Monday, October 27, 2014

"RAGTIME" WILL MOVE YOU EMOTIONALLY AND MUSICALLY




Turn the hands on the grandfather clock back in time to the turn-of-the-twentieth century in America when the dicotomy between the poor and the wealthy, the desperate and the hopeful, the prejudiced and the privileged was most pronounced.  The sweeping grandeur and poignancy of "Ragtime The Musical" will follow a trio of families as they struggle to achieve the American dream.

This multi-award winning show by the composer/lyricist team of Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens and book by Terrence McNally is based on the distinguished novel by E. L. Doctorow.  Torrington's grand Warner Theatre will be dedicating its Main Stage to this sweeping musical from Saturday, November 1 to Sunday, November 9.

A parade of famous people like Harry Houdini (Meric Martin), Henry Ford (Jamie Murphy), Booker T. Washington (Jamal Ford-Bey), J. P. Morgan (George Murphy), Emma Goldman (Priscilla Squiers) and Sanford White (Lyle Ressler) march in and out of this histoirically relevant tale.  The worlds of three vastly different families collide on America's divergent shores.  We meet a wealthy Protestant clan who include Father (Pat Spaulding), Mother (Rebekah Derrick), Mother's Younger Brother (Ryan Pipke), Grandfather (Mark Pronovest) and the Little Boy Edgar (Trevor Rinaldi).  They represent the sheltered white privileged, living in New Rochelle, New York, who have been spared the difficulties of life.  Their existence is far removed from the African-American one headed by Coalhouse Walker, Jr. (John E. Carter) who plays Ragtime music in Harlem and has his heart fixed on Sarah (Gia Wright).  At Ellis Island, we meet newly arrived Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe, Tateh (Dan Porri) and his daughter (Kennedy Morris) who are praying for a better life in this land of plenty, hoping his silhouette art will bring them prosperity.

Each family, in turn, experiences love and loss, joy and sorrow, violence and redemption as they struggle to hold on to a flag of justice.  Inspiring and emotional songs move the story onward and upward as causes are adopted, lives are sacrifised, wishes are fulfilled.  Ultimately the desire for hope and for the future is triumphant.  Sharon A. Wilcox will direct this passionate portrait of turn-of-the-century life, with Musical Director Dan Koch providing the stirring songs.

For tickets ($18-26), call the Warner Theatre, 68 Main Street, Torrington at 860-489-7180 or online at wwwarnertheatre.org.  Performances are Saturday at 8 p.m., Sunday at 2 p.m and Friday at 8 p.m.

Come let the Warner Stage Company with a cast of 64 bring to life this monumental musical guaranteed to inspire patriotism as its stirs your heartstrings.

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