Two-time Tony Award nominee Howard McGillin, Michael Arden, Manoel Felciano, Tony Award nominee Phillip Boykin, Michael McCormick and NaTasha Yvette Williams have joined the Feb. 18 Manhattan Concert Productions concert staging of the Tony-winning Lynn Ahrens–Stephen Flaherty–Terrence McNally musical Ragtime at Avery Fisher Hall. McGillin (Anything Goes, Drood, Phantom of the Opera) will portray Father, with Arden (The Times They Are A Changin’, Aspects of Love) as Younger Brother, Tony nominee Felciano (Sweeney Todd) as Tateh, Tony nominee Boykin (Porgy and Bess) as Booker T. Washington, McCormick (Chaplin, Curtains) as J.P. Morgan and Williams (Porgy and Bess) as Sarah’s Friend. They join a cast that features Tony Award winner Lea Salonga (Miss Saigon, Les Miserables, Flower Drum Song) as Mother, Tony winner Tyne Daly (Master Class, Gypsy) as Emma Goldman and Tony nominee Norm Lewis (Porgy and Bess, Side Show, Les Miserables) as Coalhouse Walker, Jr. Stafford Arima (Bare, Carrie), who earned an Olivier Award nomination for staging the London premiere of Ragtime, will helm the 8 PM concert that will feature a chorus of over 100 singers from around the country, as well as former Ragtime cast members. David Loud will serve as music supervisor, with Sheilah Walker conducting. The concert also features the New York City Chamber Orchestra. The staging will have lighting by Howell Binkley and scenic design by Beowulf Boritt. Based on the E.L. Doctorow novel, Ragtime interweaves the stories of three distinct families with historical figures to offer a snapshot of America at the turn of the century. Ragtime has a book by McNally, music by Flaherty and lyrics by Ahrens. The musical opened on Broadway at the Ford Center for the Performing Arts Jan. 18, 1998, earning Tony Awards for Best Score, Best Book, Best Orchestrations, and Best Featured Actress in a Musical for Audra McDonald. A 2009 revival played the Neil Simon Theatre. “We’re thrilled to see this new, non-traditional concert version of Ragtime come to Avery Fisher Hall. With its stellar cast of principals, a large ensemble of Ragtime alums from many different productions and its immensely talented choruses, it will be a telling of E. L. Doctorow’s classic to remember. We are proud and happy to support the mission of Manhattan Concert Productions,” the writers said in a statement.
-By Adam Hetrick 17 Jan 2013