Bay Street Theater Stages “Ragtime”

The cast of "Ragtime" Courtesy of Bay Street Theater

by Debbie Tuma

Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor is having their own “hot” summer—with unique main stage and other productions. Last month is was the Pulitzer Prize winning play, “Anna in the Tropics,” about a Cuban-American family in the cigar factory business in 1929, down in Tampa. This play by Nilo Cruz was exotic and erotic, with themes of passion, lust and jealousy, as this family faced the many challenges of making hand rolled cigars instead of letting machines do the work. The story was intense and the actors were excellent. It was an educational experience to see their lifestyle in this time period in Florida.

Ali Stoker. Courtesy of Bay Street Theater.

Now in August, a very different type performance takes the stage with the largest cast this theater has ever had, of 18 people, with the musical “Ragtime.” The music is by Stephen Flaherty, Lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, and book by Terrence McNally. It is the musical adaptation of E.L. Doctorow’s classic novel, about the turn of the century worlds of a wealthy white couple, a Jewish immigrant father and his daughter, and an African American ragtime musician, whose lives intertwine. “It is a sweeping musical about America’s Golden Age,” according to the theater. It opens August 2 through August 28.

Also in August, there are Music Mondays, with special guests, starting with Lillias White, on August 8, followed by Ali Stroker, on August 15, and “The Great American Mousical,” directed by Julie Andrews, on August 22. From August 25-27, is a special intern performance called, “Indian Summer,” and August 29 is “Music Monday,” a sip and sing live with Kyle Barisich and special Broadway guests.

Bay Street Artistic Director Scott Schwartz, Jenny Conant, Harris Yulin, Steve Kroft, Mercedes Ruehl, and Bay Street Executive Director Tracy Mitchell. Photo by Rob Rich/

In between these shows and performances, are summer camps for kids, and creative summer camps for teens with Stuart Ross and Cecelia Ticktin.

Stewart Lane and Bonnie Comley. Photo by Rob Rich/

Bay Street Theater also has great summer galas, like the one they held on July 16, a mini gala dinner party at the East Hampton estate of board member Stewart Lane and his wife Bonnie Comley. At this event, Bay Street Theater and Sag Harbor Center for the Arts honored Mercedes Ruehl and Harris Yulin with the Joel Grey Lifetime Achievement Award. Also attending this event were Steve Kroft, of 60 Minutes, author Jennet Conant, Susan Lacy, opera star Cristina Fontanelli, and Bay Street Executive Director Tracy Mitchell and Artistic Director Scott Schwartz.

For more information on upcoming events, call Bay Street Theater at 631-725-9500 or visit their website at