"Wheels of a Dream": Ragtime Begins Kennedy Center Run April 18

By Andrew Gans
18 Apr 2009

Christiane Noll
Christiane Noll
Photo by Aubrey Reuben

The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts' production of the award-winning Stephen Flaherty-Lynn Ahrens-Terrence McNally musical Ragtime begins performances at the Washington, DC, venue April 18.

Originally scheduled to play the Kennedy Center's Eisenhower Theater through May 10, the production was recently extended for an additional week of performances through May 17. Opening night remains April 25.

Marcia Milgrom Dodge directs and choreographs.

The cast of Ragtime, part of the Kennedy Center's Broadway: The Third Generation series, is headed by Ron Bohmer as Father, Quentin Earl Darrington as Coalhouse Walker Jr., Manoel Felciano as Tateh, Christiane Noll as Mother, Jennlee Shallow as Sarah, Bobby Steggert as Younger Brother, Christopher Cox as The Little Boy and Sarah Rosenthal as The Little Girl.

The ensemble comprises Mark Aldrich as Willie Conklin, Susan Derry as Kathleen, Gavin Esham as Stanford White, Aaron Galligan-Stierle as Henry Ford, David Garry as J.P. Morgan, Jonathan Hammond as Harry Houdini, Leigh Ann Larkin as Evelyn Nesbit, Dan Manning as Grandfather, Donna Migliaccio as Emma Goldman, Tracy Lynn Olivera as Brigit, Bryonha Parham as Sarah's Friend, Josh Walden as Harry K. Thaw, Eric Jordan Young as Booker T. Washington, as well as Sumayya Ali, Melvin Bell III, Kevin Boseman, Corey Bradley, Shelby Braxton-Brooks, Elizabeth Loren Earley, Carrie A. Johnson, Gregory Maheu, Sarah Rosenthal, Elisa Van Duyne, Nellesa Walthour and Jim Weaver.



Based on E.L. Doctorow's novel, Ragtime features a book by Terrence McNally, music by Stephen Flaherty and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens. Ragtime originally opened on Broadway at the Ford Center for the Performing Arts Jan. 18, 1998, playing 834 performances before closing Jan. 16, 2000. The original company featured Brian Stokes Mitchell, Audra McDonald and Marin Mazzie.

"At the start of the 20th century," Ragtime press notes state, "New York City was for many the land of opportunity. Through a poor Jewish immigrant selling wares on the street, a wealthy Victorian couple offering aid to a runaway, and a Harlem jazz pianist out for justice, that unique brand of American hope runs strong. Together, their stories celebrate the struggle between tradition and independence in pursuit of the American dream."

The Kennedy Center production features scenic design by Derek McLane, original costume design by Santo Loquasto, lighting design by Donald Holder and sound design by Jonathan Deans and Garth Helm. James Moore serves as music director and conducts the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.kennedy-center.org.