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Ragtime The Musical, Music Theatre of Connecticut, Norwalk, USA PDF Print E-mail
Written by Debra C. Argen and Edward F. Nesta   
Juliet Lambert Pratt and Cast - Ragtime - photo courtesy of Joe Landry If you love musical theatre, do go and see Ragtime The Musical at the Music Theatre of Connecticut located in Norwalk, Connecticut for the perfect segue into the Autumn play season. A wonderful plot, fabulous music, and talented acting make the play a standout! Ragtime The Musical runs until October 13, 2019.

 

Ragtime - Music Theatre of Connecticut - Norwalk, CT

Fairfield County in Connecticut has a wealth of opportunities for theatre and music lovers, and we were delighted when we recently "discovered" the Music Theatre of Connecticut (MTC). Founded in 1987 by Kevin Connors (Artistic Director and Co-Founder) and Jim Schilling (Co-Founder), MTC's focus is musical theatre performance and training.

We had the pleasure of attending MTC's opening night performance of Ragtime The Musical on Saturday, September 28, 2019. Based on the historical novel written by E.L. Doctorow in 1975, the 1999 play, with book by Terrence McNally, music by Stephen Flaherty, and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, takes place in and around New York City and other areas between 1906 until 1910.

The MTC's intimate theater-in-the round design worked especially well for Ragtime The Musical bringing the actors in close proximity to the audience, a deft meshing that drew the audience into the plot while creating energy and enthusiasm that carried throughout the play.

Juliet Lambert Pratt and Cast - Ragtime - Music Theatre of Connecticut - Norwalk, CT - photo courtesy of Joe Lundry
Cast of Ragtime
photo coutesy of Joe Lundry

Ragtime The Musical delves into the lives of several families and how they interact in one another's lives. From long-established wealthy families, to newly arrived and poor immigrants, to those whose families had arrived many years ago yet still struggle to survive, as well as rabble-rousers, upstarts, and political figures, they share the common denominator of needing to, and sometimes being forced to, adapt to an ever-changing society. For some they find that their well-ordered world is suddenly changing too soon, and for others the change is not soon enough. Together they must learn how to cope as well as to adapt, if they are to survive and ultimately thrive in this new world.

Juliet Lambert Pratt, Ari Frimmer - Ragtime - Music Theatre of Connecticut - Norwalk, CT - photo courtesy of Joe Lundry
Julia Lambert Pratt (Mother),
Ari Frimmer (The Little Boy)
Ragtime

photo courtesy of Joe Lundry

Taking place in New York City, New Rochelle (a suburb located to the north of New York City), Ellis Island (the former immigration inspection center that processed immigrants entering the US between 1892 and 1954), Lawrence, Massachusetts, and the idyllic seaside city of Atlantic City, New Jersey, the play captures the spirit of the tumultuous time taking place between 1906 and1910, meshing the stories of real-life people including those of J.P. Morgan, Evelyn Nesmith, Harry Houdini, Booker T. Washington, Emma Goldman, Henry Ford, and others, with fictional characters.

Musical theatre requires strong voices as well as exceptional acting to capture the audience's imagination and transport them on a journey into the essence of the play. The talented cast, many of whom had a host of Broadway credentials, fully did justice to their roles.

Soara-Joye Ross, Ezekiel Andrew - Ragtime - Music Theatre of Connecticut - Norwalk, CT - photo courtesy of Joe Lundry
Soara-Joye Ross (Sarah), Ezekiel Andrew (Coalhouse Walker Jr.)
Ragtime

photo courtesy of Joe Lundry

A few of the many acting highlights included music and opera artist Ezekiel Andrew in the role of Coalhouse Walker, Jr. whose depth of vocal projection as well as his savoir-faire gave substance to his role as the suitor of the sweet Sarah, played by Soara-Joye Ross, who recently won a prestigious Lucille Lortel Award and has graced many Broadway plays. Juliet Lambert Pratt (whose bio includes several Broadway plays) was lovely as Mother, a woman from a very wealthy family whose life and that of her family is suddenly intertwined into the lives of Sarah, and Coalhouse Walker, Jr. when she discovers their baby in her garden.The result is that their lives are forever changed.

Jessica Molly Schwartz - Ragtime - Music Theatre of Connecticut - Norwalk, CT - photo courtesy of Joe Lundry
Jessica Moilly Schwartz (Evelyn Nesbit)
Ragtime

photo courtesy of Joe Lundrty

Jessica Molly Schwartz nailed her role as the vamping Evelyn Nesbit, Mia Scarpa was fabulous as the political activist Emma Goldman, and Brian Demar Jones gave a wonderful performance in his role as Booker T. Washington. Other talents included Christian Cardozo as Harry Houdini, Jeff Gurner, Dennis Holland, Kanova Latrice Johnson, Frank Mastrone, Bill Nabel, Jacob Sundue, and the child actors, Ari Frimmer and Hannah Pressman.

