Set in the United States in the early 20th century, Stephen Flaherty’s 1998 Tony Award-winning musical, “Ragtime,” interweaves stories of a wealthy Protestant family; a poor Jewish immigrant and his daughter, and an educated black musician from Harlem, the woman he loves and their child. Based on E.L. Doctorow’s novel of the same name, the show is set to ragtime-inflected music and offers a portrait of the period’s political unrest, social reformations, and struggles of immigrants and African Americans, as well as the experience of the white ruling class as they resist changes in their society. Prominent historic figures, such as Emma Goldman, J.P. Morgan and Booker T. Washington, are characterized throughout the show. Presented by the New Jersey Performing Arts Center Summer Musical Program and by the Westfield Young Artists’ Cooperative Theatre, “Ragtime” is directed by Cynthia Meryl.
New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Victoria Theater, 1 Center St., Newark; July 14-23; $26, $15 for children under 14. (888-466-5722)