Coalhouse Walker Jr. and Professor Harold Hill are coming to Albany this summer.
That means music fans will also be coming to the city's Washington Park. Park Playhouse has announced the musicals "Ragtime" and "The Music Man" will be staged at the park's Lakehouse Amphitheatre in June-July and August, respectively. Amphitheater lawn seating for both productions will be offered to audiences for free. Reserved seats and premium table seating will go on sale May 1.
Producing Artistic Director Owen Smith believes both productions are timely choices. "In a year where the political climate has been as charged as it has ever been surrounding issues of race relations and immigration, I can’t think of a more appropriate piece of theater than 'Ragtime' to present our audiences with in our 29th season," Smith said in a press release. "To follow in August with 'The Music Man,' a cheerful and optimistic display of Americana, will ensure that there is something for everyone on our stage this summer."
"Ragtime" is based on E.L. Doctorow's award-winning novel, which chronicles the lives of three different families from three different worlds at the start of the 20th Century. Proud pianist Coalhouse Walker Jr. is one of the characters. "The Music Man" follows fast-talking traveling salesman Harold Hill as he cons the people of River City, Iowa, into buying instruments and uniforms for a boys' band he vows to organize – despite not knowing anything about music.