A powerful portrait of the birth of the American nation, filled with pageantry, emotion and optimism, The Production Company presents as its last show for 2019, the Australian premiere of Ragtime in the Playhouse – Arts Centre Melbourne from 2 November 2019.
Based on E. L. Doctorow’s 1975 novel by the same name, Ragtime features a Book by Terrence McNally, Lyrics by Lynn Ahrens and Music by Stephen Flaherty, and is sweeping musical portrait of early-twentieth-century America, telling the story of three families in the pursuit of the American Dream.
At the dawn of a new century, everything is changing… and anything is possible. Set in the volatile melting pot of turn-of-the-century New York, three distinctly American tales are woven together – that of a stifled upper-class wife, a determined Jewish immigrant and a daring young Harlem musician – united by their courage, compassion and belief in the promise of the future.
Together, they confront history’s timeless contradictions of wealth and poverty, freedom and prejudice, hope and despair… and what it means to live in America.
Winner of the 1998 Tony Awards for Best Score, Book and Orchestrations, and both the Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for Best Musical and Best Score, Ragtime draws upon many musical styles: the ragtime rhythms of Harlem and Tin Pan Alley, the klezmer of the Lower East Side, brass band marches and delicate waltzes, from up-tempo banjo tunes and expansive anthems.
Directed by Roger Hodgman (A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder, Showboat), Ragtime stars Georgina Hopson (Evita), Alexander Lewis (West Side Story), Kurt Kansley (Evita), Chloe Zuel (Dusty), Adam Murphy (Aladdin), Sage Douglas (Thoroughly Modern Millie) and Mackenzie Dunn (Thoroughly Modern Millie).
Also starring is Finn Alexander (Assassins), John McTernan (The Crucible), John O’May (Cabaret), Anton Berezin (Sweeney Todd), Joti Gore (Top Gun The Musical), Matt Hamilton (Barnum), Louis Lucente (Hair) and Ruva Ngwenya (Caroline, or Change).
They are joined by a stellar ensemble and will be joined onstage by the 20 piece Production Company Orchestra under the baton of Musical Director, Guy Noble. The production features Choreography by Dana Jolly, Costumes by Isaac Lummis, Set by Christina Smith, Lighting by Nigel Levings and Sound by System Sound.
“We first secured the rights to Ragtime, The Musical back in 2003. Set in a crucial era of America’s race integration, its story is more relevant than ever,” said Artistic Director, Ken Mackenzie-Forbes AM. “Ragtime brilliantly entwines the lives of famous historical figures with new characters created by Doctorow to tell this riveting and emotional story.”
“Now in 2019 we have been fortunate to have secured a brilliant all Australian cast to perform the divergent range of characters in this powerful musical. We know this production will wow both its huge legion of fans and those lovers of musicals seeing it for the first time. This timely portrait of race conflict and human rights tells its powerful story with pageantry and emotion.”
State Theatre – Arts Centre Melbourne, 100 St Kilda Road, Melbourne
Season: 2 – 10 November 2019
For more information, visit: www.theproductioncompany.com.au for details.
Image: courtesy of The Production Company