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MUSICAL THEATRE WEST BRINGS THE TONY AWARD-WINNING MUSICAL RAGTIME TO THE CARPENTER PERFORMING ARTS CENTER

STAFF REPORT

 LONG BEACH, CA –Musical Theatre West (MTW) brings five-time Tony Award-winning musical Ragtime to the Carpenter Performing Arts Center February 7-23. 

Based on E.L. Doctorow’s acclaimed novel, the 13-time Tony-nominated musical tells the story of three families trying to find their way during the turn of the 20th century in New York City; each struggling with the changing cultural climate in America and each facing the promise of hope and new beginnings in the midst of prejudice and bigotry. 

Showcasing music and lyrics by the Tony Award-winning team of Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens and a Tony Award-winning book by Terrence McNally, Ragtime features a score with such memorable songs as “Your Daddy’s Son,” “Wheels of a Dream,” “Till We Reach That Day” and “Make Them Hear You.”

Ragtime paints a nostalgic and powerful portrait of three diverse groups in the United States: African Americans, represented by Coalhouse Walker Jr., a Harlem musician; upper-class suburbanites, represented by Mother, the matriarch of a white upper-class family in New Rochelle, New York; and Eastern European immigrants, represented by Tateh, a Jewish immigrant from Latvia. 

Many early 20th century historical figures are interwoven into the fabric of the story, from Harry Houdini, Evelyn Nesbit, and Booker T. Washington to J. P. Morgan, Henry Ford, Stanford White, and Emma Goldman.

Musical Theatre West’s production stars Terron Brooks as Coalhouse Walker, Jr..  A two-time NAACP Award nominee for supporting actor, Brooks won acclaim for his portrayal of Eddie Kendricks in the Emmy Award winning NBC mini-series “The Temptations” for which the Los Angeles Times described his voice as “smooth and soulful.”  In 2001, Terron starred opposite Debbie Allen and Hamilton’s Renee Elise Goldsberry in the film All About You, for which he also co-wrote the theme song and contributed original music to the soundtrack.  Broadway credits include the roles of Simba in The Lion King and Seaweed in Hairspray

Brittany Anderson (Sarah) has starred in productions with the Cupcake Theatre: The Old Maid and the Thief (Laetitia), The Mikado (Yum-Yum), Fiddler on the Roof (Fruma-Sarah) and Dreamgirls (Charlene). Additional credits include Newsies (Simi Valley Cultural Arts Center) and The Music Man (5-Star Theatricals).  Anderson can also be seen on the PBS special “Josh Groban: Stages Live.”

Gary Patent (Tateh) is an award-winning actor and screenwriter. Theatre credits include Ragtime (3-D Theatricals – Ovation Award Nomination), Plunge (Sons of Semele Ensemble – Stage Raw Nomination), and The Immigrant (Pico Playhouse – Ovation Award Nomination).  Patent also appeared in Awake and Sing (Odyssey Theatre), Hello Dolly! (3-D Theatricals), Soul Doctor (Lincoln Center), and Var Plays (La Jolla).  Audiences may also recognize Patent for his film and television credits including “Modern Family,” “Burning Dog,” “Undercovers,” and “Law & Order: CI.”

Jessica Bernard (Mother) recently took a break from the stage to serve as the Disney Ambassador, the official representative and spokesperson for The Disneyland Resort. Favorite credits include the title role in Disney and Cameron Mackintosh’s Mary Poppins (San Diego Theatre Critics Circle Best Actress nominee) and Elizabeth in Young Frankenstein (Moonlight Theatre); Book of Mormon in Concert with Josh Gad (Geffen Playhouse); Martha in 1776 (MTW); Eliza in My Fair Lady (Candlelight, Santa Barbara Symphony); Sarah Brown in Guys & Dolls (Cabrillo, Riverside, Candlelight), Jellylorum in CATS (Cabrillo); and Pocahontas in Mickey and the Magical Map (Disneyland Original Cast). 

Paul David Bryant directs MTW’s production of Ragtime. A member of Ragtime’s original national tour in 1998, he has since worked on almost two dozen different productions as an actor, choreographer and director. For Disneyland Resorts, Bryant serves as Show Director, staging productions from California to Hong Kong. His additional credits include directing productions of  The Full Monty (San Diego Musical Theatre and Norris Theatre),  Ragtime (San Diego Musical Theatre), Elton John and Tim Rice’s Aida (Candlelight Pavilion Dinner Theatre), and Promises, Promises (Merry-Go-Round Playhouse). With Musical Theatre West, Bryant appeared in The Producers and the Reiner Reading Series performance of Anyone Can Whistle.

Music Director Brian Kennedy is a Drama Critics Circle Award nominee for his work with Carrie: The Musical with The Transfer Group (Los Angeles Theatre and La Mirada Theatre).  Additional credits include the second national tour of Something Rotten! (Associate Musical Director); Oklahoma! (Music Director – Cabrillo Musical Theatre); and the concert staging of Sweet Smell of Success (Music Director – Musical Theatre Guild)./

MTW’s production of Ragtime is made possible thanks to the support of the Port of Long Beach and Los Angeles County Arts & Culture; Season Sponsors: Ackerman Family/Evalyn M Bauer Foundation, Kathy Baker Campbell and KC Wilson, Ken & Dottie Reiner, and Don & Marlene Temple; Honorary Producer: Mari Hooper; Associate Producer: Jon & Amanda Hall; and Youth Performance Underwriters: Don Black & Judy McNulty Black, Ron & Sylvia Hartman, and Edward Parker.  Paul Garman serves as Executive Producer/Director of Musical Theatre West. 

Tickets are now on sale for Musical Theatre West’s production of Ragtime.  For tickets, go to www.musical.org, call (562) 856-1999, or visit the Musical Theatre West Box Office.  Tickets start at $20 for select performances.

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