Mia Scarpa - Ragtime - Music Theatre of Connecticut - Norwalk, CT - photo courtesy of Joe Lundry
Mia Scarpa (Emma Goldman)
Ragtime
photo courtesy of Joe Lundry

In period pieces, of which Ragtime The Musical is one, costumes help to not only establish the era but create a visual ambience and Diane Vanderkoef's costumes were gorgeous. The set designed by Jessie Lizotte was minimal and that was all that was needed, and having the musicians, David Wolfson and Mark Ceppetelli on stage playing the two pianos was an inspiration that combined function (the music) with style (blending the costumed musicians into the play).

Christian Cardozo - Ragtime - Music Theatre of Connecticut - Norwalk, CT - photo courtesy of Joe Lundry
Christian Cardozo (Harry Houdini)
Ragtime

photo courtesy of Joe Lundry

From start-to-finish, this fast-moving musical captured ours and the audience's attention and held it until the standing ovation at the finale. Bravo!

As it was opening night, there was a reception after the performance where the audience had the opportunity to mix and mingle with the actors creating engaging conversation and continuing the thrill of the live theatre experience.

Frank Mastrone, Hannah Pressman- Ragtime - Music Theatre of Connecticut - Norwalk, CT - photo courtesy of Joe Lundry
Frank Mastrone (Tateh),
Hannah Pressman (The Littel Girl)
Ragtime

photo courtesy of Joe Lundry

Ragtime The Musical performance schedule: Fridays at 8:00 pm, Saturdays at 4:00 pm and 8:00 pm, and Sundays at 2:00 pm.

The play runtime is 2 hours and 15 minutes with a 15-minute intermission.

Dennis Holland- Ragtime - Music Theatre of Connecticut - Norwalk, CT - photo courtesy of Joe Lundry
Dennis Holland (Father)
Ragtime

photo courtesy of Joe Lundry

Until next time, keep enjoying and supporting the arts!

Cast:

Ezekiel Andrew

Coalhouse

Christian Cardozo

Harry Houdini

Ari Frimmer

The Little Boy

Jeff Gurner

Willy Conklin

Dennis Holland

Father

Kanova Latrice Johnson

Sarah's Friend

Brian Demur Jones

Booker T. Washington

Frank Mastrone

Tateh

Bill Nabel

Grandfather

Juliet Lambert Pratt

Mother

Hannah Pressman

The Little Girl

Soara-Joye Ross

Sarah

Ryan Ryan

The Little Girl

Mia Scarpa

Emma Goldman

Jessica Molly Schwartz

Evelyn Nesbit

Jacob Sundlie

Older Brother

Musicians:

David Wolfson

Conductor, Piano

Mark Ceppetelli

Second Piano

The Creative Team:

Book

Lynn Ahrens

Lyrics

Stephen Flaherty

Music

Jessie Lizotte

Scenic Design

Diane Vanderkoef

Costume Design

RJ Romeo

Lighting Design

Will Atkin

Sound Design

Merrie Deitch

Props Design

Jim Schilling

Stage Manager

Chris McNidd

Choreography

David Wolfson

Musical Direction

Kevin Connors

Director

For information on the play or to purchase tickets, please call the box office at +1-203-454-3883 or visit them on the website at www.MusicTheatreofCT.com

For information on upcoming events and other performances, please visit the website: www.musictheatreofct.com

Upcoming Performances - 2019 and 2020

Plays 2019 Season

Dates Running

Ragtime The Musical

September 27 - October 13, 2019

Steel Magnolias

November 8 - 24, 2019

Sylvia

February 7 - 23, 2020

BUDDY The Buddy Holly Story

March 20 - April 5, 2010

About MTC

"Music Theatre of Connecticut is the premier provider of musical theatre performance and training. Founded in 1987, we produce an annual series of Equity productions featuring New York professionals (MTC Main Stage), numerous annual student productions, and a conservatory-style School of Performing Arts with curriculum-based training for students ages four through high school, including the nationally-recognized College-Bound in the Performing Arts program for performance career-focused high school students."

Music Theatre of Connecticut - Norwalk, CT

Music Theatre of Connecticut
509 Westport Avenue
(Enter the Bright Beginnings parking lot and look for MTC's orange awning)
Norwalk, Connecticut 06851
United States
Box Office: +1-203-454-3883
Fax: +1-203-557-0496
Website: www.MusicTheatreofCT.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MusicTheatreCT/?ref=br_tf
Instagram: @musictheatrect
Twitter: @musictheatrect

Follow the Music Theatre of Connecticut on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/MusicTheatreCT/?ref=br_tf

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September 2019. Luxury Experience www.LuxuryExperience.com. All rights reserved.

 
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