Broadway musical ‘Ragtime’ national tour

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Broadway musical ‘Ragtime’ national tour to perform at Oklahoma City Community College on Dec. 13-14

Oklahoma City native Jeff Johnson to play role of Booker T. Washington

Oklahoma City Community College will host its first ever Broadway musical production when the national tour of “Ragtime” cakewalks into town for two shows on Sunday, Dec. 13 and Monday, Dec. 14 in the new, student-funded Visual and Performing Arts Center Theater, 7777 S. May Ave.

“Ragtime” is a 13-time Tony Award-nominated musical based on E.L. Doctorow’s best-selling 1975 novel. Set in turn-of-the-century New York, “Ragtime” tells the stories of Coalhouse Walker Jr., a daring, young Harlem musician, Mother, the matriarch of a white, upper-class family in New Rochelle, New York, and Tateh, a determined Jewish immigrant from Latvia, all three united by their desire and belief in a brighter tomorrow.

The musical debuted on Broadway in 1998 and ran for 834 performances, winning Tony Awards for Book of a Musical (by Terrence McNally), Original Musical Score (music by Stephen Flaherty and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens), Orchestrations (William David Brohn) and Actress in a Featured Role (Audra McDonald).

Director/Choreographer Marcia Milgrom Dodge was nominated for a Tony Award in 2010 for her revival version of the musical which is currently touring.

“This musical is a timeless celebration of life, with story themes of immigration and racial relations that makes it as relevant today as it ever was,” Dodge said.

The 2015/2016 national tour of “Ragtime” – produced by Phoenix Entertainment – kicked-off its 91-city run on Oct. 22 at the Phillips Center for the Performing Arts in Gainesville, Florida. The tour concludes June 12 at the Wolf Trap in Vienna, Virginia.

The tour makes two stops in eastern Oklahoma before arriving in Oklahoma City: Dec. 7 at the Bartlesville Community Center and Dec. 8 at the Broken Arrow Performing Arts Center.

Starring roles will include Chris Sams as Coalhouse Walker Jr., Kate Turner as Mother and Matthew Curiano as Tateh. Oklahoma City native Jeff Johnson will play the role of Booker T. Washington. Other historical figures appearing in the story include: Harry Houdini, J. P. Morgan and Henry Ford.

The soundtrack includes marches, cakewalks, gospel and ragtime, all of which will be enjoyed in the new theater, considered by some to be the best acoustic hall in Oklahoma.

The scenic design is by Kevin Depinet, lighting design by Mike Baldassari and sound design by Craig Cassidy.

About the Venue
OCCC students contributed toward the construction of the new $20 million, 1,049-seat Visual and Performing Arts Center Theater, which opened in Feb. 2014.

Designed as a multi-use theater space capable of accommodating Broadway musicals as well as choirs, orchestras, dance troupes, bands and movie screenings, the stage has already been graced by Francis Ford Coppola, Sandi Patty, Mary Chapin Carpenter and the Glenn Miller Orchestra.

“The smaller size of our gorgeous new theater will offer a Broadway experience that feels a little more intimate, reminiscent of classic New York and London concert halls,” said Lemuel Bardeguez, Acting Vice President for Community Development for OCCC. “Our theater is modern, comfortable and conveniently located. Every seat in the house is a great seat, the sound is incredible and parking is always free and plentiful.”

Ticket Information
“Ragtime” is a family-friendly show for all ages. Tickets prices range from $33.50 to $65.50, available online or at the OCCC box office on the night of the show.

For more information about “Ragtime,” visit www.ragtimeontour.com.

Learn more about Oklahoma City Community College Cultural Programs at www.occc.edu/pas.

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