New York, NY – Ragtime On Ellis Island is pleased to announce that Tony Award winner and Original Broadway cast member Brian Stokes Mitchell (Shuffle Along, Man of La Mancha) and acclaimed stage and television star Andy Mientus (Spring Awakening, Les Miserables) have joined the lineup of the highly anticipated site-specific developmental concert on Monday, August 8. The all-star cast, directed by Sammi Cannold (Violet on a moving bus at A.R.T; Assistant Director for Diane Paulus & Rachel Chavkin), will perform a selection of songs from the Tony Award-winning musical that features music by Stephen Flaherty, lyrics by Lynn Ahrens and a book by Terrence McNally. The concert is being presented by Suzanne Friedman with an eye towards an immersive, full production of the acclaimed American musical on Ellis Island in 2017.
The concert will be narrated by Mitchell and will feature performances by Olivier Award winner Laura Michelle Kelly (Finding Neverland, Mary Poppins) as Mother, Two-time Tony Award nominee Brandon Victor Dixon (Shuffle Along, Motown) as Coalhouse Walker Jr., Emmy Award winner Michael Park (Dear Evan Hansen, Tuck Everlasting) as Father, Shaina Taub (Hadestown, Old Hats) as Emma Goldman, Mientus as Younger Brother, Aisha Jackson (Waitress, Beautiful) as Sarah (previously announced to play Sarah’s Friend), and Robert Petkoff (All The Way, Ragtime) reprising his 2009 Broadway revival role of Tateh. Bradley Gibson (Rocky) will play Matthew Henson, Cooper Grodin (Phantom of the Opera: 25th Anniversary Tour, Les Misérables: 25th Anniversary Tour) will play Harry K. Thaw, Joe Harkins (Betty and Mortie: Times Square Art Ct) will play Grandfather, Philip Paul Kelly (Titanic: National Tour, Camelot: National Tour) will play Admiral Peary, Hudson Loverro (Kinky Boots) will play Little Boy, Jeremy Morse (Waitress, Bloodsong of Love: Ars Nova) will play Harry Houdini, Rod Singleton (Black Angels Over Tuskegee: St. Lukes, Cymbeline: Virginia Shakespeare Festival) will play Booker T. Washington, Annie Sherman (Violet: Stanford) will play Evelyn Nesbit, Paul Slade Smith (Finding Neverland) will play J.P. Morgan, and Aviva Winick (Matilda) will play Little Girl. Five-time Emmy nominee and stage star Georgia Engel (The Mary Tyler Moore Show, John) will make a special cameo as Houdini’s Mother, and Ragtime Original Broadway Cast members Larry Daggett (“Henry Ford”) and Allyson Tucker (Ensemble) will reprise their roles for this concert. Completing the ensemble are: David Andre, Kyra Atekwana, Douglas Baldeo, Matt DaSilva, Dwelvan David, Tess Davison, Vincent D’Elia, Alison England, Louis Lagalante, Drew Martin, Abena Mensah-Bonsu, Christopher Michael McLamb, Monet, Chelsea Moss, Marilyn O’Connell, Robert Poole, Sam Simahk, Melina Soberg, Nadia Soberg, Ali Stoner, Franca Vercelloni, Aurelia Williams, Jessica Tyler Wright, Katherine Wright, Jaden Waldman and Carly Waldman.
Ragtime is a portrait of a turning point in American history as it follows three families in pursuit of the American dream at the start of the 20th century. In Ragtime, we meet an upper-class family from New Rochelle that must grapple with their notions of class and agency, we meet determined Latvian immigrants who come to New York through the gateway of Ellis Island, and we meet a daring young couple from Harlem who must combat racism and bigotry to ensure a bright future for their son. In a site-specific retelling of this classic musical, these stories will be told in Ellis Island's historic Registry Room, through which 12 million immigrants passed between 1892 and 1954. The question of what it means to be and become American is just as relevant now as it was in 1902, and in asking that question in the very room where so many of our ancestors discovered the answer, Ragtime on Ellis Island offers an unprecedented opportunity to bring history to life in new ways.
This summer's developmental concert will feature a selection of songs that highlight Ragtime’s nuanced discussion on American identity. Following the performance, audience members will explore Ellis Island's exhibits.
With music direction by Madeline Smith (Waitress - asst, Frozen - asst), the casting is by Ally Kiley. This concert is presented by Suzanne Friedman, and produced by Brandon Powell and Sammi Cannold.
Ragtime is sponsored by The New York Foundation for the Arts, and is produced by special arrangement with Music Theatre International and Actors’ Equity Association.
Ragtime was developed in Toronto in 1996 with a book by Terrence McNally, music by Stephen Flaherty, and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, based on the novel by E. L. Doctorow. The show first opened on Broadway in 1998, starring Brian Stokes Mitchell, Audra McDonald, Marin Mazzie, Peter Friedman, and Judy Kaye. Garnering 13 Tony nominations and 4 wins, the show went on tour in the U.S. before moving to London, where it was nominated for 8 Olivier Awards. The 2009 Broadway revival received 6 Tony nominations.