Venue: Thrasher-Horne Center for the Arts
Directed & Choreographed By: Marcia Milgrom Dodge
Starring:Kate Turner as Mother Troy Bruchwalski as Father Colin Myers as Little Boy Chris Salms as Coalhouse Walker Jr. Leslie Jackson as Sarah Jeffrey Johnson IIas Booker T. Washington Matthew Curiano as Tateh Cara Myers as Little Girl Jillian Van Niel as Evelyn Nesbit Mark Alpert as Harry Houdini
The talented cast of Ragtime The Musical takes the audience back to the early 1900’s to tell a tale of three classes of people in New York. The first group is an upper class family from New Rochelle led by Kate Turner, Troy Buchwalski, and Colin Myers. Kate Turner, as Mother, leads the first act with her beautiful voice and remains steady throughout the show. Colin Myers, the Little Boy, often steals the show with his perfect timing in the deliverance of his lines. In Harlem, Coalhouse Walker Jr is a successful pianist who unknowingly, had a child with a lady named Sarah. After Mother takes Sarah and the newborn into her home, Coalhouse learns that he has a child and sets out to rekindle their relationship. Chris Salms’ (Coalhouse) and Leslie Jackson’s (Sarah) soulful rendering of their musical talents in scenes 7, 8, and 11 enchanted me as I drank in the beauty of the set designs.
In the lower east side, a group of immigrants arrive in America to pursue their dreams. Tateh, wonderfully performed by Matthew Curiano, revels in his new start in the new country with his daughter. Unfortunately, life isn’t as easy as he imagined it would be. Meanwhile, American icons Evelyn Nesbit and Harry Houdini pop in throughout the musical numbers to contribute their piece of American history to the story. As the tale intertwines, darkness ensues when racism causes a terrible tragedy which closes out Act 1 with an emotional performance by Chris Salms.
In Act 2, Coalhouse chooses a path of destruction as he fights for justice and equality. Tateh finds redemption in selling his ‘movie book’ which leads to motion picture making. Father returns from the North Pole to find that his family is embroiled in the Coalhouse situation and shocked to learn that his wife has gained independence. When he takes his family to Atlantic City to escape, Mother meets Tateh who making a motion picture on the boardwalk. They begin a friendship as they watch their children playing. As the second act comes to a close, the story comes full circle in a glorious manner. The outstanding performances, led by Tony Award nominated Marcia Milgrom Dodge, along with the spectacular costume/set designs and breathtaking choregraphy added up to an extremely entertaining evening.
Orange Park’s Thrasher Horne Center for the Arts provided an outstanding venue to showcase this amazing work of art as it continues to attract and provide the best entertainment for its patrons. We highly recommend that you become a member and/or purchase tickets to future shows including Creedence Clearwater Revisited, Annie, and Saturday Night Fever.