Ragusa to Star in Reading of New Musical Vanity Fair

News   Ragusa to Star in Reading of New Musical Vanity Fair Michele Ragusa, who has been seen on Broadway in Urinetown, Ragtime and A Class Act, will play vixen Becky Sharp in a Feb. 13 reading of the new musical Vanity Fair.

An updated version of the Thackeray novel, the musical features book and lyrics by Brian Vinero and music by Seth Weinstein. Stephen Nachamie will direct the by-invitation-only reading. Presented by the Praxis Theatre Project, the Vanity Fair cast will also include "Guiding Light" actress Mandy Bruno as Amelia Sedley with Rhonda Ayers, Kimberly D’Armond, William Dean, R. Scott Denny, Shane Desmond, Eirik Gislason, Rebecca Greenstein, Michael Hunsaker, Oscar Long, Eric Martin, Meghan McGeary, Penelope Milford, Lance Olds, Ann Rickhoff, Erik Schark, Richard Springle, Bill Weeden and Virginia Wing.

Vanity Fair, according to production notes, concerns the life of Becky Sharp, who "finds herself transplanted from London in the Napoleonic era to New York City in the Vietnam era. From the grounds of a convent school in 1965 to the hot seat of a talk show in 1985, Becky’s amorous adventures are played out over two turbulent decades of American history as she parties her way through sex, drugs, rock ’n’ roll, a husband or two, and countless lovers in her quest for wealth, power and social position (and maybe, just maybe, love). Becky’s cunning and guile are contrasted by the honesty, integrity and innocence of her friend Amelia Sedley, who, though born into a life of privilege, has no use for the empty values instilled in her Park Avenue upbringing. The fortunes of both women rise and fall with the hemlines as they both struggle and ultimately triumph in their own ways, and eventually our heroine, the lovely Miss Sharp, takes her place among New York’s wealthy, famous and elite."

Michele Ragusa's Broadway credits include Urinetown, Ragtime, A Class Act, Titanic and Cyrano—The Musical. She most recently played Amalia in the Paper Mill Playhouse's production of She Loves Me; her other theatrical credits include Tintypes, Guys & Dolls, South Pacific, Phantom, My Fair Lady, West Side Story, Carousel, Me & My Girl, King Lear and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.