Michael J. Duran, artistic director for Boulder's Dinner Theatre, lured Jeffrey Nickelson artistic director and founder of Shadow Theatre Company to the Dinner Theatre stage along with six other Shadow actors. The bait: Ragtime, a play that requires a diversity that the primarily African-American theater troupe was able to provide.
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Even before Nickelson was offered the role of Coalhouse Walker, pianist and protagonist, the acclaimed actor/director was already familiar with the character; he saw Ragtime performed at the Buell Theater almost a decade ago. "I thought, 'What a lovely role,' even though at the time I didn't even think about playing it," Nickelson recalls. While fulfilling the role, he'll concede Shadow duties to his two "very competent" full-time employees.
The show begins tonight at 6:15 p.m. and runs through May 26; future showtimes vary depending on the date. Tickets start at $27 and include dinner, which is served by cast members minus Nickelson and his associate artistic director, Hugo Jon Sayles. ("I would rather be a janitor than wait tables," Nickelson says.) Call 303-449-6000 or log on to www.theatreinboulder.com for reservations or more information; Boulder's Dinner Theatre is at 5501 Arapahoe Avenue. Youth, student and group discounts are available.