"Ragtime" is the story of three groups in America, represented by a Harlem musician, the matriarch of a WASP family in New Rochelle, NY, and a Latvian Jewish immigrant.  Several historical figures are represented, such as Harry Houdini, Evelyn Nesbit, Booker T. Washington, Emma Goldman & Henry Ford. The storyline itself is busy, but suffice it to say this is the story of our ancestors. 

Northglenn High School director Rene BeVier Dill has done a fine job with this complex production.  Congratulations to her for exposing her students to new and unique material, particularly material that allows every role to be an important part of the weaving storyline.  Vocal Music Director Alison Roman has been busy with this show, showing solid solos and great choral singing.  The orchestra was excellent, flavoring the music but not overpowering.  Jason Buckingham and Candice Cleaver have done a wonderful job with these musicians and the entire production was better for the performance of the lovely score.  Appropriate choreography by Michelle Sergeeff Villareal, a plain but powerful set design by Chuck Kite and solid period costuming by Joy Robins round out the talented crew for this show.

Nice work on the acting side is provided by Meghan Matthewson as Emma Goldman, Caleb Matthews as Coalhouse Walker, Jr., Alex Ryckman as Father and Ben Caviness and Madelyn Caviness as the Little Boy and Little Girl.  The show shines most with the performance of three featured actors.  Megan Israelsen as Mother is quite lovely on stage, creating a believable character… and then…she sings.  Her lovely voice has such a natural, unforced quality that the audience may wish she had another number to sing.  Some very strong musical moments were her duets with Michael Ochoa as Tateh, the Jewish immigrant. Their voices blended perfectly & were wonderful to hear together.  Michael gives a very strong performance, thankfully resisting the temptation to fall into playing a stereotype.  He was not acting, but instead "becomes" the character he portrays.  His was a lovely performance, especially from a high school actor.  Then there is Miss Olivia James, whose voice is a gift from heaven.  "Your Daddy's Son" was a very special moment of the show, leaving no dry eyes in the house. Olivia, too, "became" Sarah- her touching performance was easily the highlight of the production.

Congratulations to the cast and crew of "Ragtime" at Northglenn- we can't wait to see what you do next!

Performed March 12 - 14, 2009

Tammy Franklin
National Youth Theatre

~ Cast ~
Admiral Perry: Austin Leslie
Baron's Assistant: Antonio Sandoval
Booker T. Washington: Alex Watson
Black Lawyer: Javaar Howard
Brigit: Sarah Coberly
Bureucrats: Amber Beaty, Sarah Coberly
Clerk: Antonio Sandoval
Coalhouse Walker, Jr.: Caleb Matthews
Coalhouse Walker III: Emmanual Jones
Conductor: Candice Cleaver
Emma Goldman: Meghan Matthewson
Evelyn Nesbit: Cassidee Janke
Evelyn's Dancers:
Moriah Bargas
Jamie Gavina
Regan Low
Sonia Martinez
Father: Alex Ryckman
Fireman: Junior Alvarado, Austin Leslie
Grandfather: Daniel Luna
Henry Ford: Freddie Pedroza
Henson: Jeremy Denning
Houdini: Luciano Sandoval
J.P. Morgan: Kirk Salas
Judge: Junior Alvarado
Jury Foreman: Kirk Salas
Kathleen: Angelika Meyer-Pugy
Little Boy: Ben Caviness
Little Girl: Madelyn Caviness
Mother: Megan Israelsen
Xandra Prestia-Turner
Ryan Roche
Lexy Stacy
Photographers: Sarah Coberly, Marissa Prewett
Policeman: Junior Alvarado
Brittany Barnwell
Sarah Coberly
Marissa Prewett
Sarah: Olivia James
Sarah's Friend: Renatta Jones
Tateh/Baron Ashkenazy: Michael Ochoa
Umpire: Austin Leslie
Vice Presidential Candidate: Special Guest Artist
Welfare Official: Sonia Martinez
White Attorney: Freddie Pedroza
Whitman: Freddie Pedroza
Willie Conklin: Aaron Suarez
Younger Brother: Christopher McKeown
Brittany Barnwell
Amber Beaty
Kaliah Dudley
Aly Mosher
Christina Wetzbarger
Christine Vaughn

Director: Rene BeVier Dill
Vocal Music Director: Alison Roman
Pit Orchestra Conductor: Jason Buckingham
Choreographer: Michelle Sergeeff Villareal
Technical Director/Scenic Designer: Chuck Kite
Costume Designer: Joy Robins
Sound Designer: Mark Payne
Lighting Design: Brian Jackson


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