Ragtime Tuesday Talk at The Truth Colours Gallery

Panelists Robin Sulier-Charney, Thaddeus Washington, Daniel Pearlman, Domonique Glover speak with moderator Dr. Regina Vincent-Williams

By Dawn Scotland
The Truth Reporter

The Toledo Opera hosted a Ragtime Tuesday Talk at the Truth Colours Gallery Tuesday, April 9. The free event featured a panel discussion that explored the thematic connections between the Toledo Opera’s upcoming musical production Ragtime and contemporary life in Toledo. Ragtime will be performed at the Valentine Theatre Friday, April 19 and Sunday, April 21.

The event began with an introduction to Ragtime by James M. Norman, incoming general director of the Toledo Opera. Following the introduction was a riveting preview of Toledo Opera’s production of Ragtime by baritone Bernard Dotson. Dotson, a member of the original Broadway cast who is slated to perform the role of Booker T. Washington in Toledo Opera’s production.

The panel discussion was moderated by Community Engagement Advisory Committee member Regina Vincent-Williams Poet, PhD, author and motivational speaker. The group engaged in discussion ranging from allyship, the nuance of the American dream and the realities of the themes explored in Ragtime today.

The multiethnic panel featured:

  • Domonique Glover, choreographer of Ragtime
  • Robin Sulier-Charney, Black Barbershop Initiative/ ProMedica Oncology Liaison
  • Thaddeus Washington, musician, Big Brothers Big Sisters
  • Daniel Pearlman, director of the Jewish Community Relations Council at the Jewish Federation of Greater Toledo
  • Meyling Ruiz, president of Latino Alliance of Northwest Ohio

Following the discussion attendees were led in a grounding exercise led by Ronald Wells, Jr., Community Engagement Chair, and a musical exercise led by Eboné Waweru, chorus member accompanied by Kevin Bylsma, accompanist, and incoming artistic director.

Attendees engage in a grounding exercise following the engaging panel discussion provided by the Toledo Opera

Tuesday Talks are a series of free public panel presentations convening scholars, artist, and Toledo community members to discuss the contemporary relevance of key themes of opera productions.

Nominated for 13 Tony Awards® including “Best Musical,” and winning for “Best Original Score” and “Best Book of a Musical,” Ragtime makes its premier to Toledo Opera audiences! Based on the novel by E.L. Doctorow, this musical tapestry depicts an African-American family, a Jewish family, and a wealthy white suburban family in turn-of-the-century New York. As they collide in pursuit of the American Dream, they discover the surprising interconnections of the human heart, the limitations of justice, and the unsettling consequences when dreams are permanently deferred.

Ragtime is a powerful portrait of life at the turn-of-the-20th century, exploring America’s timeless contradictions of freedom and prejudice, wealth and poverty, hope and despair. Ragtime stars baritone Derrick Davis (Toledo Opera’s I Dream) as Coalhouse Walker, Jr., Broadway soprano Raquel Suarez Groen as Mother, and baritone Joshua Jeremiah as Tateh. J. Ernest Green returns to Toledo to conduct as James M. Norman brings this poignant musical to life. Book by Terrence McNally, music by Stephen Flaherty, and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens. Ragtime is “rated” PG-13 for language and will be sung in English with English supertitles.

Toledo Opera will perform Ragtime at the Valentine Theatre on Friday, April 19 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, April 21 at 2 p.m. To learn more about Ragtime cast and production team and to buy tickets, visit: toledoopera.org. Ragtime is made possible by Owens Corning.