New York-Based Actress Leslie Becker Takes On American Capitalism As Emma Goldman In The Acclaimed Musical, RAGTIME
New York-based actress Leslie Becker takes on American capitalism as Emma Goldman in the acclaimed musical, RAGTIME. The show is the final offering of the 2017-18 Asolo Repertory Theatre season and is currently running through May 27 in the Mertz Theatre, located in the FSU Center for the Performing Arts.
RAGTIME interweaves the stories of an affluent white family, an African-American musician and a Jewish immigrant in the dawn of the 20th century. Becker steps into the storyline as the real-life figure Emma Goldman, a radical anarchist from Russia, who spoke out boldly against American capitalism and was a riotous voice for the oppressed. She was arrested multiple times for "inciting to riot" and was eventually deported back to Russia.
Directed by Peter Rothstein and featuring celebrated score by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, this stripped down version focuses its story by artfully using only 13 adults and 3 children to inhabit multiple roles. Becker was thrilled to bring Emma Goldman to life in this epic show, adding, "Ragtime is one of the most highly crafted musicals of all time. The genius behind the original creation combined with the artful direction of this new version is truly breathtaking. And, to tell this story now and have it resonate so boldly in current times in startling and illuminating."
No stranger to RAGTIME, Becker received a Broadway World nomination for Best Actress for her performance as Mother in "the full scale" RAGTIME at BRT Stage and was thrilled to bring Emma Goldman to life. Most recently, Becker was seen as Ursula in THE LITTLE MERMAID at Northern Stage and has appeared on Broadway and major National Tours including WICKED, ANYTHING GOES, CINDERELLA, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, SHOW BOAT, AMAZING GRACE, NINE and as Clyde's Mother in BONNIE & CLYDE which had its out of town engagement at the Asolo Repertory Theatre before heading to Broadway. She has also starred in regional productions of HELLO, DOLLY, SWEENEY TODD, BILLY ELLIOTT, RAGTIME, A CHORUS LINE, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST and many more.
Also a writer, her musical A PROPER PLACE (with composer Curtis Rhodes) had its world premiere at The Village Theatre in 2017, and she has two other musicals in development. In addition, she is the best-selling author of The Organized Actor which has remained the #1 organizational tool for actors for more than 20 years, and spawned her thriving business that focuses on teaching other actors and artists how to get organized, get creative and get work.
RAGTIME runs through May 27. For info, visit www.asolorep.org.
PHOTO CREDIT: Cliff Roles