Tag Archives: Mother’s Day

‘Ragtime,’ its mothers and Mother’s Day

Skipper Rankin (Little Boy) and Ryann Angelotti (Mother) in Near West Theatre’s May 2012 production of Ragtime. (Photo by Laura Carlson Tarantowski)

Theirs are beautiful, poignant stories, two of many that intertwine in Ragtime. One character, known simply as Mother, is part of the wealthy, white establishment in New Rochelle, N.Y., 100 years ago. As her husband goes to sea she wishes for a journey of her own. A jarring circumstance arises in her own backyard, she makes a courageous choice, and we see her engage a changing world with grace, anxiety, good humor and resolve. By the time of Mother’s Act II solo, actor Ryann Angelotti has literally let her hair down to sing “We Can Never Go Back to Before.” The other character, Sarah, from Harlem’s African American community, faces more severe challenges, including a crisis pregnancy. She too musters courage as she comes to terms with her role as a mother and discerns whether to reunite with her child’s father. Actor Nicole Sumlin gives bittersweet voice to Sarah’s struggle in her Act I solo, “Your Daddy’s Son.” And there are others: Harry Houdini’s mother (played by Sarah Michalski) appears briefly, but lives on mystically in her famous son’s mind. Immigrant mothers appear and move on, babies in arms.

Join us on Mother’s Day for the 3 p.m. performance of Ragtime on Sunday, May 13. It’s only $8. Tickets are available weekdays at 216-961-6391 between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Or you can order online here. Our advance-sales box office is closed weekends, but any remaining tickets are available at the door starting one hour before show time at our performance space, 3606 Bridge Ave., Cleveland. There are also six other performances between May 10 and 20:  see all the dates here.

Nicole Sumlin (Sarah) in Near West Theatre’s May 2012 production of Ragtime. (Photo by Terry Schordock)