Neil Simon Theatre, (11/15/2009 - 1/10/2010)

First Preview: Oct 23, 2009
Opening Date: Nov 15, 2009
Closing Date: Jan 10, 2010
Total Previews: 28
Total Performances: 65

Category: Musical, Drama, Revival, Broadway
Setting: In and around New York City; New Rochelle; Ellis Island; Lawrence, Mass.; Atlantic City.

Opening Night Production Staff

Theatre Owned / Operated by The Nederlander Organization (James M. Nederlander: Chairman; James L. Nederlander: President)

Produced by Kevin McCollum, Roy Furman, Scott Delman, Roger Berlind, Max Cooper, Tom Kirdahy/Devlin Elliott, Jeffrey Sine, Stephanie McClelland, Roy Miller, LAMS Productions, Jana Robbins, Sharon Karmazin, Morris Berchard/Eric Falkenstein, RialtoGals Productions, Independent Presenters Network, Held-Haffner Productions, HRH Foundation and Emanuel Azenberg; Produced in association with The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

Book by Terrence McNally; Music by Stephen Flaherty; Lyrics by Lynn Ahrens; Based on the novel "Ragtime" by E.L. Doctorow; Musical Director: James Moore; Music arranged by William David Brohn; Music orchestrated by William David Brohn

Directed by Marcia Milgrom Dodge; Choreographed by Marcia Milgrom Dodge; Associate Director: Josh Walden; Associate Choreographer: Josh Walden

Scenic Design by Derek McLane; Costume Design by Santo Loquasto; Lighting Design by Donald Holder; Sound Design by Acme Sound Partners and Nevin Steinberg; Hair and Wig Design by Edward J. Wilson; Associate Scenic Design: Shoko Kambara; Associate Costume Design: Matthew Pachtman; Associate Lighting Design: Caroline Chao and Jeanne Koenig; Associate Sound Design: Alexander Ritter; Associate Hair and Wig Design: Giovanna Calabretta

General Manager: John S. Corker; Company Manager: Roeya Banuazizi

Technical Supervisor: Brian Lynch; Production Supervisor: Peter Lawrence; Stage Manager: Karen Moore

Musical Coordinator: John Miller; Conducted by James Moore; Associate Conductor: Jamie Schmidt; Concert Master: Rick Dolan; Violins: Elizabeth Lim-Dutton, Cenovia Cummins, Ashley Horn, Una Tone and Kiku Enomoto; Violas: Maxine Roach and Debra Shufelt-Dine; Celli: Laura Bontrager and Sarah Hewitt-Roth; Bass: Jeff Cooper; Harp: Barbara Biggers; Woodwinds: Katherine Fink, Lynne Cohen, Jonathan Levine and Todd Groves; Trumpets: Timothy Schadt and Daniel Urness; French Horns: Patrick Pridemore and William DeVos; Trombones: Alan Ferber and Dan Levine; Tuba: Marcus Rojas; Percussion: Charles Descarfino; Drums: Rich Rosenzweig; Guitar: Greg Utzig; Keyboards: Jamie Schmidt and Sue Anschutz

Casting: Laura Stanczyk; Press Representative: Boneau / Bryan-Brown; Marketing: Scott Moore; Advertising: SPOTCo, Inc.; Dance Captain: Josh Walden; Fight Captain: Aaron Galligan-Stierle; Photographer: Joan Marcus

[See More]

Opening Night Cast

Ron BohmerFather
Christopher CoxThe Little Boy
Quentin Earl DarringtonCoalhouse Walker Jr.
Christiane NollMother
Robert PetkoffTateh
Sarah RosenthalThe Little Girl
Bobby SteggertMother's Younger Brother
Stephanie UmohSarah
Jonathan HammondHarry Houdini
Ensemble
Donna MigliaccioEmma Goldman
Ensemble
Savannah WiseEvelyn Nesbit
Ensemble
Eric Jordan YoungBooker T. Washington
Ensemble
Mark AldrichWillie Conklin
Ensemble
Sumayya AliEnsemble
Terence ArchieMatthew Henson
Ensemble
Corey BradleyEnsemble
Jayden BrockingtonCoalhouse Walker III
Alternate
Jennifer EvansKathleen
Ensemble
Aaron Galligan-StierleHenry Ford
Ensemble
Carly HughesEnsemble
Valisia LeKaeEnsemble
Dan ManningGrandfather
Ensemble
Michael X. MartinJ. P. Morgan
Admiral Peary
Ensemble
Mike McGowanStanford White
Charles S. Whitman
Ensemble
Tracy Lynn OliveraBrigit
Ensemble
Bryonha ParhamSarah's Friend
Ensemble
Mamie ParrisEnsemble
Nicole PowellEnsemble
Arbender J. RobinsonEnsemble
Benjamin SchraderEnsemble
Wallace SmithEnsemble
Josh WaldenHarry K. Thaw
Ensemble
Catherine WalkerEnsemble
Kylil WilliamsCoalhouse Walker III
Alternate

