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'Ragtime' paints an outstanding portrait of Americana

More timely than ever, Ragtime looks at the face of our country and sees what is possible, all accompanied by a powerful musical score that will take your breath away. "Ragtime" kicks off the 2018 season at the Marriott Lincolnshire, playing now through March 18.

Set in the volatile melting pot of New York in the early 1900s, three very different American families become intertwined– a rich, family from New Rochelle, a hard-working Jewish immigrant and a talented, brass young Harlem musician – united by their courage, compassion and belief in the future. Together, they confront contradictions of wealth and poverty, freedom and prejudice, hope and despair. Written by the Tony award-winning composer/lyricist team of Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens, noted playwright Terrence McNally, and based on E.L. Doctorow's distinguished novel, this acclaimed production is filled with pageantry, emotion and hope. Interspersed throughout the play are the real heroes of the day, including Emma Goldman, Harry Houdini and Booker T. Washington who serve as a moral compass.

Jeff Award Winner Kathy Voytko plays "Mother," who returns from the Marriott Theatre's production of "The Bridges of Madison County." Her gorgeous voice and wistful performance of a woman becoming more independent, while never losing sight of her humanity and compassion, is mesmerizing. Prepare to be blown away by Jeff Award Winner Nathaniel Stampley as "Coalhouse Walker, Jr." Stampley, who won the Jeff award for "Man of La Mancha" at Marriott Theatre is spectacular; his powerful voice and polished skills take his character to new heights. He is, no doubt, in line for another Jeff nomination.

Other standouts include Benjamin Magnuson as "Tateh and Katherine Thomas as "Sarah," who also played the role in last summer's Ragtime production at Griffin Theatre. Seven-time Jeff Award winner Nick Bowling (The Bridges of Madison County, Man of La Mancha, The King and I) returns to Marriott Theatre to direct, with Musical Direction by Jeff Award winner Ryan T. Nelson and Choreography by Kenneth L. Roberson. The gorgeous sets, ivory costumes and lively ragtime music make this one show not to be missed!