WEST ORANGE, NJ - West Orange based community theatre company, Pleasant Valley Productions, opened their production of Ragtime this past Saturday to tremendous audience response. Following Sunday’s matinee performance, they hosted an educational talkback as part of Black History Month and the NJ 350 celebration. The talkback was moderated by PVP Board Member and West Orange resident Sanaz Hojreh.

The panel featured Edison National Historical Park Archivist Leonard DeGraaf, Ragtime director and West Orange resident Camille Vecchio-DiLorenzo, cast member David Simon, Ragtime choreographer Marcel Coleman, cast member and West Orange resident Christina Boateng, Roosevelt Middle School social studies teacher Josh Goldfarb, and cast member Mark Quiles. As part of the continued educational mission of Pleasant Valley Productions and in recognition of the important themes of Ragtime, Pleasant Valley Productions will be offering a school-night special. All tickets purchased at the door on Thursday, February 13 will be $10.

Ragtime performances will continue Thursday, February 13, Friday, February 14, and Saturday, February 15 at 7pm. With weather forecasts calling for heavy snowfall in the coming days, please stay tuned to Pleasant Valley Productions' facebook page and www.PleasantValleyProductions.org for continued information about potential cancellations due to snow.

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The production is directed by Camille Vecchio-DiLorenzo, with music direction by Ilene Greenbaum and choreography by Marcel Coleman, with Howie Tilkin serving as producer.

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.

Performances of Ragtime will be held at Roosevelt Middle School, located at 36 Gilbert Place in West Orange.  For tickets and more information, please visit www.PleasantValleyProductions.org or call 1-800-838-3006.