre; and co-starred on the ABC television series Quantico.Richard White is best known for voicing the character of Gaston in the 1991 animated Disney film, Beauty and the Beast. Credits include National Tours of Urinetown, The King and I, and Camelot; and on television in Guiding Light, One Life to Live, and PBS, Great Performances. Many turn of the 20th century historical figures are featured in Ragtime including Harry Houdini who will be played by Freddie Kimmel (National Tours The Phantom of the Opera and Billy Elliot); Jack Doyle as Henry Ford (Broadway's Young Frankenstein, The Music Man, and The Will Rogers Follies); Rod Singleton as Booker T. Washington (Hudson Valley Shakespeare, Virginia Shakespeare, and Off-Broadway); and Michele Ragusa as Emma Goldman. Ragusa starred in the original Ragtime production on Broadway (1998); and has also been seen in Broadway's Young Frankenstein, Titanic and the National Tour of Fiddler on the Roof.
The production will also feature stage and television actor Brent Bateman as Willie Conklin. Bateman's theatre credits include performances at Radio City Music Hall, Hartford Stage, Alliance Theatre, and Jud Fry in PSF's 2013 production of Oklahoma!
As previously announced, the production will be directed by Associate Artistic Director Dennis Razze, who directed PSF's lauded and completely sold out productions of Evita (2017), West Side Story (2016), and Les Misérables (2015).
"The poetic lyrics of Lynn Ahrens are wonderfully evocative and powerful for actors to sing and are terrific examples of the best of what modern American musical theatre can be," says Razze.
The creative team for Ragtime includes choreographer Steven Casey, music director J. Bennett Durham, conductor Nathan Diehl, costume designer Courtney Irizarry and original costumes by Tony Award-winner Santo Laquasto, scenic design by Steve TenEyck, lighting design by Eric Haugen, and sound design by Matt Kraus.Ragtime previews 8pm, June 13 and 14. Opening night is Friday, June 15 at 8pm and runs through July 1. Single tickets start at $25 and can be purchased online at www.pashakespeare.org or by calling the box office at 610.282.WILL .