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RAGTIME BROADWAY REVIEWS
Opening Night: November 15, 2009
Synopsis: Based on E.L. Doctorow's acclaimed epic novel, Ragtime turns back the clock to the dawn of the 20th century - a time when anything was possible and ragtime music filled the air. New York City was the land of opportunity. A poor Jewish immigrant sells his "moving picture" books on the street. A wealthy Victorian couple welcomes a runaway into their home. A Harlem jazz pianist turns an issue of justice into a revolution. Their personal journeys come alive as historic figures offer guidance and diversion - among them escape artist Harry Houdini, auto tycoon Henry Ford, educator Booker T. Washington, and infamous entertainer Evelyn Nesbit. Together, their stories celebrate the struggle between tradition and independence all in pursuit of the American dream.
NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW:
"“Ragtime” has lost weight since it was last on Broadway. The judiciously pared-down production that opened Sunday night at the Neil Simon Theater is a sprinting sylph compared to the opulence-bloated show that went under the same name a decade ago."
"The initial swirling syncopation of sound is impossible to resist. Surely there are not many opening numbers better than the intoxicating first moments of "Ragtime," the stage version of E.L. Doctorow's best-selling novel. The show's themes and characters are introduced lickety-split in a thrilling combination of song, story and movement that goes a long way toward explaining what musical theater is all about."
"No word has been more bandied about in American life the past two years than change. And no show investigates the nuances of that word as it relates to the American Dream -- conveying hope, opportunity and success, but also the ugly flipside of pain, division, confusion and violence -- more masterfully than "Ragtime." The 1997 musical not only feels trenchant and timely, but its multistrand story is delivered with fresh clarity and emotional immediacy in director-choreographer Marcia Milgrom Dodge's elegant revival, transferring to Broadway from D.C.'s Kennedy Center, where it originated in April. This is big-brain, bold-strokes musical-theater storytelling at its most vibrant."
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