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'Ragtime' by Pleasant Valley Productions in West Orange

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West Orange based community theatre company, Pleasant Valley Productions will present the epic historical musical February 8-15 at The Theatre at Roosevelt Middle School in West Orange. Performances are Saturday, February 8th at 7 pm, Sunday, February 9th at 2 pm, Thursday, February 13th, Friday, February 14th, and Saturday, February 15th at 7 pm. As part of Black History Month and the NJ 350 celebration, a special educational talkback will follow the February 9th performance discussing the show’s themes and historic elements.

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.

Pleasant Valley Productions was formed in 2012 by long-time friends and colleagues, director Camille Vecchio-DiLorenzo, music director Ilene Greenbaum, and producer 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. 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. In addition to the upcoming production of Spelling Bee, PVP plans to continue to expand its arts education program and free concert series.

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.

Photo: Cast members (L to R) Jessica Wigfall, Leonard Mitchell, Marlon Brown, Christina Boateng, Renee Kee, Nia Sorbino, Anthony LaCoste, Vicki Ridley, Lawrence Dandrige, with Kirk Lambert and Noelle Staudt at the piano

Photo Credit: Warren Westura

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