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Monday November 27, 2000

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Coming to America

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Broadway musical "Ragtime" opens tomorrow night at

The Broadway musical "Ragtime" may have been intended for the enjoyment of audiences everywhere, but it was seemingly tailor-made for actor Jim Corti.

Corti plays the character of Tateh, a widowed Jewish father emigrating from Europe to America in search of a better life for he and his daughter - a story that mirrors Corti's own ancestors' arrival in America.

"I'd remembered stories from my grandma," he said. "It's my love of her that helped me understand what it was like to come over (to America)."

Like Tateh, Corti said his grandmother emigrated from Europe during a time of great poverty. He added that her father, Corti's great-grandfather, first came to America in search of work. Only after securing a job did he then arrange for his daughter to make the move.

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