Samantha Massell, Adam Heller, Lori Wilner, More Will Star in NYC Rags

Readings and Workshops   Samantha Massell, Adam Heller, Lori Wilner, More Will Star in NYC Rags
The November 12 presentations will launch Central Presbyterian Church’s Central Theatrical Series.
Samantha Massell Michael Hull

Central Presbyterian Church, which is known for its Central Chamber Series, will launch the Central Theatrical Series November 12 with industry presentations of the musical Rags at 2 PM and 7 PM.

Adam Heller
Adam Heller Joseph Marzullo/WENN

This updated production of Rags, recently seen at Goodspeed, is directed by Rob Ruggerio and will head to the U.K. in March 2019 to play the Hope Mill Theatre in Manchester.

The cast for the concert staging includes Robbie Berson, JD Daw, Catalina Gaglioti, Mitch Greenberg, Adam Heller, Sara Kapner, Danny Lindgren, Sean MacLaughlin, Samantha Massell, Nathan Salstone, Sarah Solie, Jeff Williams, Lori Wilner, and Jonathan Kaplan.

From the Archive: Stephen Schwartz Discussed His Then-Upcoming Musical Rags

Rags has a book by Joseph Stein, music by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, and a revised book by David Thompson. Telling the tale of a group of Jewish immigrants as they arrive to start a new life in America, Rags is a story of love, loss, and hope.

The idea for Rags was born out of numerous requests Stein received to write a sequel to his 1964 hit Fiddler on the Roof. A first-generation American whose parents had immigrated to America, Stein drew on stories his father told him to conceive the musical that follows a young mother and her son who arrive in Manhattan’s Lower East Side at the turn of the century.

Despite its brief run, Rags received five Tony Award nominations, including Best Book, Best Score, and Best Musical. The original Broadway production featured Teresa Stratas, Larry Kert, Dick Latessa, Terrence Mann, Lonny Price, Judy Kuhn, and Marcia Lewis.

Carolyn Rossi Copeland serves as artistic producing director, and Breezy Wynn and Vance Thompson are the executive producers of the new Central Theatrical Series, which presents material that explores the reality of the human condition and offers hope to a challenging world.

“Central Presbyterian Church has an established tradition of celebrating the redeeming power of the arts, and this updated production of Rags is a perfect way to launch this series,” said Central Presbyterian Church Pastor Jayson Harris in a statement.

For more information, contact Copeland at

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