Swings: Carey Rebecca Brown, Lisa Karlin, James Moye and Jim Weaver

Understudies: Terence Archie (Coalhouse Walker Jr.), Benjamin Cook (The Little Boy), Jonathan Hammond (Tateh), Carly Hughes (Sarah), Lisa Karlin (Emma Goldman), Valisia LeKae (Sarah), Mike McGowan (Father, Tateh), James Moye (Father), Tracy Lynn Olivera (Emma Goldman), Mamie Parris (Mother), Kaylie Rubinaccio (The Little Girl), Benjamin Schrader (Mother's Younger Brother), Wallace Smith (Coalhouse Walker Jr.), Josh Walden (Mother's Younger Brother), Catherine Walker (Mother) and Eric Jordan Young (Coalhouse Walker Jr.)

Awards and Nominations

Tony Award®

 2010 Best Revival of a Musical [nominee] 

Produced by Kevin McCollum, Roy Furman, Scott Delman, Roger Berlind, Max Cooper, Tom Kirdahy/Devlin Elliott, Jeffrey Sine, Stephanie McClelland, Roy Miller, LAMS Productions, Jana Robbins, Sharon Karmazin, Morris Berchard/Eric Falkenstein, RialtoGals Productions, Independent Presenters Network, Held-Haffner Productions, HRH Foundation and Emanuel Azenberg; Produced in association with The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

 2010 Best Actress in a Musical [nominee] 

Christiane Noll

 2010 Best Featured Actor in a Musical [nominee] 

Bobby Steggert

 2010 Best Direction of a Musical [nominee] 

Marcia Milgrom Dodge

 2010 Best Scenic Design of a Musical [nominee] 

Derek McLane

 2010 Best Lighting Design of a Musical [nominee] 

Donald Holder

Drama Desk Award

 2010 Outstanding Revival of a Musical [nominee] 

Produced by Kevin McCollum, Roy Furman, Scott Delman, Roger Berlind, Max Cooper, Tom Kirdahy/Devlin Elliott, Jeffrey Sine, Stephanie McClelland, Roy Miller, LAMS Productions, Jana Robbins, Sharon Karmazin, Morris Berchard/Eric Falkenstein, RialtoGals Productions, Independent Presenters Network, Held-Haffner Productions, HRH Foundation and Emanuel Azenberg; Produced in association with The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

 2010 Outstanding Actress in a Musical [nominee] 

Christiane Noll

 2010 Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical [nominee] 

Bobby Steggert

 2010 Outstanding Choreography [nominee] 

Marcia Milgrom Dodge

winner 2010 Outstanding Sound Design in a Musical [winner] 

Sound Design by Acme Sound Partners

 2010 Outstanding Set Design [nominee] 

Derek McLane

 2010 Outstanding Director of a Musical [nominee] 

Marcia Milgrom Dodge

Theatre World

winner 2010 Dorothy Loudon Award for Excellence [recipient] 

Bobby Steggert

winner 2010 Award [recipient] 

Stephanie Umoh

Songs

music by Stephen Flaherty; lyrics by Lynn Ahrens

ACT 1 Sung By
RagtimeThe Company
Goodbye, My LoveMother
Journey OnFather, Tateh and Mother
The Crime of the CenturyEvelyn Nesbit, Mother's Younger Brother and Ensemble
What Kind of WomanMother
A Shtetl Iz AmerekeTateh, The Little Girl and Ensemble
SuccessTateh, J. P. Morgan, Harry Houdini and Ensemble
Gettin' Ready RagCoalhouse Walker Jr. and Ensemble
Henry FordHenry Ford, Coalhouse Walker Jr. and Ensemble
Nothing Like the CityTateh, Mother, The Little Boy and The Little Girl
Your Daddy's SonSarah
New MusicFather, Mother, Mother's Younger Brother, Coalhouse Walker Jr., Sarah and Ensemble
Wheels of a DreamCoalhouse Walker Jr. and Sarah
The Night That Goldman Spoke at Union SquareMother's Younger Brother, Emma Goldman and Ensemble
GlidingTateh
JusticeCoalhouse Walker Jr. and Ensemble
PresidentSarah
Till We Reach That DaySarah's Friend, Coalhouse Walker Jr., Emma Goldman, Mother's Younger Brother, Mother, Tateh and Ensemble
ACT 2 Sung By
Coalhouse's SoliloquyCoalhouse Walker Jr.
Coalhouse DemandsThe Company
What A Game!Father, The Little Boy and Ensemble
Atlantic CityEvelyn Nesbit, Harry Houdini and Father
New Music (Reprise) Father
Atlantic City, Part IIEvelyn Nesbit, Harry Houdini and Ensemble
Buffalo Nickel Photoplay, Inc.Baron Ashkenazy
Our ChildrenMother and Baron Ashkenazy
Sarah Brown EyesCoalhouse Walker Jr. and Sarah
He Wanted to SayEmma Goldman, Mother's Younger Brother, Coalhouse Walker Jr. and Coalhouse's Gang
Back to BeforeMother
Look What You've DoneBooker T. Washington, Coalhouse Walker Jr. and Coalhouse's Gang
Make Them Hear YouCoalhouse Walker Jr.
Ragtime/The Wheels of a Dream (Reprise) The Company

Reviews


AP: "Ragtime Revival puts renewed emphasis on people"

The initial swirling syncopation of sound is impossible to resist.

