Peter Friedman, who was Tony-nominated for his performance as Tateh in the original Broadway production of Ragtime, has joined the cast of the concert version of the Tony-nominated musical that will be presented April 27 at the Minskoff Theatre to benefit The Actors Fund.
Friedman will join fellow previously announced original cast members, six-time Tony winner Audra McDonald as Sarah and two-time Tony winner Brian Stokes Mitchell as Coalhouse Walker, Jr. Additional casting will be announced. Stafford Arima will direct with music supervision by David Loud. The conductor is James Moore.
The concert will be dedicated to the late Marin Mazzie, who received one of her three Tony nominations for her portrayal of Mother in the original 1998 production.
It was also announced that members of The Fund will have early access to purchase tickets ahead of the general public. To gain early access to purchase tickets, visit ActorsFund.org/RagtimeMembership by January 20 at 5 PM. Any remaining tickets will go on sale to the general public in early February at ActorsFund.org/Ragtime.
Based on the classic American novel by E.L. Doctorow, Ragtime has a score by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty (Once On This Island, Anastasia, Seussical) and a book by Terrence McNally (Master Class, Love! Valour! Compassion!).
“Our community was heartbroken at the loss of one of Broadway’s great stars, my good friend, and original Ragtime cast member Marin Mazzie,” said Actors Fund Chairman Mitchell in an earlier statement. “Marin’s courage and grace inspired everyone who knew her as well as her countless fans and generations of theatre professionals. She was a true original and our cast, creative team, and The Actors Fund are proud to dedicate this evening to her memory.”
“Ragtime is a quintessential American story—it’s about the struggles of immigrants seeking a better life in America, it’s about the reality of racism in our society, and it’s about income inequality, juxtaposing these struggles against the incredible wealth of the one percent,” added Actors Fund CEO Joe 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, Terrence, and so many in this original cast 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 in times of need.”
Ragtime underwent a two-year gestation under the auspices of Garth Drabinsky, opening in Toronto in December 1996 and then in Los Angeles in June 1997 before arriving on Broadway. The production was directed by Tony winner Frank Galati with choreography by Graciela Daniele.
The musical mixes fictional characters and historical ones in telling the story of Coalhouse Walker Jr., a Black man who buys a Model T Ford, setting off a chain of events that involve all levels of New York City society—along with magician Harry Houdini, industrialist Henry Ford, celebrity Evelyn Nesbit, Black leader Booker T. Washington, architect Sanford White, revolutionary Emma Goldman, Admiral Peary, a Latvian immigrant who becomes a movie director, and a not-so-quiet family in suburban New Rochelle, New York.
The original Broadway production featured a cast led by McDonald as Sarah, Mitchell as Coalhouse Walker Jr., Mazzie as Mother, Mark Jacoby as Father, Steven Sutcliffe as Mother's Younger Brother, Friedman as Tateh, Judy Kaye as Emma Goldman, Jim Corti as Harry Houdini, Lynette Perry as Evelyn Nesbit, Tommy Hollis as Booker T. Washington, and Larry Daggett as Henry Ford.
The musical was nominated for 14 1998 Tony Awards, including Best Musical. It took home four awards, including 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 Actors Fund is a national human services organization that fosters stability and resiliency, and provides a safety net for performing arts and entertainment professionals over their lifespan.
Tony winner Mitchell has been a special guest performer on Playbill Travel’s Broadway on the High Seas cruises. Cabins are now on sale for Broadway in the Great Northwest, Playbill Travel’s first domestic cruise featuring Prince, Kate Baldwin, Tedd Firth, Aaron Lazar, and Beth Leavel (April 26–May 4, 2020), and for Broadway on the Mediterranean (August 31–September 7, 2020), featuring Audra McDonald, Will Swenson, Gavin Creel, Caissie Levy and Lindsay Mendez, and for Broadway on the Nile (December 27, 2020–January 7, 2021) and Broadway on the Caribbean (February 15–22, 2021), with performers soon to be announced. To book a suite or stateroom, call Playbill Travel at 866-455-6789 or visit PlaybillTravel.com.