Cincinnati Pops Announces All-Star Cast for New Symphonic Concert Adaptation of the Musical Ragtime
Broadway Star Alton Fitzgerald White to Make Directorial Debut
Cast to Feature Original Broadway Cast Members, Broadway Veterans and Talented Actors with Cincinnati Connections
CINCINNATI, OH (April 6, 2023)—The Cincinnati Pops has announced the cast for its new symphonic concert adaptation of Broadway’s Tony Award winning musical Ragtime on April 28-30 at Music Hall. Directed by Alton Fitzgerald White, the all-star cast will include a vibrant array of talent, from Broadway veterans who originated roles in the 1998 Broadway production of Ragtime to Cincinnati-based actors, students and rising musical theater stars from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) and the American Spiritual Ensemble. The full cast will be accompanied by John Morris Russell and the Cincinnati Pops.
Nominated for 13 Tony Awards and winner of the Tony Awards for Best Book of a Musical and Best Original Score, Ragtime is a powerful depiction of life in America at the turn of the 20th century. Based on E.L. Doctorow’s 1975 novel of the same name, the story follows the lives of three American families – an Eastern European immigrant family, an African American family in Harlem, New York; and an upper-class white family of New Rochelle, New York – who collide with one another in pursuit of the American Dream.
This new two-hour symphonic concert version of Ragtime, created for Theatre Calgary, Boston Pops and Cincinnati Pops, will feature dialogue especially adapted for this setting by original Ragtime playwright Terrence McNally before his passing in 2020 as well as orchestrations by William Brohn and Kim Scharnberg for Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty’s award-winning score.
White, who performed in the original Broadway production of Ragtime, will reprise his role as Coalhouse Walker Jr. along with Nikki Renée Daniels (Broadway’s Company, The Book of Mormon, Les Misérables) as Sarah, Ashley Brown (Broadway’s Mary Poppins) as Mother, Ron Bohmer (Broadway’s The Scarlet Pimpernel, Les Misérables, Fiddler on the Roof and the Broadway revival of Ragtime) as Father, Nicholas Pattarini as Younger Brother, Jim Corti (Broadway’s Ragtime, Candide, A Chorus Line, Music Is) as Tateh, Klea Blackhurst (Off-Broadway’s Oil City, Ethel Merman tribute Everything the Traffic Will Allow) as Emma Goldman, Maggie Zink as Little Girl, Paul Hahn as Little Boy, Brian Richardson as Grandfather, Haley Root as Evelyn Nesbit, Joshua Steele as Henry Ford, Erica Gabriel as Sarah’s Friend, Deondra Means as Booker T. Washington, two-time BroadwayWorld Award-winning actor Allen R. Middleton as J.P. Morgan, Jackson Reagin as Houdini, and members of the CCM Musical Theatre Department and the American Spiritual Ensemble.
“Our all-star cast has the best of Broadway brilliance and Cincinnati heart, ignited with virtuosity of the Cincinnati Pops—we are all are thrilled to bring this uniquely American story to life,” said Cincinnati Pops Conductor John Morris Russell. “This production of Ragtime celebrates the remarkable legacy and breadth of the Queen City’s creative, cultural, and performance community—from the hotbed of talent nurtured at Cincinnati’s School for the Creative and Performing Arts and CCM’s Musical Theatre Program to the musical heritage of ragtime and early jazz performed in Music Hall’s ballrooms at the dawn of the 20th century. At the epicenter of our production is the music—a masterpiece of American Musical Theatre composed by CCM alum, Stephen Flaherty. Along with the impeccable American Spiritual Ensemble and CCM Musical Theatre Chorus, we tell a story that is as relevant today as the era it evokes.”
White is a Cincinnati native and alumnus of both the School for the Creative and Performing Arts (SCPA) and CCM. “I’ve had the wonderful blessing of performing all over the world, but when I come back to Cincinnati, it’s like a dream,” said White. “I mean, there’s no place like home. The material we’ll be performing is magnificent, and I have a team of phenomenal performers. I want the audience to see the bounty that already exists in this country, and I want them to be proud to be Americans.”
Additional Cincinnati connections include:
- Stephen Flaherty, who received his Bachelor of Music degree in Composition from CCM in 1982.
- Nikki Renée Daniels and Ashley Brown, graduates from the CCM Musical Theatre program.
- Cincinnati natives Ron Bohmer and Deondra Means, alumni of SCPA, and Paul Hahn, current student at SCPA.
- Nicholas Pattarini, Jackson Reagin, and Haley Root, current students at CCM.
- Cincinnati actors Allen R. Middleton, Brian Richardson, and Joshua Steele.
- Northern Kentucky actor Maggie Zink.
The production’s ensemble will be comprised of members of the CCM Musical Theatre Program (the first such program in the United States), and the Lexington, Kentucky based American Spiritual Ensemble.
Tickets to Ragtime are currently on sale. To purchase, visit cincinnatisymphony.org or call the Box Office at 513.381.3300, Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.