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A musical with themes of freedom and prejudice & hope and despair, is as relevant as ever

Ragtime - The Musical, opens in Thousand Oaks on Friday
Five Star Theatricals
Ragtime - The Musical, opens in Thousand Oaks on Friday

Five Star Theatricals production of Ragtime - The Musical, opens Friday in Ventura County.

Final rehearsals are underway for Five Star Theatricals production of Ragtime: The Musical in Thousand Oaks. It’s a story set in the early 20th Century, but the themes of racism, privilege and prejudice are as relevant in 2023 as ever.

"It's relevant because as human beings we think we are progressive but we still break into the same patterns. Not matter which generation, there's something which repeats itself," said the show’s director Jeffrey Polk.

Polk explained that Ragtime - The Musical, mixes fact and fiction - merging a fictional story with real-life characters like Henry Ford, J.P. Morgan, Harry Houdini and more.

Misty Cotton plays the role of mother.

"Her journey is so amazing, being a woman from 1906, and all the changes going on at the time," explained Cotton.

"It's [set] before women could vote. When things are really brewing in the United States and cultures are coming together and intersecting," said Cotton.

Cotton said that her character is thrust from a comfortable world, to being forced to make decisions for herself for the first time and she really "finds herself."

Cotton said it's a dream role to play the strength and vulnerability in the mother character.

Cindy Murray, Executive Director of Five Star Theatricals, agrees that the time to engage audiences with the themes of the story, however difficult they may be, is now.

"So much of it is what is going on right now. Some things have changed and some things have not changed and I felt this story needed to be told at this time," said Murray.

"The story is that we are all human, we are all equal and we should all be treated equal," she said.

"It's the trials and tribulations of racism and how they deal with it and how they dealt with it then and I think it's really important with what we are seeing out there [in the world] right now."

"It's a beautiful story," she added.

5-Star Theatricals production of Ragtime The Musical opens Friday at the Performing Arts Centre in Thousand Oaks and runs through April 2nd.

Caroline joined KCLU in October 2020. She won LA Press Club's Audio Journalist of the Year Award in 2022 and 2023.

Since joining the station she's won 10 Golden Mike Awards, 5 Los Angeles Press Club Awards, 2 National Arts & Entertainment Awards and a Regional Edward R. Murrow Award for Excellence in Writing.

She started her broadcasting career in the UK, in both radio and television for BBC News, 95.8 Capital FM and Sky News and was awarded the Prince Philip Medal for her services to radio and journalism in 2007.

She has lived in California for eleven years and is both an American and British citizen - and a very proud mom to her daughter, Elsie.