Earl Carpenter, who starred in the West End and on Broadway as The Phantom in The Phantom of the Opera and Inspector Javert in Les Miserables, and West End star Anita Louise Combe, Tessie Tura in Gypsy at the Savoy Theatre and both Roxie Hart and Velma Kelly in Chicago, are to head the cast of a major new actor-musician production of Ragtime.
Ragtime led the 1998 Tony Awards with 12 nominations, winning 4 including Best Book by Terrence McNally and Best Original Score by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty.
This new production follows critically acclaimed Titanic as the second in-house production at Charing Cross Theatre, directed by Artistic Director Thom Southerland and produced by Danielle Tarento, Steven M. Levy, Sean Sweeney and Vaughan Williams.
It is the turn of the 20th Century in New York. An era is exploding. A century is spinning. And the people are moving in rhythm and rhyme to the music of Ragtime. Based on the novel by E.L Doctorow, Ragtime weaves together the story of three groups in America, represented by Coalhouse Walker Jr, a Harlem musician; Mother and her white, middle class family in New Rochelle; and Tateh, a Jewish immigrant who has come to America with his daughter seeking a new life. Their fictional lives become dramatically intertwined with one another as well as with historical figures including Harry Houdini, Booker T. Washington, JP Morgan and Henry Ford.
The full cast are: Simon Anthony (Wonder.land, NT); Bernadette Bangura (professional debut); Anthony Cable (The Phantom of the Opera, Sunset Boulevard, Anything Goes, Napoleon, West End); Earl Carpenter; Anita Louise Combe; Cavin Cornwall (currently playing Caiaphas in Jesus Christ Superstar at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre); Valerie Cutko (Raffaela in Grand Hotel, Broadway and Southwark Playhouse, Cabaret, West End); Matt Devereaux (Hitler, My Part in His Downfall, Hampstead); Christopher Dickins (Monsieur André in The Phantom of the Opera, West End, War Horse, NT); Tom Giles (Muse of Fire, The Globe, Freddie Mercury in Royal Vauxhall, Edinburgh Fringe/Latitude); Joanna Hickman (The Witches of Eastwick, Watermill, Johanna in Sweeney Todd, directed by John Doyle); Lemuel Knights (professional debut); Rachel Knowles (Spamalot, West End, Betty Blue Eyes, UK tour); Ako Mitchell (Grey Gardens, Southwark Playhouse); Seyi Omooba (professional debut); Kate Robson-Stuart (Betty Blue Eyes, UK tour); Jennifer Saayeng (City of Angels, Donmar); Jonathan Stewart (Guys And Dolls, Savoy Theatre & Phoenix Theatre, West End, Grand Hotel, Southwark Playhouse); Gary Tushaw (currently starring as Joseph Taylor Jr in Allegro at Southwark Playhouse); and child actors Alana Hinge, Samuel Peterson, Ethan Quinn, Riya Vyas.
Ragtime will run for a 9-week season from Saturday 8 October – Saturday 10 December www.charingcrosstheatre.co.uk