Revival set for Neil Simon Theater in November
Producers of the “Ragtime” revival have confirmed its Broadway berth at the Neil Simon Theater, where the new staging of the 1998 tuner will open in November.The production, helmed and choreographed by Marcia Milgrom Dodge, had seemed a likely Rialto transfer since it won rave reviews in its spring bow at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Production will have a cast of about 40 and an orchestra of 28. Budgeted at the Kennedy Center at $4.4 million, the Gotham transfer will be capitalized at $8 million-$8.5 million, according to producer Kevin McCollum. He described the new staging as “less declarative” than the Rialto preem. “It feels like a more intimate production, in terms of the storytelling,” he added. No casting for the Gotham engagement has been announced. Thesps in the Kennedy Center run, which played April 18-May 17, included Ron Bohmer (“The Woman in White”), Manoel Felciano (“Sweeney Todd”), Christiane Noll (“Jekyll and Hyde”) and Bobby Steggert (“110 in the Shade”). Based on the novel by E.L. Doctorow, “Ragtime” has a book by Terrence McNally, music by Stephen Flaherty and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens. Set in New York City in the early 1900s, plots follow a rich Victorian couple, a Harlem jazz musician and a family of Jewish immigrants as their lives intersect with famous figures of the era. Design team for the revival includes Derek McLane (sets), Santo Loquasto (costumes) and Donald Holder (lights). The original Broadway staging picked up four Tonys, including trophies for book and score. Production is often remembered as one of the last from Livent, the company topped by big-spending producer Garth Drabinsky, who was indicted in 1999 and recently found guilty of fraud and forgery in a Canadian court. McCollum, Roy Furman, Roger Berlind, Max Cooper, Tom Kirdahy/Devlin Elliott, Jeffrey Sine, Scott Delman, Roy Miller, LAMS Prods., Wendy Federman and Emanuel Azenberg produce “Ragtime” in association with the Kennedy Center. Show begins previews Oct. 23 ahead of a Nov. 15 opening.