THE ENTERTAINMENT COMMUNITY FUND ANNOUNCES REUNION CONCERT OF “RAGTIME” TO TAKE PLACE MARCH 27
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, PLEASE
THE ENTERTAINMENT COMMUNITY FUND
ANNOUNCES NEW DATE FOR
ONE NIGHT ONLY BENEFIT REUNION CONCERT OF
WITH ORIGINAL BROADWAY STARS
SIX-TIME TONY AWARD WINNER AUDRA MCDONALD
TWO-TIME TONY AWARD WINNER BRIAN STOKES MITCHELL
SAG AWARD WINNER PETER FRIEDMAN
AND TONY AWARD WINNER
MONDAY, MARCH 27, 2023
AT THE MINSKOFF THEATRE
DEDICATED TO MARIN MAZZIE, TERRENCE MCNALLY, FRANK GALATI, E.L. DOCTOROW AND MORE
New York, NY (Janaury 31, 2023) – The Entertainment Community Fund announced today that the one-night-only benefit reunion concert of Ragtime, originally scheduled for 2020, will take place on Monday, March 27, 2023 at the Minskoff Theatre (200 West 45th St.). The event will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the show’s Broadway opening and will star original cast members including Emmy, Grammy and six-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald (“Sarah”), two-time Tony Award winner Brian Stokes Mitchell (“Coalhouse Walker, Jr.”) and SAG Award winner Peter Friedman (“Tateh”), with Tony Award winner Kelli O’Hara (“Mother”) in the role originally performed by the late Marin Mazzie.
Additional cast members include Mark Aldrich, Shaun Amyot, John D. Baker, Dara Paige Bloomfield, Sandra M. Bonitto, Mark Cassius, Jamie Chandler-Torns, Albert Christmas, Dioni Michelle Collins, Jim Corti, Pierce Cravens, Larry Daggett, Bernard Dotson, Roberta Duchak, Donna Dunmire, Adam Dyer, Duane Martin Foster, Patty Goble, Darlene Bel Grayson, Elisa Heinsohn, David Hess, Rosena Hill, Adam Hunter, Mark Jacoby, Anne Kanengeiser, Judy Kaye, Mary Sharon Komarek (Dziedzic), Joe Langworth, Joe Locarro, Dan Manning, Michael X. Martin, Mary McCandless, Allyson Tucker Mitchell, Anne L. Nathan, Monica Patton (Richards), Lynette Perry, Orgena Rose, Gordon Stanley, Steven Sutcliffe, Todd Thurston, Vanessa Townsell-Crisp, Rema Webb, Leon Williams, Bruce Winant and Eric Jordan Young. All proceeds from this one-night only benefit concert will support the Entertainment Community Fund.
“We’re thrilled to share this Ragtime news with everyone who has waited patiently for so many years, as we and the creative team have worked diligently to bring this one-night-only reunion concert safely and beautifully to the stage,” said Entertainment Community Fund CEO Joe Benincasa.
“Our Ragtime family, the Broadway community and so many others were devasted by the passing of our beloved playwright, Terrance McNally,” said Entertainment Community Fund Chair Brian Stokes Mitchell. “We also mourn the recent loss of our original Broadway director, Frank Galati, and of course our dear Marin Mazzie. We dedicate this grand reunion to their memory, and honor all those in the Ragtime family who are no longer with us.”
“We’re overjoyed that this momentous evening is finally coming to pass—with so many original cast members, a full orchestra and a full house. What better way to honor the past and celebrate the present?” shared Ragtime lyricist Lynn Ahrens and composer Stephen Flaherty.
Based on the classic American novel by E.L. Doctorow, Ragtime has a book by Terrence McNally (Master Class, Love! Valour! Compassion!) and a score by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty (Once On This Island, Anastasia, Seussical). The evening will be directed by Stafford Arima, with James Moore as music director and conductor. On the original Broadway production, Mr. Arima served as associate resident director, David Loud as musical director and conductor and Mr. Moore as associate conductor. Additional credits for the one-night-only evening include Wendall K. Harrington and Shawn Boyle as projections designers, Peter Hylenski as sound designer, Don Holder as lighting designer, Tracy Christensen as costume designer and casting by MUNGIOLI THEATRICALS, INC., Arnold J. Mungioli, CSA. This evening is executive produced by Robert Pullen of Nouveau Productions.
