Natick, actors from Framingham in Concord Players “Titanic: The Musical”

April 10, 1912. The ‘unsinkable’ ship, the Titanic, embarks on its maiden voyage across the North Atlantic carrying over 2,200 souls on a collision course with fate.

It was the “Ship of Dreams” for the passengers on board: third class, immigrated to America for a better life; the second class, hoping to live a life of leisure in imitation of the upper classes; and the first class, striving forever to maintain their privileged positions.

A fateful collision with an iceberg simultaneously shattered all those dreams.

This year marks the 110th anniversary of this historic event. Although there have been many large-scale disasters since the sinking of the Titanic, we continue to be drawn to this tragedy because few events have captured our imaginations so deeply. How could a monument to human ingenuity and engineering meet such a terrible fate? How did the passengers and the crew experience these last fateful hours?

The Concord Players are pleased to present the Tony Award-winning production of “Titanic: The Musical”, with music and lyrics by Maury Yeston and book by Peter Stone. The musical opened on Broadway on April 23, 1997, and won five Tony Awards, including Best Musical.

Yeston and Stone knew the idea was unusual for a musical. The story is unique to turn-of-the-century British culture with its rigid social class system while idealizing progress through technology.

“I think if you don’t have those kind of daring torpedoes, you shouldn’t be doing this job. It’s the safe-sounding shows that don’t do well,” Yeston said.

The New Yorker said it “seemed a foregone conclusion that the series would fail; a musical about the most tragic voyage in history in which 1,500 people lost their lives, of course was… Surprisingly, Titanic manages to be serious and entertaining, dark and joyful; little by little you realize that you are in the presence of a true addition to American musical theatre.

Coincidentally, the Broadway musical debuted the same year as James Cameron’s epic film adaptation of the RMS Titanic story, which sank in the early morning hours of April 15, 1912.

According to director Douglas Hodge, of Sherborn, “We all know how this doomed voyage ended, but very little about the more than 2,200 souls on board.” He prefers to focus on the hopes and dreams of some of these passengers. “Distinct class lines were on full display, which some say led to inequity between who lived and who died.” But it’s not just the passengers we get to know – the officers and crew are just as much a part of this epic saga.

Players are fortunate to be able to showcase new talent as well as seasoned veterans from so many surrounding communities.

Natick’s Lonnie Powell, commanding the role of decorated British naval officer Edward J. Smith, captain of the Titanic, is no stranger to the Concord scene; Whitman’s Athan Mantalos as J. Bruce Ismay, president of The White Start Line and owner of the Titanic; Sherborn’s Kelly Hodge as Alice Beane; Agatha Oehlkers, of Natick, as Kate Mullins; Westwood’s Diana Doyle as Charlotte Drake Cardoza; Billerica’s Craig Howard as Benjamin Guggenheim; Tom Sullivan, of Worcester, as 1st Officer William Murdoch; Andrew Swansburg, of Groton, as Steward 1st Class Henry Etches; Paul Spanagel, of Worcester, as driver Frederick Barrett; Natick’s Jon Saul as Mr. Latimer; and Brian Vaughn Martel, from Milton, as Thomas Andrews, designer and builder of the Titanic.

Framingham’s Brad Puffer as John Jacob Astor makes his stage debut at Concord; Caroline Granahan, of Concord, as Madeleine Astor; Amy Harris, of Natick, as Ida Straus; Frank Hildebrand, of Beverly, as Isidor Straus; Peter Boettcher, of Chelmsford, as Charles Clarke; Jamie Cook, from Burlington, as Kate Murphey; Mark Estano, of Belmont, as Harold Bride; AJ Gaudreau, of Malden, as NCO Charles Lightoller; Ben Gold, of Weston, as lookout Frederick Fleet; Brian Higgins, of Northborough, as Edgar Beane; Hannah Johnston, of Somerville, as Caroline Neville; Melrose’s Adam Sell as Jim Farrell; Lindsey Soboleski, of Hudson, as Madame Aubert; and Austin Walker, as crew member Alfred Evans.

With such a large cast, a full orchestra under Natick’s Ben Oehlkers, ingenious sets and stunning costumes, audiences may find it hard to believe they’re sitting in a community theater in Concord, not Broadway. .

Performances will be at 8 p.m. on April 29 and 30, May 6 and 7, and May 13 and 14, and at 2 p.m. on May 1 and 8 at the Performing Arts Center, 51 Walden St. at Concord Center.

Tickets are $28 with reserved seating. Masks and proof of vaccination are required for admission.

For tickets and more details regarding The Concord Players COVID-19 policy, visit www.concordplayers.org.