Come on and Hear: York Theatre Co. Stages Max Morath: Ragtime and Again, Feb. 2-March 14

News   Come on and Hear: York Theatre Co. Stages Max Morath: Ragtime and Again, Feb. 2-March 14 The York Theatre Company, the Off-Broadway troupe devoted to musicals, goes back to the roots of 20th century popular music with a new ragtime evening, Max Morath: Ragtime and Again, starting Feb. 2 toward a Feb. 8 opening.

The staging, part of the York mainstage season (and following the current The Musical of Musicals), is presented in association with Allen D. Petersen. It's billed as "an evening with America's great ragtime pianist/singer, raconteur and musical historian."

Performances continue to March 14 at York's home at The Theatre at Saint Peter's in Citigroup Center, 619 Lexington Avenue at 54th Street.

"With piano and song, Max Morath weaves stories about his love of America's first popular music — Ragtime," according to the announcement. "With plenty of laughs and soft-edged philosophies along the way, the veteran entertainer, standing firmly in the present, carries his audience to another time and place in America's musical life."

Max Morath: Ragtime and Again is written by Morath, directed by Robert Marks and has sets by James Morgan, who is also York's artistic director.

Morath was part of the ragtime revival of the 1970s. His 1969 one-man theatrical Turn of the Century played Off-Broadway for a full season before touring the country. It was followed in New York by his successful shows, The Ragtime Years and Living a Ragtime Life, "each a mixture of Max, music and Americana which toured nationally after critically acclaimed runs." His most recent New York appearance was June 2003, when he appeared at the Lucille Lortel Theater with William Bolcom and Joan Morris in a series of concert performances of songs by the legendary lyricist E.Y. "Yip" Harburg, just released on CD by Original Cast Recordings.

Morath has also been heard on the Vanguard, Epic and SoloArt labels. The musical revue Trust Everybody…But Cut the Cards, with music and lyrics by Morath and based on the Mister Dooley essays of Finley Peter Dunne, was presented in staged readings at the York, in 2003. He and his wife, the New York photographer Diane Fay Skomars, recently published "The Road to Ragtime" (Donning, 1999), a colorful depiction in photographs and text of the Ragtime Man on the road in America.

The performance schedule is Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday evenings at 8 PM, Sunday evenings at 7:30 PM with matinees on Wednesdays, Saturday and Sundays at 2:30 PM. There are no performances on Wednesday or Thursday evenings. Tickets are $50. Student tickets are available on the day of the performance for $20, subject to availability.

For information, call Smarttix at (212) 212-868-4444, visit smarttix.com, or visit the York box office on the lower level at Saint Peter's.

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