Ragtime tells of 20th century American history and struggles with race, gender in-equality, the ability to make a living wage and the changing demographics in America. It is one of those rare shows that rings true to this day, even though it is decades removed, as we continue to struggle with these issues in America, highlighted by this year’s combative election cycle.
San Diego Musical Theatre brings the show to life in an amazing and awe-inspiring production. The show features a cast of 41 actors and a 22-piece orchestra under the direction of Don LeMaster. They do a superb job of bringing the large, elaborate and heart-wrenching production to life. Ragtime‘s cast is lead by the talents of Paul David Bryant, who directs and choreographs the show; something that he has done eleven times as it has toured through the country.
The basic premise of the show is one of early 1900s New York and tells the story of three families in pursuit of the elusive American Dream; breaking across privileged whites, musically talented African Americans, and immigrants coming to the New World. These three groups intersect in a dramatic and moving way, illustrating the struggles and growing pains of America.
We are also introduced to some noteworthy historical figures that help propel portions of the story forward most notably immigrant Emma Goldman (Abby Gershuny), Booker T. Washington (Vimel Siphus), escape artist Harry Houdini (Michael Mittman), socialite Evelyn Nesbitt (Andi Davis), and capitalists Henry Ford (Paul Morgavo) and J.P. Morgan (Ryan Dietrich).
The rest of the amazing cast is rounded out by Mother (Carolyn Agan), Father (Cris O’Bryon), Younger Brother (Bryan Banville), Grandfather (Ralph Johnson), Little Boy (Elliot Weaver), Latvian artist Tateh (Louis Pardo), his daughter (Juliet Garbacz), Sarah (Nicole Pryor) and Coalhouse Walker, Jr. (Jay Donnell).
Ensemble: Katie Whalley Banville, Annie Buckley, Kevane L. Coleman, Steven Freitas, Brooke Henderson, April Jo Henry, Luke H. Jacobs, Carnell Johnson, Imahni King-Murillo, Dylan Nalbandian, Lane Palhegyi, Rhianna Pfannenstiel, Katie Porter, Ariana Ramirez, Benjamin Roy, Sarah Roy, Jonathan Sangster, Danielle Skalsky, Alexandra Slade, Bethany Slomka, Tanner J. Vidos, Mikaela Villalpando and John Wells.
Ragtime the musical, based on the 1975 book by E.L. Doctorow, is ranked as one of the best novels of the 20th century. The Broadway musical was nominated for 12 Tonys, including Best Musical, and won four including Original Score in 1998.
Single tickets for SDMT’s production of RAGTIME are $40.00, $50.00, $60.00, and $70.00. Children 16 and under save $10. There are discounts for Seniors and Students. Equity and Actor’s Alliance may purchase up to 2 tickets at half price. Group discounts for parties of 12 or more are available by calling the Administrative Office at 858-560-5740. For individual tickets contact the Administrative Office at 858-560-5740 or visit SDMT online at www.sdmt.org.
SCHEDULE: RAGTIME show times are Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday at 8:00 p.m., Saturday at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday at 2:00 p.m.
LOCATION: The Spreckels Theatre, 121 Broadway, San Diego, CA 92101. There is parking in the Spreckels garage and the NBC Building. Both are accessed via Broadway Circle.
For more information and tickets call San Diego Musical Theatre’s Administrative Office at 858-560-5740. Tickets purchased through the Spreckels Box Office are through Ticket Master.