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Mississippi College

Ragtime Musical Books Mississippi College Performances

October 5, 2012

“Ragtime: The Musical” tells the story of couples trying to achieve success in America at the turn of the 20th Century. The show draws upon many musical styles - from ragtime rhythms of Harlem to Tin Pan Alley and delicate waltzes.

The Mississippi College Music Department presents the production at the Aven Fine Arts building on the Clinton campus from October 12-14 and October 19-21.

Fifty MC students plus four children from Clinton and Madison will comprise the cast in this acclaimed Broadway musical that won Tony Awards in 1998 for Best Score, Book and Orchestrations.

Based on the best-selling novel by E.L. Doctorow, the musical explores the lives of extraordinary families, including African-Americans, Eastern European Jewish immigrants, and white Americans, trying to make it in the USA. The production touches on wealth and poverty, freedom and prejudice, and hope and despair.

The Tony-winning score by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty is as diverse as America’s melting pot.

“It’s a great production,” says MC music professor Carol Joy Sparkman, who’s overseeing rehearsals with music professor Kristen Johnson.

A music education major from Laurel, Amy Grantham plays the role of “Mother” in her musical debut on the Clinton campus.

“The character is a lot like me. She’s very proper and reserved, but on the inside she wants to be more than the person society expects her to be. She feels trapped in her marriage,” Grantham said. “The show itself is very powerful.”

Others with major roles in the production include MC students Jonathan Parker of Louisville, Miss., and Landon Scriber of Pineville, La., who both play the role of Tateh or the Jewish immigrant father. MC graduate Byron Johnson and undergraduate Frank Turner, both of Jackson, play the African-American father who’s known as Coalhouse.

The productions are set for performances at 7 p.m. from Friday through Saturday and at 2 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students and children. For more information, contact Dottie Serio at 601.925.3440 or purchase tickets online at www.mc.edu/marketplace.