LIVE: Wagon Wheel presents ‘Ragtime’

Staff Writer

Wagon Wheel Center for the Arts will continue its summer season June 29 - July 9 with “Ragtime,” a sweeping musical portrait of early twentieth-century America inspired by the book by E.L. Doctorow.

The musical production is written by the award-winning composer/lyricist team of Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens (“Once on this Island,” “Seussical” and “Lucky Stiff”), as well as noted playwright Terrence McNally. “Ragtime” won three Tony awards in 1998 for Best Score, Book and Orchestrations.

At the dawn of a new century, everything is changing and anything is possible in America. Set in the volatile melting pot of turn-of-the-century New York, three distinctly American tales are woven together. An upper-class housewife, a determined Jewish immigrant, and a young Harlem musician face history’s timeless contradictions of wealth and poverty, freedom and prejudice, and hope and despair. United in their courage, compassion and belief in the promise of the future, the characters explore what it means to be an American. The musical is a gripping picture of the hopes and pains of America one hundred years ago, as the nation was entering “The American Century.”

Like the cast of characters, the score draws upon diverse influences—delicate waltzes, bold brass marches, up-tempo banjo tunes, rhythmic ragtime and expansive anthems. Tunes like “Success,” “Your Daddy’s Son” and “Wheels of a Dream” helped earn the musical three Tony Awards and ten more nominations.

Tickets are on sale now at the box office, over the phone at 574-267-8041, and online at Prices range from $14 for children to $34 for adults.