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Friday, January 20, 2012

Ragtime The Musical at Regent's Park Open Air Theatre

The award-winning Regent's Park Open Air Theatre aims for another musical hit with its new production of modern classic, Ragtime.

Based on the 1975 novel by EL Doctorow, Ragtime is a powerful, tragic yet ultimately triumphant tale set at the turn of the 20th century. 

Ragtime centres on three American families separated by race and destiny: a well-to-do white family, an African American couple and an Eastern European father and daughter.

Terrence McNally's book, along with Stephen Flaherty's music and Lynn Ahrens' lyrics, poignantly highlight the enduring contradictions and disparities between these families: of wealth and poverty, freedom and prejudice.

The story of Ragtime features a number of historical figures, including escapologist Harry Houdini, automobile boss Henry Ford and political leader Booker T Washington.

This new production of Ragtime is in the safe hands of Timothy Sheader, Artistic Director of Regent's Park Open Air Theatre, and his regular collaborator Liam Steel

Sheader's previous productions of Into The Woods and Hello Dolly! won multiple Olivier Awards, while last year's musical at the venue, Crazy For You, transferred to the West End's Novello Theatre where it is currently playing. 

Ragtime plays in repertoire with A Midsummer Night's Dream, also directed by Sheader and Steel.

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