‘Ragtime: The Musical’ to open in Oradell
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‘Ragtime: The Musical’ to open in Oradell

(Courtesy BCP)
(Courtesy BCP)

 

Bergen County Players, one of America’s longest-running little theater companies, will open its 90th season with “Ragtime: The Musical.” It’s one of the most ambitious productions that BCP has ever mounted. Performances begin on Saturday, September 17, and run through Saturday, October 15, at the Little Firehouse Theatre in Oradell.

The show is directed by Larry Landsman of Wyckoff, with musical direction by Steve Bell and choreography by Beatrice Howell and Diana Baer. The music is by the award-winning composer/lyricist team of Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens.

Based on the best-selling novel by E.L. Doctorow, the musical tells the story of three families trying to find their way during the turn of the 20th century in New York City; each struggles with the changing cultural climate in America and each faces the promise of hope and new beginnings in the midst of prejudice and bigotry. A stifled upper-class wife, a determined Jewish immigrant, and a daring young Harlem musician are united by their courage, compassion, and belief in the promise of the future. Together, they confront what it means to live in America.

The character of Tateh, played by Rich Ardito of Ramsey, represents the archetypal Jewish refugee story from the turn-of-the-20th-century. Tateh, who comes from a Latvian shtetl, believes in the American dream, as he sings in the song “A Shtetl Iz Amereke,” evolves as an entrepreneur by selling silhouette movie books from a pushcart, and eventually becomes a successful filmmaker. These klezmer-based songs reflect the impact of Jewish immigrants on American art and business.

Acting on its desire to keep its members and patrons safe, new and upgraded MERV filters have been installed on all HVAC and UV lights have been put on all HVAC units to help eradicate airborne pathogens. Bergen County Players strongly encourages its patrons to be vaccinated for covid-19 but will not require proof of vaccination in order to enter the building. Patrons are urged to wear masks.

Tickets cost $29; buy them online at www.bcplayers.org, by calling (201) 261-4200 or by going in person the box office at 298 Kinderkamack Road in Oradell during regular box office hours.

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