Surely there are not many opening numbers better than the intoxicating first moments of “Ragtime,” the stage version of E.L. Doctorow’s best-selling novel. The show’s themes and characters are introduced lickety-split in a thrilling combination of song, story and movement that goes a long way toward explaining what musical theater is all about.

It also sets the bar very high for what is to follow at Broadway’s Neil Simon Theatre, where a respectful, recalibrated revival of the musical opened Sunday. If nothing else quite reaches that joyous proclamation of theatricality, so be it. This is a musical that can’t be faulted for its overabundant ambition or its often soaring score even as it sometimes stumbles over its heart-on-sleeve earnestness.

“Ragtime,” with its parade of characters, will never be a small show. Yet director-choreographer Marcia Milgrom Dodge, whose production was first staged last spring at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, has managed to scale back some, if not all, of its reverential pageantry. She allows the audience to concentrate on individuals in the three distinct groups that march through Doctorow’s massive tale.

The book is a cornucopia of fact and fiction celebrating early 20th-centruy America, a time of change, of social, economic and racial unrest. That uncertainty resonates even stronger today than it did in 1996 when “Ragtime” had its world premiere in Toronto, or in early 1998, when it opened in New York. Real historical figures such as Booker T. Washington, Henry For, Harry Houdini and Emma Goldman interact with Doctorow’s own family creations- whites, blacks, and immigrant Jews.

They include a prosperous Anglo-Saxon household headed by characters with the ominiously archetypal names of Father and Mother; Colehouse Walker Jr., a black ragtime piano player and composer, and Tateh, the immigrant who makes the most astonishing transforamation of all.

Dodge brings them all together in a movelous tiered settling (designed by Derek McLane) that resembles a giant Erector Set climbing to the proscenium arch of the Simon. Its walkways make the action flow with surprising speed. But then it has to. There is a lot of plot in “Ragtime” and playwright Terrence McNally has done a remarkable job in condensing the story without losing sight of the characters.

What made the original so enticing was not so much the lavisness of its setting but the impeccable casting that anchored the show and which made stars out of such performers as Aurdra McDonald, Brian Stokes Mitchell and Marin Mazzie. In this revival, the actors are not quite as accomplished in creating credible portraits even though Dodge has given them more breathing space in which to come alive.

Quentin Earl Darrington’s Coalhouse is vocally impressive yet without the commanding force that the charismatic Mitchell brought to the role of a man who most galvanize his followers to the point of anarchy.

Stephanie Umoh looks lovely but lacks the intensity and the vocal warmth that McDonald exuded as Sarah, the young woman whose child with Coalhouse is raised by Mother. This WASP matriarch, played by Christiane Noll, is the musical’s most fully realized character, changing from dutiful if constricted helpmate to a woman who decides she can never go “Back to Before,” an anthem of female emancipation.

Even Tateh, who is transformed from penniless immigrant to slient-movie mogul, doesn’t have that kind of depth though Robert Petkoff works hard to give the man more than a generic personality.

Yet several of the supporting actors create strongly etched characters including Bobby Steggert as Mother’s volatile, socially conscious Younger Brother; Jonathan Hammond, a robust Houdini; Donna Migliaccio, a no-nonsnese, forceful Emma Goldman, and Christopher Cox as a spunky little boy who narrates much of the story.

But what remains most memorable about “Ragtime” is its score: Stephen Flaherty’s outpouring of melodies, tunes that encompass not only the sounds of the show’s title, but a whole range of musical expression from hymns to cakewalks to a bit of vaudeville razzle-dazzle. One song in particular, the haunting “New Music,” neatly encompasses the ardent relationship between Coalhouse and Sarah and the unraveling of the bond between Mother and Father (an appropriately stuffy Ron Bohmer).

And Lynn Ahrens’ lyrics are equally diverse—from bold pronouncements to more simple homespun revelations, such as an affectionate “Our Children,” delivered by Mother as she bonds with the newly reinvented Tateh.

Their quiet, gentle scene demonstrates what’s best about Dodge’s direction. There’s not a wasted moment in her production, which is a blessing considering the scope of the lengthy story these creators are trying to tell: a new America century getting ready to explode and make its mark on history.


AP
11/16/2009

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