“Ragtime is a quintessential American story—it’s about the struggles of immigrants seeking a better life in America, the reality of racism in our society and the impact of social change on the most privileged,” said Benincasa. “Although the story takes place a hundred years ago, the issues it presents are relevant in today’s society and the current civil discourse. We’re honored that Stokes, Audra, Lynn, Stephen and the whole company are bringing back this beloved musical to help the Fund continue our ongoing work of providing a supportive safety net to everyone in the performing arts and entertainment community.”
The original Broadway production of Ragtime opened on January 18, 1998, at the Ford Center for the Performing Arts (now the Lyric Theatre) and played for 834 performances. The show received 14 Tony Award nominations and won for Best Book of a Musical (Terrence McNally), Best Original Score (Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens), Best Featured Actress in a Musical (Audra McDonald) and Best Orchestrations (William David Brohn).
The Fund is grateful to the following sponsors for their support of this one-night-only concert reunion: Art Lab, Ford Foundation, Iris Smith, Adrienne Arsht, Bloomberg Philanthropies and Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.
The performance is currently sold out. Limited sponsorship opportunities are available by contacting Douglas Ramirez at email@example.com or 917.281.5921. For ticket holders who have retained tickets originally purchased in 2020, visit entertainmentcommunity.org/Ragtime for more information.
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ABOUT THE ENTERTAINMENT COMMUNITY FUND
The Entertainment Community Fund, formerly The Actors Fund, is a national human services organization that addresses the unique needs of people who work in performing arts and entertainment with services focused on health and wellness, career and life, and housing. Since 1882, the Fund has sought to ensure stability, encourage resiliency and be a safety net for those who shape our country’s cultural vibrancy. Learn more at entertainmentcommunity.org.
AUDRA MCDONALD is unparalleled in the breadth and versatility of her artistry as both a singer and an actor. The winner of a record-breaking six Tony Awards, two Grammy Awards and an Emmy, in 2015 she was named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people and received a National Medal of Arts—America’s highest honor for achievement in the field—from President Barack Obama. In addition to her Tony-winning performances in Carousel, Master Class, Ragtime, A Raisin in the Sun, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess and Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill—the role that also served as the vehicle for her Olivier Award-nominated 2017 debut in London’s West End—she has appeared on Broadway in The Secret Garden; Marie Christine (Tony nomination); Henry IV; 110 in the Shade (Tony nomination); Shuffle Along, or, The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed; Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune (Tony nomination); and Ohio State Murders.
On television, she was seen by millions as the Mother Abbess in NBC’s The Sound of Music Live! and played Dr. Naomi Bennett on ABC’s Private Practice. She won an Emmy Award for her role as host of PBS’s Live From Lincoln Center and has received nominations for Wit, A Raisin in the Sun, and Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill. Having first appeared on CBS’s The Good Wife, she plays Liz Reddick in The Good Fight on Paramount+ and Dorothy Scott in Julian Fellowes’s historical drama The Gilded Age on HBO and HBO Max. On film, she has appeared in Seven Servants, The Object of My Affection, Cradle Will Rock, It Runs in the Family, The Best Thief in the World, She Got Problems, Rampart, Ricki and the Flash, Disney’s live-action Beauty and the Beast, the movie-musical Hello Again, and MGM’s Aretha Franklin biopic, Respect.
A Juilliard-trained soprano, her opera credits include La voix humaine and Send at Houston Grand Opera, and Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny at Los Angeles Opera, where the resulting recording earned her two Grammy Awards. McDonald has issued five solo albums on the Nonesuch label as well as Sing Happy with the New York Philharmonic on Decca Gold. She also maintains a major career as a concert artist, regularly appearing on the great stages of the world and with leading international orchestras. A founding member of Black Theatre United, board member of Covenant House International, and prominent advocate for LGBTQAI+ rights, her favorite roles are those performed offstage, as an activist, wife to actor Will Swenson, and mother.
BRIAN STOKES MITCHELL Tony Award-winner Brian Stokes Mitchell has enjoyed a career that spans Broadway, television, film and concert appearances. He received Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for his star turn in Kiss Me, Kate, and in 2016 was awarded the prestigious Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award for his charitable work with the Entertainment Community Fund (formerly The Actors Fund). An extremely versatile and in-demand singer, Stokes has performed at venues spanning jazz, opera, pops, country and musical theater worlds, and his musical talent has extended to the present day as producer, arranger and orchestrator on his three solo albums. His extensive screen credits include a seven-year stint on Trapper John, MD and have continued with memorable appearances on everything from PBS’ Great Performances to The Fresh Prince, Frasier, Glee, Jumping the Broom and his recent recurring roles on Madam Secretary, Mr. Robot, The Path, Billions, The Good Fight, The Blacklist, Elementary and Bull. He is a co-founder of Black Theatre United, is on the board of Americans for the Arts and is serving his 19th term as Chair of the Board of the Entertainment Community Fund.
