(March 26, 2015)

Centenary College presents Rags: The Musical at Marjorie Lyons Playhouse April 16-18

SHREVEPORT, LA — Centenary College's Department of Theatre and Dance and Hurley School of Music will combine forces to present Rags: The Musical at the Marjorie Lyons Playhouse from Thursday, April 16 to Saturday, April 18. The show's run includes an 8 p.m. performance each evening as well as a 2 p.m. matinee on April 18.

Centenary's Department of Theatre and Dance and Hurley School of Music present Rags: The Musical

"Rags picks up the story where Fiddler on the Roof ends, painting a sweeping saga of awakenings and disappointments, of greed and power, of strength and love," said Director Ron Bermingham. "It is as deeply moving and inspirational a musical as you could ever hope to find."

With great passion and humor, Rags tells the story of Rebecca, a naive Russian Jewish immigrant who arrives at Ellis Island with her young daughter. She goes to work in a sweatshop while searching for her husband, Nathan, who has preceded them to America. When they are finally reunited, Rebecca is distressed by Nathan's desire to change their name and strip away their ethnic culture so as to better fit in with his cronies. Rebecca eventually experiences a political awakening in the midst of navigating the complex process of assimilation and building a new life in America.

"Rags is a culturally charged piece, since it is about immigrants coming into the United States," said Jordan Fell '15 who plays Rachel, an older widow looking for her last chance to find a man with whom to share her declining years. "We have collectively had to research and incorporate Russian Jewish customs into the play."

Rags premiered on Broadway in 1986, receiving five Tony Award nominations including Best Score, Best Book, and Best Musical. The brilliant musical score for Rags is the work of Charles Strouse (Bye, Bye Birdie; Applause; Annie). The book is by Joseph Stein (Fiddler on the Roof), with lyrics by Stephen Schwartz (Wicked). Centenary's production of Rags features original choreography by Lecturer in Dance Anna Kirkes '09.

"Rags marks the second musical theater collaboration between the Hurley School of Music and the Theater Department, the first having been the February 2014 production of Urinetown," said Bermingham. "The 28-member Rags cast includes Centenary students and three young actors from the community, all sustained by an outstanding crew and faculty. Nine professional musicians will accompany the actors as they tell the story of early 20th century Jewish immigrants beginning new lives in America."

Tickets for Rags are $15 for adults; $10 for seniors, military, and Centenary alumni; $5 for non-Centenary students; and free for current Centenary students, faculty, and staff with I.D. All tickets can be purchased online at centenary.edu/playhouse/tickets.

For more information, contact the Marjorie Lyons Playhouse box office at 318.869.5074.