Jewish Community Center is presenting a musical drawn from a novel by one of America’s greatest Jewish writers.
And of course, in the tradition of George and Ira Gershwin, a Jewish artist focuses intently on the great African-American experience.
From the news release:
Based on the acclaimed novel by E.L. Doctorow, and with a book by Terrence McNally (“Kiss of the Spider Woman”) and music and lyrics by Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens (“Once on this Island,” “Seussical”) Ragtime tells the saga of three distinctly American families whose lives intersect as they are swept along by the currents of history. Rich and poor, black and white, established citizens and brand new immigrants, all thrill to the possibilities and tremble at the challenges of a nation on the brink of a new era. Set in New York in 1906, the story weaves together fictional characters and historical figures such as Booker T. Washington, Emma Goldman, J.P. Morgan, Harry Houdini and Henry Ford. Front and center are the issues that continue to test and tantalize us today – wealth and poverty, freedom and prejudice, hope and despair, the silly and the sublime. Directed by CenterStage Artistic Director John Leffert, with musical direction by Jay Schwandt and choreography by Kate Reedy, Ragtime features a cast of 35 actors including CenterStage veterans Alonzo Richmond and Tymika Prince as Coalhouse Walker, Jr. and Sarah, Jeremy Moon and Emily Fields as Father and Mother, and Monty Fields as Tateh. Production designer Michael Hottois of the University of Louisville Theatre Arts Department, whose work has been seen at the Merry-Go-Round Playhouse in New York, is doing the scenic design.
Ahrens and Flaherty’s Tony-winning score ranges from ragtime and klezmer (Eastern European Jewish folk music) to ballads, Tin Pan Alley melodies and anthems.
When “Ragtime” opened on Broadway in 1998, the International Herald Tribune called it “the best musical in 20 years,” and Time Magazine dubbed the show “a triumph for the stage,” according to the release.
It won the 1998 Tony Awards for Best Score, Book and Orchestration and Best Featured Actress for Audra McDonald, as well as the Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for Best Musical and Best Show.
Performances are October 25, 27, November 1, 3, 5, 8 and 10 at 7:30 p.m., and October 28, November 4 and 11 at 2 p.m.
Tickets are $18 in advance or $20 at the door and are on sale now. Call 502-459-0660 or see the website here to reserve tickets.
About the Jewish Community Center: Founded in 1890, JCC is a human service agency committed to enhancing the quality of family life and promoting the physical, intellectual and spiritual wellness of the individual. It provides health-related activities, cultural and educational programs that serve the community at large, including populations at risk. Membership and services are offered to the Jewish and general community. Through its wide array of programs, the Center pursues its mission of strengthening the individual, family and community. JCC is part of the Jewish Community of Louisville.