PETER FRIEDMAN has been in the original New York productions of works by Wendy Wasserstein, Annie Baker, Amy Herzog, Max Posner, Greg Pierce, Jennifer Haley, Deborah Zoe Laufer, The Debate Society, Rachel Bonds, Lauren Yee, Will Eno, Michael Mitnick, Kim Rosenstock, Will Connolly, Gunnar Madsen, Joy Gregory, John Lang, Susan Stroman, David Thompson, John Kander, Terrence McNally, Lynn Ahrens, Stephen Flaherty, and in NYC revivals of plays by Paddy Chayefsky, Reginald Rose, Donald Margulies, Chekhov, and Shakespeare. Film: The Savages, Safe, She Said. TV: Brooklyn Bridge, The Muppet Show, High Maintenance, The Affair, The Path, Succession.
KELLI O’HARA, star of stage and screen, has established herself as one of Broadway’s greatest leading ladies. Her portrayal of Anna Leonowens in The King and I garnered her the 2015 Tony Award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical, along with Grammy, Drama League, Outer Critics, and Olivier Nominations. She reprised the role while making her West End debut, and performed a limited engagement at Tokyo’s Orb Theatre.
Kelli received an Emmy Award nomination for her portrayal of Katie Bonner in Topic’s hit web series The Accidental Wolf, and can currently be seen as Aurora Fane on HBO’s critically acclaimed series The Gilded Age.
Other film and television credits include: 13 Reasons Why, All the Bright Places, Peter Pan Live!, Sex & The City 2, Martin Scorsese’s The Key to Reserva, Showtime’s Master of Sex, The Good Fight, Blue Bloods, N3mbers, and the animated series Car Talk.
Other Broadway credits include Kiss Me, Kate (Tony, Drama League, OCC nominations), The Bridges of Madison County (Tony, Drama Desk, Drama League, OCC nominations), Nice Work if You Can Get It (Tony, Drama Desk, Drama League, OCC nominations), South Pacific (Tony, Drama Desk, OCC nominations), The Pajama Game (Tony, Drama Desk, OCC nominations), The Light in the Piazza (Tony, Drama Desk nominations), Sweet Smell of Success, Follies, Dracula and Jekyll & Hyde. The Times has hailed her as “Broadway musical’s undisputed queen”.
She was awarded the prestigious Drama League’s Distinguished Achievement in Musical Theatre Award in 2019.
In 2015, she made her Metropolitan Opera debut in Lehar’s The Merry Widow opposite Renee Fleming and in 2018 returned as Despina in Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tutte. She was last seen at The Metropolitan Opera in the world premiere of Kevin Puts’ The Hours as Laura Brown.
Her concerts have gained international acclaim, spanning from Carnegie Hall to Tokyo. She is a frequent performer on PBS’s live telecasts, The Kennedy Center Honors, and performs often alongside The New York Philharmonic and The New York Pops.
Kelli has received two Grammy nominations, and her solo albums, Always and Wonder in the World, are available on Ghostlight Records.
Season 3 of The Accidental Wolf is now streaming on Topic. Upcoming, season 2 of The Gilded Age will premiere on HBO.
LYNN AHRENS & STEPHEN FLAHERTY are considered the foremost theatrical writing team of their generation. They have been collaborators since 1983. Their many notable musicals include four with playwright Terrence McNally and two with director Frank Galati. With Terrence: Broadway’s Ragtime, A Man of No Importance, Anastasia and Chita Rivera: The Dancer’s Life. With Frank: Ragtime and the 2022 premiere of Knoxville. Ahrens and Flaherty won Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards, and received two Grammy nominations for Ragtime. They were nominated for two Academy Awards and two Golden Globes for Twentieth Century Fox’s animated feature film, Anastasia, which they later adapted for the stage. Other theatre credits include Once On This Island (Olivier Award for Best Musical, 2018 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical, Grammy nomination); Seussical (Grammy nomination, one of the most produced shows in America); Rocky; My Favorite Year; Dessa Rose; The Glorious Ones; Lucky Stiff and Little Dancer. Ahrens and Flaherty serve on Council for the Dramatists Guild of America, where they co-founded the DGF Fellows Program for Emerging Writers. In 2014 they received the Oscar Hammerstein Award for Lifetime Achievement and in 2015 they were inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame.
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