Friday, April 28, 2023, 7:30pm
Saturday, April 29, 2023, 7:30 pm
Sunday, April 30, 2023, 2 pm
Cincinnati Music Hall
Note from the Director
Seeing the film version of Ragtime when I was in the 11th grade at Cincinnati’s School for Creative and Performing Arts is what inspired me to make the decision to try to become a professional actor. Many years later, when I first heard that there would be a musical version of Ragtime, my prayers were to be a part of it in any capacity! Twenty-six years ago, I was cast as Coalhouse Walker Jr. in Toronto for its pre-Broadway run with the original cast for their final eight months before the show came to Broadway! It was a dream come true, and, now, to both direct and star in the Cincinnati Pops production in my hometown takes that dream to new heights. I do not have enough words to describe how much this show and its many beautiful messages about humanity, love and family mean to me. Ragtime is a captivating tale with real-life historical figures written into the story, brilliant thought-provoking lyrics and some of the most glorious music ever written for the stage—music that just so happens to be written by Stephen Flaherty, who attended the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. I studied there as well, and, although we missed each other by a few years, I am very happy to have had the pleasure of working with him and his stunning talent. For the symphonic version of the show, some of the most offensive language in the script has been removed, but that which remains is vital in depicting the truth of the time and a measure both of how far we have come and how far we have yet to go. Many of the themes in Ragtime are as relevant today as they were at the turn of the 20th century, and the beauty of this magnificent piece of theatre is its educational value and enlightenment as to how much we all have in common, as opposed to our differences. I think of Ragtime as the kind of phenomenal experience you didn't realize how much you needed until you received it. Enjoy the journey!