(ORADELL, NJ) -- Bergen County Players (BCP), one of America’s longest-running little theater companies, will open its 90th season with one of the most ambitious productions ever mounted by BCP - Ragtime: The Musical. Performances begin Saturday, September 17 and run thru Saturday, October 15 at the Little Firehouse Theatre in Oradell. Nominated for 13 Tony Awards®, and winning for Best Original Score, Best Book of a Musical, and Best Orchestrations, Ragtime: The Musical was called by Time Magazine "A triumph for the stage," and by the International Herald Tribune "the best musical in twenty years."
Based on the best-selling novel by E.L. Doctorow, this acclaimed sweeping musical tapestry is filled with pageantry, emotion, and hope, bursting onto the stage like no other musical. Ragtime: The Musical tells the story of three families trying to find their way during the turn of the twentieth 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. A stifled upper-class wife, a determined Jewish immigrant and a daring young Harlem musician are each united by their courage, compassion and belief in the promise of the future. Together, they confront history's timeless contradictions of wealth and poverty, freedom and prejudice, hope and despair... and what it means to live in America.
Written by the award-winning composer/lyricist team of Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens (Once on This Island, Seussical, Anastasia), noted playwright Terrence McNally (The Full Monty, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Catch Me If You Can), Ragtime: The Musical will bring together a multi-ethnic cast of characters, portrayed by both BCP veterans and newcomers alike who together will bring the show to life with enthusiasm and ardor.
The production is directed by BCP Life Member Larry Landsman of Wyckoff. Larry has directorial credits ranging from musicals (The Music Man, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Into the Woods, The Full Monty), to plays (A Few Good Men, Lost in Yonkers, Accomplice), as well as numerous live radio broadcasts. BCP audiences have enjoyed his performances in Art (Perry Award, Outstanding Actor in a Play), Oliver!, Lend Me a Tenor, and Laughter on the 23rd Floor, to name a few. Larry is the president of AEP Media, a full-service television production company.
Performances take place on Friday and Saturday evenings at 8:00pm and Sunday afternoons at 2:00pm. Tickets to Ragtime: The Musical, priced at $29.00, can be purchased online at www.bcplayers.org, by calling 201-261-4200 or by visiting the box office at 298 Kinderkamack Road in Oradell during regular box office hours. Visa, Master Card, and American Express are accepted.
“We’re thrilled to be producing one of the most ambitious projects in our history”, says Landsman. “Ragtime has everything you could hope for in a musical — a soaring, extraordinary score, a timely story about immigration and what it means to be an American, and characters that we can both root for and identify with.” Landsman continues, “This year marks the 25th anniversary of Ragtime’s Broadway premiere and yet, like all great masterpieces, it remains just as thrilling and moving as it did when it first opened. While Ragtime deals with social inequality in the United States at the turn of the twentieth century, the show remains relevant today as we struggle to instill American ideals of fairness and justice in our society and institutions.”
The talented cast includes Ari Mack of New City, NY as Coalhouse Walker Jr., Rich Ardito of Ramsey as Tateh, Kay Koch of Haledon as Mother, Owen Sheridan of Leonia as Father, Peter Stoffan of Hoboken as Little Brother, Jacob Beser of Ridgewood as Edgar/Little Boy, Josephine Martin of New York, NY as Little Girl, Miranda Holliday of Columbus as Sarah, Nick Butler of Thompson Ridge, NY as Booker T. Washington, Michael Serpe of Yonkers, NY as Harry Houdini, Bill Cantor of Woodcliff Lake as Grandfather, Larry Wilbur of Mahwah as J.P. Morgan/Admiral Peary, John Rathgeb of Verona as Henry Ford, Alyson Cohn of Wyckoff as Emma Goldman, Melissa Miller of River Vale as Evelyn Nesbit, Brendan Garnett of Maplewood as Matthew Henson, Robert G. Ouellette of Westwood as Stanford White/Charles S. Whitman, Dan Loverro of Paterson as Harry K. Thaw, Debbie Zika of Hillsdale as Kathleen, Chelsea-Ann Jones as Sarah’s Friend, Daniel Giordano of Leonia as Willie Conklin, Janica Carpenter of Old Tappan as Brigit, and Ethan Cherubin-Johnson of Midland Park as Coalhouse Walker III.
