The Tony Award-winning musical Ragtime will receive a one-night site-specific developmental concert on Ellis Island on August 8. In anticipation of a full production in 2017, Sammi Cannold will direct the concert, with music direction by Madeline Smith.
The event's cast of Broadway and off-Broadway veterans will include Olivier winner Laura Michelle Kelly (Finding Neverland) as Mother, Tony and Grammy nominee Brandon Victor Dixon (Shuffle Along) as Coalhouse Walker Jr., Emmy winner Michael Park (Tuck Everlasting) as Father, Robert Petkoff (reprising his 2009 Ragtime Broadway revival role of Tateh), Shaina Taub (Hadestown) as Emma Goldman, Cooper Grodin (Phantom of the Opera: 25th Anniversary Tour) as Harry K. Thaw, Aisha Jackson (Waitress) as Sarah’s Friend, Jeremy Morse (Waitress) as Harry Houdini, Rod Singleton as Booker T. Washington, and Annie Sherman as Evelyn Nesbit. In addition, Georgia Engel (John) will perform a selection of songs from the musical. Full casting will be announced at a later date, and this summer's performance will be by invitation only.
With music by Stephen Flaherty, lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, and a book by Terrence McNally, Ragtime follows three families in pursuit of the American dream at the start of the 20th century. Based on the novel by E. L. Doctorow, the show first opened on Broadway in 1998.
The concert will be held in Ellis Island's historic Registry Room, through which 12 million immigrants passed between 1892 and 1954, and will feature a selection of songs that highlight Ragtime's discussion of American identity. Following the performance, audience members will explore Ellis Island's exhibits and Family Immigration Center.