Friday, January 18, 2013

Ragtime The Musical

Livent Inc's world premier production of "Ragtime", a musical panorama of America at the turn-of-the-century, tells the story of three remarkable families whose lives have become intertwined with major historic events and legendary figures of the period.

unused, bought in 2011

This opened on Broadway on January 18, 1998.  That night my husband and I were trying to get back to our hotel, The Waldorf  Astoria (in New York) after seeing a different show and couldn't get close because of all the limousines.  So we payed the cab and walked the last few blocks to see what was going on.  There were a lot of celebrities and photographers walking in.  We asked one of the photographers what was going on and he said it was the opening night of Ragtime the Musical and this was their opening-night celebration.  He told us to tag along with him and he would introduce us to a few people.  One of the first people we met was Julie Taymor, we had seen The Lion King the night before so I told her how much we loved the show.  (That was my first broadway show.  We saw the original cast, so it was quite a while before I saw another show that thrilled me like that one did!) We also met most of the cast of Ragtime, (they were all very gracious and took the time to say hello) and Jack Palance.  There were some others too, but I don't remember who.  After they were all past us, the photographer took us up to the party, but we couldn't go in, so he got for us one of the goodie bags that everyone got.  Inside the bag was a Ragtime program printed with a special seal on it for the opening night, a keychain, baseball, and some other odds and ends.  It was a wonderful evening.  Although I never saw the show on Broadway, our oldest daughter sang in it in a local community group.  I think having her in the show made it even better than the one in New York.  But that could just be a proud mama talking.  :D

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Ragtime is a musical with a book by Terrence McNally, lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, and music by Stephen Flaherty. The music includes marches, cakewalks, gospel and ragtime and the production is mostly sung-through.

Based on the 1975 novel by E. L. Doctorow, Ragtime tells the story of three groups in the United States in the early 20th century; African-Americans, represented by Coalhouse Walker Jr., a Harlem musician; upper-class suburbanites, represented by Mother, the matriarch of a white upper-class family in New Rochelle, New York; and Eastern European immigrants, represented by Tateh, a Jewish immigrant from Latvia.

Historical figures such as Harry Houdini, Evelyn Nesbit, Booker T. Washington, J. P. Morgan, Henry Ford, Stanford White, Harry Kendall Thaw, Admiral Peary, Matthew Henson, and Emma Goldman are represented in the stories.

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