'Ragtime' to begin its national tour in Washington

Arts Notes

November 09, 1997|By Karin Remesch | Karin Remesch,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

The national tour of "Ragtime," a new musical based on E. L. Doctorow's popular novel, will be launched at the National Theatre in Washington April 14. The announcement was made Wednesday, more than 10 weeks before the production's official opening on Broadway Jan. 18.

Advance group bookings for theater parties of 20 or more will be accepted beginning Nov. 17. Single tickets become available Feb. 2.

"Ragtime" ran its world premiere engagement December through August in Toronto and was proclaimed "Best Musical of the Year" by USA Today. Benedict Nightingale of the London Times predicted that "Ragtime" will become "the next international hyperhit."

The Broadway production will be presented in the Ford Center for the Performing Arts on 42nd Street, a new 1,821-seat musical theater erected on the site of the historic Lyric and Apollo theaters. Previews begin Dec. 26.

The national touring production of "Ragtime" is being booked through 2002. Casting will be announced later. The first international company will premiere in Australia in September.

Island project

Steel-drum melodies and a luau party will highlight the Baltimore Theatre Project's "A Night in the Islands" to benefit its arts fund.

Saturday's evening of tropical delights begins at 6 o'clock in the Cabaret of Spike and Charlie's Wine Bar and Restaurant with an opening reception featuring Brown Benson on piano. Dinner follows with a menu of island-inspired fare prepared by chef Spike Gjerde. After dinner, the party moves upstairs to the Theatre Project for a variety of entertainment. Dancer and choreographer Terry Beck will perform his contemporary piece "With My Arms Around Wyoming," and sideshow artist Scott Baker, now in residence at the Theatre Project with his "Geek Circus," will present a piece created for the evening.

After the performances, Theatre Project will be transformed into a Caribbean dance paradise, featuring the steel-drum island sounds of the Mellowtones.

Tickets for the entire evening are $60. Tickets for the performances and music only are $20 for adults and $12 for students. Call 410-539-3091.

Two plays to be read

The Baltimore Playwrights Festival will sponsor a mini-marathon staged reading from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday at Fell's Point Corner Theatre, 251 S. Ann St.

Bob Racine's full-length play "The Day They Left Home" and the expressionistic drama "Muldoon" by veteran BPF playwright Joe Dennison will be read and discussed.

Admission is free. Call 410-276-2153.

Film about John Waters

Film producer and director Steve Yeager will discuss his 25-year odyssey to create a documentary about filmmaker John Waters Thursday at a membership meeting of Women in Film & Video of Maryland. Networking starts at 6 p.m.; the meeting begins at 7 p.m. at the Admiral Fell Inn, 888 S. Broadway in Fells Point.

Yeager is in post-production for "Divine Trash," a feature film on John Waters' career. An independent filmmaker, Yeager is an instructor at Towson University and a longtime member of WIFV. The Baltimore native's first feature film, "On the Block," premiered at the Senator Theater in 1991.

Admission is $10, and light refreshments will be served. Call 410-522-7377.

Humanities prize

The Maryland Humanities Council has given the Eisenberg Prize for Humanities in Maryland to Ellen Conroy Kennedy of Howard County and Lyle E. Linville of Prince George's County. They will share a cash award of $3,000.

Kennedy is the founder of the Howard County Poetry and Literature Society. Reaching millions of viewers annually, she features outstanding poets and writers on the televised series "The Writing Life." Her accomplishments also include a nomination for the National Book Award in Translation for her translation of Albert Camus' "Lyrical and Critical Essays."

Linville, a professor of history at Prince George's Community College, is the creator of "The Blues Project," a national radio series that can be heard on close to 30 public radio stations.

Theater seeks scripts

Theater Rep Stage, Columbia's professional theater in residence at Howard Community College, is accepting scripts from area playwrights for its third annual play-development series, "Works in Progress."

During the series, a three-week script festival scheduled for next June, playwrights work with a director and a dramaturg to hone their scripts.

The first part of the series is a weekend of new-play readings followed by discussions with the audience. The second includes a staged workshop production that delves more deeply into the physical and psychological demands of the script and allows actors, director, dramaturg and playwright to work together in an intensive two- to three-week rehearsal period.

Since the inception of the series in 1996, six new plays have been developed by Rep Stage.

Playwrights should mail their scripts to Rep Stage, attention John Morogiello, Howard Community College, 10901 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia 21044. Deadline for submission is Feb. 28. Call 410-772-4628.

Auditions

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