By Gordon Durich
Thousand Oaks, CA (The Hollywood Times) 3/26/23 – The powerhouse hit musical “Ragtime” is a stirring story with a message. In fact, it’s more than one tale of life in New York (and East Coast America) at the dawn of the 20th Century.
The sensation production with exciting vocals and choreography is from 5-Star Theatricals based in Thousand Oaks. “Ragtime” draws on talents from New York to L.A. from choreography to vocals. Standing out is Marty Austin Lamar as the feisty Coalhouse Walker Jr. His commanding presence and strong voice leaves you in awe and in tears (in my case). The story of class and multi-culturism spanning New York addresses the search for the American dream. Themes including immigrant rights, family conflicts with emotional unavailability, feminism and police brutality make for a real and controversial piece of musical theatre at its best. Houdini, J.P Morgan and others appear.
Mention must be made of female lead Misty Cotton as Mother. Her experience is evident in beautiful singing. “Back To Before” is especially poignant. Sarah, played by Brittany Anderson, is also a force in her brief yet memorable work.
“Ragtime” is based on the novel by E.L. Doctorow. Director is Jeffrey Polk, choreographer Michelle Elkin.
Music director and conductor is Tom Griffin.
Performances are Fridays, 8 p.m; Saturdays, 2 and 8 p.m, and Sunday, 1 p.m.
For tickets ranging in price from $35 to $95, call (800) 745-3000. www.5-Star Theatricals.com