Arts & Entertainment

Pasadena Playhouse Takes on Ambitious New Production

– Courtesy illustration / Pasadena Playhouse

“Ragtime: The Musical” will run from Feb. 5 – March 3

The Pasadena Playhouse will transform the historic theater with an all new version of “Ragtime: The Musical” as it returns to Los Angeles more than two decades after its premiere at the Shubert Theatre. With 21 actors and a 16-piece orchestra, this is one of the most ambitious productions in the Playhouse’s recent history.

Danny Feldman, Pasadena Playhouse producing artistic director said, “We’re thrilled to be producing one of the largest-scale projects in our history. Not only have we assembled a veritable fleet of actors, designers and musicians to bring this musical to life, with visionary director David Lee at the helm, but we are pleased that this production will [employ] over 100 LA-based theatre artists. This local production, created for our theatre, of ‘Ragtime: The Musical’ will be a landmark theatrical event for Los Angeles once again.”

Based on the novel “Ragtime” by E. L. Doctorow, “Ragtime: The Musical” is written by Terrence McNally and composed by Stephen Flaherty with lyrics by Lynn Ahrens. This production is directed by David Lee with choreography by Mark Esposito and musical direction by Darryl Archibald.

The cast of “Ragtime: The Musical” is led by Clifton Duncan (Broadway’s “The Play That Goes Wrong,” off-Broadway’s “Carmen Jones”) as Coalhouse and Shannon Warne (Guinevere in “Camelot” at Pasadena Playhouse, directed by David Lee; Baz Luhrmann’s “La Boheme” at the Ahmanson Theatre, Ovation recipient) as Mother. The production also stars Bryce Charles (“The Book of Mormon” national tour, “Blues in the Night” at Wallis Annenberg Center) as Sarah and Marc Ginsburg (Ovation nominee: Che in “Evita” at Cabrillo Music Theatre’s, and Aaron in “First Date” at La Mirada/McCoy Rigby Entertainment’s) as Tateh.

Clifton Duncan, who has performed in Broadway and off-Broadway productions, leads the cast. – Courtesy photo / Pasadena Playhouse

The production features Zachery Ford (“Camelot” at Pasadena Playhouse, “Spamalot” at Wynn Casino) as Father, Katherine McDonough (“Mary Poppins” and “My Fair Lady” at Musical Theatre West) as Evelyn Nesbit, Iara Nemirovsky (First National Tour of “School of Rock”) as Little Girl, Valerie Perri (Broadway National Tours of “Evita,” “Jerome Robbins’ Broadway,” off-Broadway’s “Diamonds”) as Emma Goldman, Dylan Saunders (“King Charles lll” at Pasadena Playhouse, AMC’s “Turn: Washington Spies”) as Younger Brother, Benjamin Schrader (Broadway’s “The Book of Mormon,” “Ragtime,” “Avenue Q”) as Harry Houdini, and Luké Barbato Smith (Debbie Allen’s “Freeze Frame…Stop  the Madness” at The Wallis Annenberg and The Kennedy Center) as Little Boy.

The cast is rounded out by Dedrick Bonner as Booker T. Washington, Michael Deni as Male Ensemble, Ryan Dietz as Henry Ford, Cornelius Jones Jr. as Coalhouse’s Friend, Gregory North as Grandfather, Tom G. McMahon as J.P. Morgan, Molly Stilliens as Female Ensemble, Michael Thomas-VIsgar as Willie Conklin, and Candace J. Washington as Sarah’s Friend.

The design team features scenic design by Tom Buderwitz; costume design by Kate Bergh; lighting design by Jared A. Sayeg; sound design by Philip G. Allen; projection design by Hana Sooyeon Kim, and wig and hair design by Carol Doran.

Tickets for “Ragtime: The Musical” start at $25 and are available at, by phone at (626) 356-7529, and at the box office at 39 S. El Molino Ave. in Pasadena.

January 10, 2019

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