a new musical by Mark Saltzman featuring the songs of Scott Joplin and Irving Berlin directed by Jiri Zizka
November 10 – December 19, 1999
Promenade into Manhattan, 1915 for Mark Saltzman’s THE TIN PAN ALLEY RAG. Meet Irving Berlin – he can’t read music, but he’s the most popular composer in the world. Young songwriters jam into his publishing office, desperately trying to sell him their tunes. Enter a dignified African-American man who softly asks if he can play a little bit of a “ragtime opera.” When his fingers touch those piano keys, the office walls disappear and magic happens. It’s Scott Joplin. In this rousing musical, two remarkable men riff on the nature of success, love, despair and posterity. Tonight, each will take an unexpected trip into the other’s world. You’ll go with them: Berlin, the Russian immigrant who didn’t know a chord from a key, but had his first international hit at age 23. And Joplin, conservatory-educated by a father born into slavery. In the saloons where these men played and sang, you’ll see great singers and dancers tear into some of the most incredible songs ever written: The Maple Leaf Rag, Alexander’s Ragtime Band, The Entertainer, and more.