The stellar cast of Ragtime, stripped down to an essential 17 members, is currently deep in rehearsal for the production which begins performances next week. Take a peek behind the curtain at these rehearsal shots.
Joining our previously announced cast members are three more intrepid pioneers: Jake Rutland (Louis Hobson), Wesley (Kyle Robert Carter) and Ming-Li (Steven Eng). Jake leaves his home to try and get some independence from his older brother. Jake becomes a proprietor around town, choosing to focus on business (and fleecing the miners) rather than gold mining. Wesley is Jake’s slave who journeys with Jake across the country to start a new life, aspiring to purchase his own freedom through a secret career as a milliner. Ming-Li comes to America with his younger brother, planning on staying only long enough to raise money to support their family back in China.
Louis Hobson just finished up a run in our annual ACT co-production, Assassins, in which he portrayed the infamous John Wilkes Booth. In addition to Assassins, Louis has been in a number of other shows at The 5th including Jacques Brel…, A Room with a View, Spamalot, West Side Story, Miss Saigon and Hair. Louis played the role of Doctor Madden on Broadway in Next to Normal, and was also seen on Broadway in Bonnie & Clyde, Leap of Faith and People in the Picture. His film and TV credits include C.O.G., Laggies, Lucky Them, The Man in the High Castle and Captain Fantastic. Louis is the cofounder of Indie Theatrical.
Kyle Robert Carter was most recently seen on our stage during this season’s production of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. Kyle also joined us last season in both Grease and Jasper in Deadland. He portrayed Benny in both the national tour and regional productions of In the Heights, and has been seen as Eddie Souther regionally in Sister Act. Off-Broadway, Kyle was in Storyville.
Steven Eng is joining us again after his 5th Avenue debut earlier this season in Waterfall. Based out of New York, Steven has entertained audiences nationally and internationally. He was in The King and I in London, and has been seen in regional productions of Pacific Overtures, Richard II, Henry IV, Parts One and Two and Miss Saigon. (Steven has a Masters degree in Classical Acting which means lots of Shakespeare!) He has performed regionally at NY Philharmonic, Pasadena Playhouse, Huntington Theatre, Paper Mill Playhouse, Alliance Theatre, ShakespeareNYC and many others. Steven is the co-founder of the National Asian Artists Project, and is a member of the NYU Tisch School of the Arts faculty.
Don’t miss Louis, Kyle and Steven, and the other prospectors, in our ‘revisal’ production of Lerner & Loewe’s Paint Your Wagon. The show runs June 2 through June 25. Visit our website for more information and to purchase tickets.
Meet the Actor: Louis Hobson
Louis Hobson is a regular on The 5th Avenue stage, with performances in Jacques Brel, Jasper in Deadland (cast album), A Room with a View, Spamalot, West Side Story, Miss Saigon, Hair, and Pippin. His Broadway credits and Cast Albums include Next to Normal (2010 Pulitzer Prize), Bonnie & Clyde, Leap of Faith, and The People in the Picture. Hobson can also be seen in films and on television including C.O.G. (Sundance 2013), Laggies (Sundance 2014), Lucky Them (TIFF 2014), The Man in the High Castle (Amazon), and opposite Viggo Mortensen in Captain Fantastic (Sundance 2016). Hobson is the president & co-founder of Indie Theatrical, with stage and entertainment properties currently in development in the U.S., Asia and South America. indietheatrical.com
Meet the Assassin: John Wilkes Booth
Arguably the most well-known presidential assassin in our nation’s history, John Wilkes Booth was an American stage actor and Confederate sympathizer. Born in 1838 into a prominent theatrical family, Booth made his stage debut at the age of 17 and quickly developed a reputation as an outrageous scene stealer, strikingly handsome and intensely physical onstage.
As Civil War began to tear the country apart, Booth continued to perform extensively across the country. He was very vocal about his opposition to Abraham Lincoln and his support for slavery, and at one point was arrested in St. Louis for “treasonous remarks” against the president and the government. In late 1864, he even developed a plot to kidnap President Lincoln and smuggle him into Richmond in an effort to bring victory to the South. A last minute change in plans on the part of the president foiled the plan.
On the morning of Good Friday, April 14, 1865, Booth learned that the President and First Lady would be attending a performance of the play Our American Cousin that very evening. Fueled by this disdain for Lincoln, Booth would become the first person in the history of United States to assassinate a president, shooting the President in the back of the head.
Photo by MARK & TRACY PHOTOGRAPHY