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Posted on Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 11:28 a.m.

New Ann Arbor in Concert group aims to present concert performances of big musicals

By AnnArbor.com Staff

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Ann Arbor In Concert, a new performing arts group based in Ann Arbor, plans to focus on bringing members of the community together to perform “giant” musicals in a concert setting. This means that show is performed in its entirety, but without sets and costumes.

Productions are expected to involve a full 52-piece orchestra, a full singing ensemble, a full dance ensemble, and actors.

Performances will take place at the Michigan Theater, and the first show will be “Ragtime,” which won 1998 Tony Awards for best score, book, and orchestrations, and won both the Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for best musical and best score.

Written by the award-winning composer/lyricist team of Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens (“Once on This Island,” “Seussical”), noted playwright Terrence McNally (“Kiss of the Spider Woman,” “Master Class”), and based on E.L. Doctorow’s distinguished novel, “Ragtime” intertwines the stories of three families, at the turn of the 20th century, as they confront history’s timeless contradictions of wealth and poverty, freedom and prejudice, hope and despair, and what it means to live in America.

The Tony-winning score draws upon many musical styles—from the ragtime rhythms of Harlem and Tin Pan Alley, to the klezmer of the Lower East Side; from bold brass band marches, to delicate waltzes; from up-tempo banjo tunes, to period parlor songs and expansive anthems.

Here's a video with song highlights from the original Broadway production.

A list of roles, and a more detailed show synopsis, can be found on A2IC’s website. Auditions for “Ragtime” are scheduled for Dec. 18-19, with rehearsals April 29-May 16, and the performance May 18. Auditioners may schedule an audition time, and orchestra musicians may sign up, at A2IC’s website.

While A2IC is based in Ann Arbor, members of all the surrounding communities are invited and encouraged to participate as well. As founding member Eric Lofstrom likes to say: ‘if you can make rehearsals, you’ve got a part’.