Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe
Shut down before it opened due to fears that the word "nigger" in the script might melt innocent bystanders, an outdoor community production of Ragtime will go on after all. . . . Only, not outdoors. The Pioneer Press reports that the musical, originally meant for the Wallis Bowl in Wilmette's Gillson Park, will be moved inside, to the auditorium of that affluent suburb's community center--a site the producers initially rejected as too small.
This solution evidently pleases Wilmette Park District executive director Tom Grisamore, who's quoted in the article as saying, "[W]e did want it to be performed out of earshot of toddlers who might be disturbed. . . while they were playing in the tot lot next door to the bowl." Nothing disturbs a toddler's late evening play more than inappropriate language.
Let's hope Grisamore gets back into the news soon--he's got a real Orwell-meets-Yogi Berra way with language. Not only did he come up with the toddler remark; he's also quoted commenting, "We strongly feel that everyone involved with the show needs to be heard, and that's not possible in an outdoor venue." Parse that.
Ragtime performs Thur-Sat, 7/17-19, 8 PM, Wilmette Community Recreation Center, 3000 Glenview Road, Wilmette, 847-256-9686, free but seating is limited so call ahead to reserve.