‘Ragtime' Concert Comes to Ellis Island in One-Night-Only Affair

From 1892 to 1954, Ellis Island was the gateway for more than 12 million immigrants entering into the United States. And on Monday, the famed institution will be the grounds for another series of immigrant stories, when it hosts a concert version of the Broadway musical "Ragtime."

The 1998 musical stage adaptation of E.K. Doctorow's historical novel -- which details the conflict between classes of immigrant groups in early 20th century America -- will be the first musical of its kind to take the New York Harbor.

It will take place in Ellis Island Registry Room, where immigrants passing through were traditionally inspected and registered by immigration officers.

Presenting producer Suzanne Friedman is using the "developmental concert" as a workshop for "an immersive, full production of the acclaimed American musical" on Ellis Island in 2017, its website says.

"The questions of what it means to be part of an immigrant narrative are just as prevalent now as they were in 1902, and in asking those questions in the very room where so many of our ancestors discovered the answers, 'Ragtime on Ellis Island' offers an unprecedented opportunity to bring history to life in new ways," the site explains.

Brian Stokes Mitchell, who starred in the original Broadway production, will narrate the evening. Andy Mientus (NBC's "Smash"), Laura Michelle Kelly ("Finding Neverland"), Brandon Victor Dixon ("Hamilton") and Michael Park ("Tuck Everlasting") are just a few starring in the show.

After the show, audience members can explore the main building and two of its museum exhibits. The private ferry taking them home will take a detour by the Statue of Liberty.

"Ragtime" features a score by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, with a book by Terrence McNally. Sammi Cannold will direct the concert.

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