"Goodbye, my love," sang actress Marin Mazzie at the Dec. 20 performance of Broadway's Ragtime, saying farewell not only in character, but to the show she had been with for nearly three years.
Mazzie, who played the role of Mother in one workshop, on two CD versions and the 1996 Toronto world premiere, along with Peter Friedman and Lea Michele, sang their final performance in the musical version of the E.L. Doctorow novel Dec. 20. Newcomers to the Broadway company begin Dec. 22.
The final Mazzie-Friedman-Michele performance -- which was also the final day of original ensemble members Anne Kanengeiser, Bruce Winant, Joe Langworth and Broadway "Grandfather" Conrad McLaren -- leaves room Dec. 22 for incoming Donna Bullock (as Mother), John Rubinstein (playing the immigrant, Tateh) and Elizabeth Lundberg and Dara Paige Bloomfield (who will alternate in the role of the Little Girl). Tom Toner steps in as Grandfather.
Bullock has played in the Los Angeles, Vancouver and Chicago Ragtime companies; Rubinstein in Vancouver and L.A.
The Dec. 20 audience may have been aware of the milestone: Mazzie, who doesn't always get audience response after "What Kind of Woman" (because it is musically linked to "Success"), earned applause for it at her final show Sunday. Brian Stokes Mitchell, a Ragtime veteran since the two early readings, one workshop and the 1996 premiere, praised his outgoing cast members at the final curtain Sunday. Mitchell himself and Audra McDonald (playing Coalhouse Walker Jr. and Sarah, respectively) leave the company Dec. 27, ushering in Alton Fitzgerald White (of the national tour) and LaChanze (of the L.A., Vancouver and Chicago companies) in their place beginning Dec. 29.
Steven Sutcliffe (as Younger Brother) also leaves Dec. 27, replaced by Scott Carollo (from the L.A. company) Dec. 29. Alex Strange, playing the Little Boy, will leave in January.
Remaining with the musical pageant about racism, social change and an awakening century will be Judy Kaye as Emma Goldman, Janine LaManna as Evelyn Nesbit, Mark Jacoby as Father and Tommy Hollis (Booker T. Washington).
Ragtime opened on Broadway Jan. 18, 1998. For tickets call (212) 307-4550.