Schaumburg, IL (July 18, 2018) – Schaumburg Summer Theatre presents the epic musical “Ragtime” for five performances beginning July 27 at the Al Larson Prairie Center for the Arts, 201 Schaumburg Ct., Schaumburg, IL.
Based on the award-winning novel by E.L. Doctorow, “Ragtime” weaves historical events with the fictitious lives of three families in pursuit of the American Dream during the early 1900s. The Tony-winning score is just as diverse as the melting pot of America itself, drawing upon many musical styles, from the ragtime rhythms of Harlem and Tin Pan Alley to the klezmer of the Lower East Side, from bold brass band marches to delicate waltzes, from up-tempo banjo tunes to period parlor songs and expansive anthems.
It’s also one of the most ambitious productions that 30-year old SST (Schaumburg Summer Theatre) has staged. The nearly 50-member cast will be backed by a 30-member orchestra, performing a score containing no less than 27 songs. Daunting, yes, but the Prairie Center’s Rob Pileckis, who is also directing the production, says the company is up to the task. “We’re lucky to get the caliber of talent we do, which is often the biggest hurdle for any local production.”
For one of those talents, Marcus Canada of Brookfield, playing the part of Coalhouse Walker carries all the responsibilities of a lead role and then some. “The emotional journey Coalhouse takes throughout the show calls for physical and emotional stamina,” Canada says of the character, who, through a series of racial injustices, transforms from a gentlemanly ragtime pianist to a ruthless vigilante. “Coalhouse’s life falls into total chaos, so there’s a lot of weight and depth that I hope to convey,” adds Canada, a college junior studying musical theatre at Oklahoma State University.
Canada’s portrayal is supplemented by a diverse cast of college and high school students. Danielle Smith of appears as Coalhouse’s tragic love interest Sarah. Colin McGonagle of Schaumburg plays Father, representing the era’s white middle class patriarchy. Opposite him is Cameron Kidd of Schaumburg as Mother. Palatine resident John Delaney plays the precocious son, Edgar, and Mitchell Barrett of Algonquin plays lost soul Younger Brother.
Danny Hollander of Palatine introduces the show’s European immigrant presence as Tateh. 6th grader Liv Henkelman of Schaumburg plays his daughter, simply known as Little Girl.
Historical characters include Algonquin resident Chloe Kutulas as the anarchist Emma Goldman, Clarissa Consoli of Roselle as fallen vaudeville star Evelyn Nesbit, Dominick Panicola of Bensenville as escape artist Harry Houdini, and Caden Marshall of Berwyn as Henry Ford.
A cast of immigrants, Harlem denizens and New Rochelle residents make up the ensemble including Olivia Frullani, Jake Long, Anisha Narain, and Emily Safakas of Schaumburg; Bob Di Leo, Mary Di Leo, Keely McEnery, and Jakob Reitsma of Palatine; Hannah Ceaser, Amal Ghanimah, Jordan Blanche, and Sergio Velazquez of Bensenville; Parker Melton, Owen Peterson, Hannah Still, and Catherine Sulla of Lombard; Sarah Davis, Gabrielle Pelayo, and Justin Davis of Hoffman Estates; Meghan Gaither, Addison Kaser, and Eirene Stavropoulos of Naperville; Amelia Bynum of Algonquin; Tristan Klein of Arlington Heights; Andrew Ramos of Bolingbrook; Kylea Canada of Brookfield; Ashley Veltman of Grayslake; Seth Caines of Hanover Park; Breanna Thompson of Hillside; Owen Skarbalus of Lindenhurst; Shelby Black of Maywood; Jeremiah Galassini of Oak Park; and Karima Guillen of Northbrook.
Guest artists playing various roles include Jon Cunningham, Aaron Ragland, and Michael Saubert.
“Ragtime” is directed by Rob Pileckis, with music direction by Stephen Boyer, costumes by Melissa Crabtree, set design by Phil Seifritz, technical direction by John Scrip, and assistant direction by Mike Frale. Catherine Sulla is assistant music director and Joseph Malmquist is orchestra rehearsal advisor.
Performances for “Ragtime” will be held at 7 pm, July 27, 28, August 3, and 4. A Sunday matinee will be performed at 2 pm on Sunday, August 5. Tickets, $20 for adults and $16 for students and seniors, can be ordered by calling the Prairie Center box office at (847) 895-3600 weekdays from 9 am to 4 pm, or by visiting www.prairiecenter.org.
“Ragtime” is sponsored by Schaumburg Bank and Trust. The Schaumburg Summer Theatre program is sponsored by the Village of Schaumburg.
“Ragtime” is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI. www.MTIShows.com.