Local residents Sydney Brenton and Ava Redmann of Short Hills and Bonale Fambrini of Millburn are to be featured in an upcoming production of Ragtime. Community theatre company Pleasant Valley Productions is presenting the epic historical musical Ragtime from February 8-15, at The Theatre at Roosevelt Middle School in West Orange, which is located at 36 Gilbert Place. Performances will occur on: Sat., February 8 at 7 p.m., Sun., February 9 at 2 p.m., Thurs., February 13, Fri., February 14, and Sat., February 15 at 7 p.m. As part of Black History Month and New Jersey’s 350th Anniversary celebration, a special educational talkback will follow the February 9 performance discussing the show’s themes and historic elements. For tickets and more information, please click here or call 1-800-838-3006.
The production is being directed by Camille Vecchio-DiLorenzo, with music direction by Ilene Greenbaum and choreography by Marcel Coleman with Howie Tilkin is serving as producer.
Fambrini stars in the production as Edgar alongside Redmann and Brenton, who stars as Little Girl. Redmann last appeared onstage with Pleasant Valley Productions in the company’s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat last season.
Ragtime is an epic musical that paints a nostalgic and powerful portrait of life in turn of the century America. Based on the 1975 E.L. Doctorow novel, and enhanced by a beautiful and lush score by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty and a compelling book by Terrence McNally, Ragtime is a modern classic of American musical theatre. Three distinct stories intertwine to depict life in the early 1900’s for three drastically different classes of Americans–the new immigrants from Italy and Eastern Europe, the African-American working class of Harlem and the already established and affluent Anglo-Americans. The memorable score combines the haunting music of the European immigrants with the exciting Ragtime music of the Harlem jazz clubs to result in an award-winning score that delights audiences.
Pleasant Valley Productions was formed in 2012 by long-time friends and colleagues, Livingston resident Ilene Greenbaum, Camille Vecchio-DiLorenzo, and Livingston native Howie Tilkin. The company’s mission is to create a professional theatre experience for local area performers, audience members, students and volunteers, while providing a broad range of musical theatre works with the highest possible production value. After presenting their inaugural production, the critically acclaimed Songs for a New World in March 2012, they presented the family favorite Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat this past February, a sold-out production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee this past July, and most recently, a special concert event—Celebrating Stephen: The Music of Sondheim and Schwartz in October. They have continued to grow their company’s presence in the community by offering free concerts at the West Orange Public Library as well as an after-school musical theatre enrichment program at Roosevelt Middle School.