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Life, Poverty and All That Jazz

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E.L. Doctorow's superb novel Ragtime was that rare hybrid of a popular (it sold by the boatload) and literary success that pleased both everyday readers and the more demanding bailiffs of the book-review columns. Truly, if you read Ragtime and are failed to be wowed by it, you're in the minority. Doctorow's tale of early 20th-century American racial and socioeconomic schisms follows three families (wealthy Protestants, working-class black and Jewish immigrants) as they live out their individual versions of the American dream. The Center of Creative Arts presents Terrence McNally's musical adaptation of Ragtime as its summer show this year. The cast features current COCA students and COCA alumni, and is recommended for teens and older. The show is performed at 7 p.m. Friday and at 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday (July 25 and 26) at Washington University's Edison Theatre (6445 Forsyth Boulevard). Tickets are $18 and available at 314-725-6555 or through www.cocastl.org.
Fri., July 25, 7 p.m.; Sat., July 26, 2 & 7 p.m., 2014

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