Rounding out the cast is Elisabeth Julia of Paterson, Angelina Aragona of Township of Washington, Yaritza Liz of New Milford, Lori Feiler-Fluger of River Edge, Eric Holzer of Bloomfield, Daisha Davis of Newark, Pauline Quinones of Elmsford, NY, Reginald Bennett Jr. of Teaneck, Nasir Roper of Newark, and Duane Banks of Union.
The production team is comprised of Larry Landsman (Director), Michele Roth (Co-Producer), Nancy Feldman (Co-Producer), Matt D'Elia (Producer Mentee), Steve Bell (Musical Director), Geri Berhain (Assistant to the Director), Mark Rinis (Dramaturge), Joycela Evans (Stage Manager), Beatrice Howell and Diana Baer (Co-Choreographer), Elisabeth Julia (Assistant Choreographer/Dance Captain), Samantha DiBari (Production Intern), Gerard Bourcier (Set Design/Set Construction), Jody Laufer (Set Construction), Marci K. Weinstein (Décor), Lauren Zenreich (Décor), Alan Zenreich (Special Photography/Projection Design), Rob DeScherer (Sound Design), Allan Seward (Lighting Design), Kathleen Ruland (Lighting Operation), Barry Reed (Sound Operation), Edie Orlando (Make-up), Bunny Mateosian, Katie Lupfer and Lynne Lupfer (Costumes), Christine Francois (Armorer), Ron Siclari (Crew Chief), Rob Kopil (Crew), Eric Holzer (Publicity), Staci Beth Block (Team Building Coach), Lynne Lupfer, Geri Berhain and Sharon Podsada (Ragtime Study Guide), Paula Cantor (Special Marketing), Marci K. Weinstein (Special Marketing), Megan Larsen and Theresa Taylor (Hair/Wigs), Barbra Murtha, Joellen Tierney, Laura Dinoia and Richard Ciero (Properties), Michael Serpe (Fight Choreographer), Richard Ciero and Debbie Buchsbaum (COVID Captains), Katie Lupfer (Member-at-Large), Marci K. Weinstein (Program Bios), and Jennifer Cottone (Website/ Publicity).
Acting on its desire to keep its members and patrons safe, new and upgraded MERV filters have been installed on all HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) units, as well as UV lights on all HVAC units to help eradicate airborne pathogens. Bergen County Players strongly encourages its patrons to be vaccinated for Covid-19 but will not require proof of vaccination in order to enter the building. The use of face coverings/masks is also very strongly recommended. Reminders of that recommendation will be visible throughout the facility and stated by our Front-of-House staff before each event.
All performances take place at The Little Firehouse Theatre at 298 Kinderkamack Road in Oradell, home to the Bergen County Players since 1949. Performance times are Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00pm, and Sundays at 2:00pm.
BCP's popular Questions & Artists talkback session with cast and crew will be held following the performance on Friday, September 23, Saturday, October 1, Sunday, October 9 and Friday, October 14.
Those interested in Group Sales or benefit theater parties can call (201) 261-4200 (option #6)
BCP offers seating to accommodate patrons who are mobility impaired and can transfer from a wheelchair. These seats can be purchased by calling the box office at 201-261-4200 and will be released for public sale two weeks prior to performance.
A new program is now available for qualified non-profit organizations to use one performance of each production as a fundraising event. The group will book all 200 seats at a deeply discounted price and then resell the tickets at a price of their choosing, with the difference in price kept by the group. The available date is the Thursday of each show’s final weekend. Interested groups can email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Parking is free for patrons of Bergen County Players at the Park Avenue municipal lot, across the street, one-half block north of the theater, as well as street parking on Kinderkamack Road and various side streets, all within easy walking distance.
The Bergen County Players, Inc. is a non-Equity, non-profit community theater company dedicated to presenting quality productions for the enrichment of the community.
PHOTO: (L-R) Josephine Martin, Richard Ardito, Ari Mack, Miranda Holliday, Kay Koch, Jacob Beser. Photo by Alan Zenreich