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Something Is Beginning! RAGTIME to Open in London Next Week

It was the music of something beginning... Ragtime, the landmark Broadway musical, will play the Charing Cross Theatre (The Arches, Villiers Street), in London's West End, beginning October 8th and run through December 10th in a strictly limited engagement. Opening night is set for October 17th.

With book by Terrence McNally, music by Stephen Flaherty and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, Ragtime is directed by Thom Southerland (Titanic at The Southwark Playhouse/Charing Cross Theatre, Parade, Me and Juliet) and produced by Danielle Tarento, Steven M. Levy, Sean Sweeney, and Vaughan Williams.

Ragtime captures the American experience in turn-of-the-20th-century New York, showcasing three diverse families in pursuit of the American dream and their desire for a brighter tomorrow. Based on the novel by E.L Doctorow, Ragtime follows the lives of Coalhouse Walker Jr, a Harlem musician; Mother and her white, middle class family in New Rochelle; and Tateh, a Jewish immigrant who has come to America with his daughter seeking a new life, who become dramatically intertwined with one another as well as with historical figures including Harry Houdini, Emma Goldman, Booker T. Washington, and Henry Ford. Together, they discover the surprising interconnections of the human heart, the limitations of justice and the consequences when dreams are permanently deferred.

Ragtime led the 1998 Tony Awards with 12 nominations, winning 4 Awards including Best Book by Terrence McNally and Best Original Score by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty. Ragtime has been produced in London two previous times - at The Piccadilly Theater in 2003 starring Maria Friedman as Mother (for which she won a 2004 Oliver Award for Best Actress in a Musical) and at Regent Park's Open Air Theatre in 2012.

This new production of Ragtime follows Thom Southerland's critically acclaimed production of Titanic, which began his tenure as the Artistic Director of the Charing Cross Theatre in May, 2016. Formerly a receiving house, the Charing Cross Theatre is London's newest producing house, and Ragtime will be followed with the UK premiere of Maury Yeston's Death Takes A Holiday.

"It is thrilling to be creating a new production of Ahrens and Flaherty's iconic musical Ragtime at Charing Cross. With a cast of 20 Actor Musicians we are embracing the show in a new form, allowing the music to be as potent and immediate as the epic powerful story," said director Thom Southerland. "Following on from Titanic at Charing Cross, we are committed to creating ambitious productions; creating exciting and thrilling productions of iconic stories for our audiences. Ragtime is a fiercely powerful piece, that is already capturing audiences as we go through our preview period."

The cast of Ragtime features Earl Carpenter (The Phantom of the Opera and Les Miserables, both on Broadway and the West End) as Father and Anita Louise Combe (Gypsy starring Imelda Staunton; the first actress to play both Roxie Hart and Velma Kelly in Chicago) as Mother.

The company also includes: Simon Anthony, Bernadette Bangura, Anthony Cable, Valerie Cutko, Christopher Dickins, Nolan Frederick, Tom Giles, Joanna Hickman, Lemuel Knights, Martin Ludenbach, James Mack, Ako Mitchell, Sufia Manya, Seyi Omooba, Jess Ryan, Kate Robson-Stuart, Jennifer Saayeng, Jonathan Stewart,Gary Tushaw, and child actors Alana Hinge, Samuel Peterson, Ethan Quinn, Riya Vyas.

Ragtime is choreographed by Ewan Jones, with set design by Tom Rogers and Toots Butcher, lighting design by Howard Hudson, costume design by Jonathan Lipman, and musical direction by Jordan Li-Smith. Mark Aspinall is the show's orchestrator and musical supervisor.

Ragtime begins a strictly limited engagement at The Charing Cross Theatre (The Arches, Villiers Street in Central London) on October 8th. Opening night is October 17th. Performances are: Monday at 7:30PM, Tuesday at 7:30PM, Wednesday at 2:30PM and 7:30PM, Thursday at 7:30PM, Friday at 7:30PM, and Saturday at 3:00PM and 7:30PM. Tickets are £17.50 - £32.50 with premium reserved seating available. Tickets are available at CharingCrossTheatre.co.uk or by calling 011 44 8444 930 650.

Thom Southerland (Director/Artistic Director of the Charing Cross Theatre) Theatre includes: Titanic (Charing Cross Theatre; Princess Of Wales, Toronto; Tokyo & Osaka, Japan; Southwark Playhouse - longlisted, Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Musical 2013; winner, Broadway World UK Award for Best Fringe/Regional Musical 2013, WhatsOnStage Award for Best Off West End Production and 4 Off West End Awards including Best Musical Production); Grey Gardens(Southwark Playhouse); Grand Hotel (Tokyo, Japan; Southwark Playhouse - winner, Broadway World UK Award for Best Musical Revival, nominated, WhatsOnStage Award for Best Off West End Production and 6 Off West End Awards including Best Musical Production); The Smallest Show On Earth, which he also co-wrote (Mercury, Colchester & UK tour); Peter Pan (US tour); The Grand Tour (Finborough); The Mikado (Charing Cross); Carnival Of The Animals (Riverside Studios); The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (ArtsEd); Victor/Victoria (Southwark Playhouse); Mack & Mabel (Southwark Playhouse - longlisted, Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Musical 2012, nominated for 13 Broadway World UK Awards and 6 Off West End Awards); Merrily We Roll Along(Guildhall); Noël & Gertie (Cockpit); Parade (Southwark Playhouse - longlisted, Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Musical 2011, nominated, whatsonstage.com Award for Best Musical Revival 2012, Off West End Award for Best Musical Production 2012); Daisy Pulls It Off, The Diary of Anne Frank, Call Me Madam (Upstairs at the Gatehouse); Me And Juliet (Finborough - winner, Off West End Awards for Best Director 2011); State Fair (Finborough & Trafalgar Studios) The Full Monty (New Players); Hobson's Choice (Broadway Theatre, Catford); Hello Jerry!, The Unsinkable Molly Brown (Landor); I Sing, Divorce Me Darling!, Annie Get Your Gun, The Pajama Game, all-male adaptations of HMS Pinafore and The Mikado (Union). Workshops include: Angela's Ashes; The Braille Legacy. thomsoutherland.co.uk | @thomsoutherland

Since 1864, there has been a theatre under the arches at Charing Cross Station. Known throughout the years by several names (Gattis-in-The-Arches, The Players Theatre and the New Players Theatre), the theatre was rechristened the Charing Cross Theatre in January, 2011 to mark the change in its ownership and the new era on which it was embarking.

Although the Music Hall tradition is still honored with periodic Sunday performances, the Charing Cross Theatre has operated as a legitimate commercial venue since 2002. The current management is committed to presenting affordable theatrical productions of the highest standards, while maintaining a collaborative atmosphere where seasoned professionals can work with emerging young talent.

Recent productions include The Exonerated; Thrill Me; the transfer from Broadway of Ghetto Klown, starring John Leguizamo; Fascinating Aida: Cheap Flights; Facing The Music starring Patricia Routledge; the world premiere of 6 Actors in Search of a Director, written and directed by Steven Berkoff; the critically acclaimed production of Tennessee Williams' Vieux Carre; the Olivier Award-winning production of La Bohème; the UK Premier of Jerry Herman's Dear World starring Betty Buckley; Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris; The Mikado; a six month run of Dusty; Piaf; and Tennessee Williams' In The Bar Of A Tokyo Hotel.


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