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RAGTIME Comes to Park Square, 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 andLove!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 and choreographer Michael Matthew Ferrell. 

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 byKersten Rodau; Caroline Innerbichler is vaudeville star Evelyn Nesbit; John Andrew Hegge is the entrepreneur Henry Ford; Sasha Andreev is escape artist Harry HoudiniShawn Hamilton is the African American reformer/educator Booker T. Washington and George Muellner is the financier J. P. Morgan.

The ensemble includes Dan Beckmann, Adara Bryan, Paul R. Coate, Margeaux Davis, AJ Eskridge, Kristopher W. Frelix, Ben Goodlund, Suzie Juul, Jake Klinkhammer, Timotha Lanae, Celena Morgan, Brittany Parker, Suzanne Reyburn, Whitney Rhodes, James Rodriguez, John Rynders, Carl Schoenborn, Andre Shoals, Emily Rose Skinner, Joshua Walker and Jamaka Young.  Note: casting as of November 30.  

The artistic staff, under the direction of Gisselman, Prosek and Ferrell, includes Rick Polenek (scenic designer),Andrea M. Gross (costume designer), Michael P. Kittel (lighting designer), Kirby Moore (properties designer),Thomas Sandelands (sound designer),Todd Edwards (Projection Designer),Heather Fleming (wig designer), D'Arcy Smith (dialect coach), Alex Heetland (assistant music director), Cindy Milow Harloff (assistant choreographer),Kristen Weller (assistant costume designer), Terry Lynn Carlson (stage manager) and Jamie J. Kranz (assistant stage manager).

Performance Schedule: 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. 

Ticket prices: Previews: $35. Regular run: $48 & $68. Discounts are available for seniors, those under age 30, and groups. Tickets on sale at the Park Square box office, 20 West Seventh Place, or by phone: 651.291.7005, (12 noon-5 p.m. Monday through Friday), or online at www.parksquaretheatre.org.

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