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.