Ragtime The Musical is among those musicals that bring an important message. It has become a classic musical that continues to be performed around the world. The show is a testament to the struggles of those living around the turn of the 20th century and the power of music to bring people together. On its take on the disparities in economic class and the deep hold of racism, it showcases a lens through which people can understand and open their eyes to the hard reality of living under the scrutiny of these deeply rooted struggles. It is a show that will stay with audiences forever and with those who will watch it at the Fred Kavli Theatre this spring.
“Ragtime is a beautifully executed traditional musical.” – CurtainUp
Ragtime The Musical is an award-winning musical based on the 1975 novel of the same name by E.L. Doctorow. The novel is widely acclaimed for its vivid imagery and richly detailed characters. Doctorow’s writing style is lyrical and evocative, and he masterfully captures the nuances of life in New York City at the turn of the century. The novel has been praised for its ability to bridge the gap between past and present and its exploration of themes such as race, class, and the American dream.
As it was transformed into a stage musical, the story was explored more deeply. At the same time, it barely strayed away from the original source. Like the novel, it tells the story of three groups of people —African Americans, immigrants, and upper-class suburbanites—and their struggles with the world transition from the 19th century to the 20th century. It has a great take on the issues of racism and class in America, tackling it in such a way that never shies from the reality of its influence.
“Ragtime as a story succeeds by mixing fictitious characters with historic ones in its tale of a rapidly changing America at the beginning of the twentieth century.” – Playbill
The musical takes place in the early 1900s in New Rochelle, New York. The story follows the lives of three characters from different backgrounds – African-American Coalhouse Walker Jr., Latvian immigrant Tateh, and an affluent Mother. Coalhouse Walker Jr. is a ragtime musician whose dreams of becoming a successful artist are shattered when his piano is destroyed by racists. Tateh is an immigrant from Latvia who is searching for a better life for himself and his daughter. The show follows the three characters as they struggle to achieve their dreams in a rapidly changing world.
The music of the show is a mix of ragtime, jazz, blues, and other styles that help to bring to life the story of each family. The show also deals with themes of racism, immigration, and social class. The musical features a variety of songs, including “Wheels of a Dream,” “Make Them Hear You,” and “Back to Before.” These songs help to move the story forward and provide insight into the characters’ thoughts and feelings.
The musical was first staged in Toronto in 1996 before opening on Broadway in 1998. The Broadway production was directed by Frank Galati and choreographed by Graciela Daniele. The musical was a hit and was nominated for eleven Tony Awards, winning four, including “Best Book” and “Best Original Score.” It ran for two years, closing in January 2000 after 834 performances.
The musical features a music score by Stephen Flaherty and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens. The musical score combines traditional musical theatre songs with ragtime, gospel, and other musical styles, blending together to create a unique and powerful sound. The production also featured Tony Award-winning sets and costumes by Santo Loquasto and William Ivey Long.
The West End run of Ragtime The Musical opened in 1998 at the Prince Edward Theatre in London. The production received rave reviews from critics, with many praising its imaginative staging and powerful and moving performances. The London production ran for two years, closing in 2000. The production was subsequently nominated for seven Laurence Olivier Awards, with Friedman winning Best Actress in a Musical. Ragtime The Musical has since become one of the most successful musicals in the Westend and has been produced in regional theatres across the United Kingdom. It continues to be a popular show and is a powerful reminder of the struggles of past generations and the history of racism in America.
Ragtime the Musical has been revived several times since its Broadway and Westend run, including a revival in 2009 at the Neil Simon Theatre. It has also been translated into several languages, including French, German, and Japanese.
5-Star Theatricals will be continuing the legacy of the musical to be showcased at the Fred Kavli Theatre in Thousand Oaks, California, this March 24 to April 2. Mark your calendars. The cast will be announced soon! To reserve tickets, click the “Get Tickets” button.