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Ragtime On Broadway

In 1998, Ragtime premiered as a musical on Broadway.

The lavish production cost around $11 million and included fireworks and a working Model T car. Though the musical received mixed reviews, it received 13 Tony nominations.

Ragtime won the Tony for Best Book of A Musical, Best Original Score, Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical (Audra McDonald), and Best Orchestrations. It lost out on the Best Musical Award to The Lion King.

Ragtime ran for 834 performances, finally closing on Broadway in January 2ooo. The musical then appeared on West End in London for several months, and it reappeared on Broadway in 2009, running for a couple of months.

If I’m honest with you, Ragtime, as a book, isn’t doing much for me. So I’m not sure if I would really enjoy the musical or not. I’ve only recently, in the past six years, begun to appreciate musicals at all–having seen Memphis and The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway, as well as the tour versions of Wicked, Jersey Boys, Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat, Chorus Line and Mama Mia.

Ragtime? I’m not sure. Although any musical with fireworks and a working Model T can’t be all that bad.

Besides that, the one thing I think would make Ragtime a unique musical is the time period in which the story occurs. It has a very distinct style of both fashion and music.

To give you a feel, here’s the opening number for Ragtime, as performed by the original Broadway cast in 1998 on The Rosie O’Donnell show.

And let’s pray to the blogging gods that I never again feel led to link to any video from The Rosie O’Donnell show.

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8 Comments Post a comment
  1. If it helps, I had a really hard time with the book as well, but I absolutely love the musical. I think the musical clarifies the characters and interactions, while still keeping the complexity of pre-war America. But then, I’m a musical theatre buff – not everyone will feel the same way.

    Like

    April 25, 2013
    • Cool. If it ever comes around this way, I’ll have to check it out.

      Like

      April 25, 2013
  2. Saw Mama Mia and Phantom at the Fox in Atlanta. Really enjoyed both. Did you like Mama Mia?

    Like

    April 25, 2013
  3. It’s funny when reading your blog i felt completely the same way. The book is pretty much average but it makes a great musical

    Like

    April 25, 2013
  4. Reblogueó esto en EL PROFESOR.

    Like

    April 26, 2013
  5. jo #

    oh, wow, the musical was great. I saw it LA when they were prepping it for Broadway, saw it again on Broadway, and then saw it again there when it returned revamped. The newer version was better, but somehow it never connected with the audience the way it did with me. I had read the book (tough read) and couldn’t have imagined it as a musical, either, but it worked..!

    Like

    April 28, 2013
  6. Refreshing!

    Like

    April 29, 2013
  7. Reblogged this on perpustakana museum sejarah jakarta.

    Like

    June 2, 2013

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