Stafford Arima will direct a concert version of the musical Ragtime for Lincoln Center. The event will be held at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall on February 18, 2013. No casting has been announced at this time.
Arima received an Olivier Award nomination for his direction of the 2003 West End premiere of Ragtime. His other directorial credits include Carrie, Altar Boyz, The Tin Pan Alley Rag, Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris and the upcoming off-Broadway revival of Bare.
Based on the epic novel by E. L. Doctorow, Ragtime features a score by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty and a book by Terrence McNally. The musical turns back the clock to the dawn of the early 20th century—a time when anything was possible and ragtime music filled the air. New York City was the land of opportunity. A poor Jewish immigrant sells his “moving picture” books on the street. A wealthy Victorian couple welcomes a runaway into their home. A Harlem jazz pianist turns an issue of justice into a revolution. Their personal journeys come alive as historic figures (among them escape artist Harry Houdini, auto tycoon Henry Ford, educator Booker T. Washington and infamous entertainer Evelyn Nesbit) offer guidance and diversion. Together, their stories celebrate the struggle between tradition and independence, all in pursuit of the American dream.
Ragtime premiered at Broadway’s Ford Center for the Performing Arts (now the Foxwoods Theatre) in 1998 and starred Audra McDonald, Marin Mazzie, Brian Stokes Mitchell and Mark Jacoby. The production earned four Tony Awards and nine additional nominations including Best Musical. The first Broadway revival opened at the Neil Simon Theatre in 2009 and closed after 65 performances.