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My View: Ragtime Opening Night at Barrington Stage Co.

My View: Ragtime Opening Night at Barrington Stage Co.

Union Street in Pittsfield MA had all the excitement of a Broadway Opening as the Tony Award Winning Ragtime opened on the Boyd-Quinson Mainstage of Barrington Stage Co. and TC2 and lyricist Lynn Ahrens were there. 

Directed by Helen Hayes Award winner Joe Calarco (BSC’s Kiss Me, Kate, Breaking the Code, The Burnt Part Boys), with a book by Terrence McNally, lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, and music by Stephen Flaherty. Based on the novel Ragtime by E.L. Doctorow.  Ragtime features choreography by Shea Sullivan, and musical direction by Darren R. Cohen.

At the dawn of the 20th century when everything is changing…and anything is possible, Ragtime weaves together three distinctly American tales – a stifled upper-class wife, a determined Jewish immigrant and a daring young Harlem musician – united by their courage, compassion and their belief in obtaining the American Dream. Winner of Tony Awards for Best Book and Best Musical Score, this exhilarating, dazzling musical is a timeless celebration of the American Spirit.

Starring in the new production of Ragtime is Elizabeth Stanley (Broadway and BSC’s On the Town) as “Mother,” David Harris (Next to Normal at TheaterWorks) as “Father,” Darnell Abraham (Side Show, The Media Theatre) as “Coalhouse,” Zurin Villanueva (Broadway’s Shuffle Along) as “Sarah,” J. Anthony Crane (Broadway’s The Country House) as “Tateh,” Frances Evans as “Little Girl,” Hunter Ryan Herdlicka (Broadway’s A Little Night Music) as “Younger Brother,” Elliot Trainor as “Little Boy,” Anne L. Nathan (Broadway’s It Shoulda Been You) as “Emma Goldman,” Lawrence E. Street (Broadway’s Urinetown) as “Booker T. Washington,” Matt Gibson (Broadway’s Gypsy) as “Willie Conklin,” Allen Kendall (Broadway’s Amazing Grace) as “JP Morgan,” Joe Ventricelli (Sleep No More) as “Houdini,” Eric Jon Mahlum (Broadway’s Wicked) as “Henry Ford,” Leanne A. Smith (Rock of Ages, Norwegian Cruises) as “Evelyn Nesbit,” John Little (Cabaret National Tour) as “Grandfather,” and Spencer Mathias Reed as “Coalhouse Walker, Jr.”

Rounding out the ensemble will be Robb Sherman (“Younger”), Allison Blackwell (Broadway’s A Night with Janis Joplin), Christin Avante’ Byrdsong (Figaro! 90210 at The Duke on 42nd Street), Alex Nicholson (Twelfth Night, The Theatre Project), Marie Putko (Figaro! 90210 at The Duke on 42nd Street), and Danielle Lee Jam

Barrington Stage Company (BSC), the award-winning theatre in Downtown Pittsfield, MA under the leadership of Artistic Director Julianne Boyd, will present the Tony-winning musical Ragtime from June 21 through July 15 on the Boyd-Quinson Mainstage. Opening night is Saturday, June 24 at 8:00pm.

(For complete photos of Ragtime Opening Night go to

Lynn Ahrens

Elizabeth Stanley

J. Anthony Crane, David Harris Francis Evans, Zurin Villanueva, Hunter Ryan Herdlicka, Elizabeth Stanley, Anne L.Nathan, Allison Blackwell, Darnell Abraham


(For complete photos of Ragtime Opening and Party go to


Stephen studied at the Manhattan School of Music. Besides being a pianist, Stephen’s business career was in the Fashion Industry. He was CEO of a textile manufacturing facility and President of an international textile machinery company. Stephen was on the Board of Directors of the “First All Children’s Theatre” which brought the Stephen Schwartz musical The Trip and Captain Louie to the Kennedy Center in Wash DC. His wife Eda, an interior space designer and classical pianist was on the Board of Barrington Stage Company and is still active at BSC. Stephen’s photographs, videos and articles appear on, and The New York Observer. He is active in the entertainment events at the Friars Club, where he is a member. Stephen is thrilled to be the cabaret/ music and co-theatre editor. email:

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