Tin Pan Alley Rag, Filled With the Music of Joplin and Berlin, to Get NYC Bow

News   Tin Pan Alley Rag, Filled With the Music of Joplin and Berlin, to Get NYC Bow The Tin Pan Alley Rag, Mark Saltzman's unique play with music in which composer Irving Berlin and Scott Joplin meet, will find a New York City home this summer at Roundabout Theatre Company's Laura Pels Theatre.

An Equity casting call indicates a June-September run at Roundabout's Off-Broadway home at the Pels, where Lisa Loomer's Distracted is now playing. Stafford Arima (London's Ragtime, Off-Broadway's Altar Boyz, the music spectacle Bowfire) will direct, Liza Gennaro will choreograph, and Michael Patrick Walker will music direct. Music by contemporaries Joplin and Berlin will be heard. Roundabout has not officially announced this production.

Saltzman's show has been seen in regional developmental productions in recent years, including a 2006 run at the Maltz Theatre in Jupiter, FL (Fred Berman and Alton Fitzgerald White starred). Earlier this year, in January and February, Roundabout explored the material in an Arima-directed workshop. Michael Boatman ("Spin City," the 2003 Broadway run of "MASTER HAROLD"…and the boys) played Joplin, the ragtime pianist and composer.

Tin Pan Alley Rag is set circa 1915 in New York City's Tin Pan Alley, the music publishing capital of the world, where Scott Joplin meets the young, upstart songwriter Irving Berlin. Joplin is a musical prodigy, the son of a slave, and educated in a conservatory. Berlin, the Russian immigrant who couldn't read music, had his first international hit at the age of 23.

Are there sparks? "There are two very large egos in the room," Saltzman previously told Playbill.com.

Joplin is the King of Rag, yet Berlin is a sensation due to "Alexander's Ragtime Band," which both men note isn't a true rag, but a popular tune with the word "ragtime" tacked on the fit the day's musical fashion. The Tin Pan Alley Rag is a kind of musical biography, a snapshot of what was happening in American songwriting 90 years ago.

The show received five Los Angeles Ovation Award nominations, including Best Musical, when it first opened at the Pasadena Playhouse in 1997. It has been refined and revised over the years.

Alton Fitzgerald White and Fred Berman <i>The Tin Pan Alley Rag</i>.
Alton Fitzgerald White and Fred Berman The Tin Pan Alley Rag.
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