Journey On: RAGTIME Revival Opens on Broadway

Journey On: RAGTIME Revival Opens on Broadway

As Mother, Christiane Noll waves good-bye to Father, played by Broadway favorite Ron Bohmer--from

As Mother, Christiane Noll waves good-bye to Father, played by Broadway favorite Ron Bohmer

The first Broadway revival of RAGTIME opened on November 15 to a number of great reviews! The critics agree: RAGTIME is perhaps more appropriate now than it was when it first opened ten years ago.

Here are a few articles featuring this new production of RAGTIME:

From Peter Filichia at TheaterMania: Welcome Home, Ragtime!
From Broadway, Meet New Rochelle
From the New York Times: Finding New Meaning in a Pageant of Dreams

Here's what the critics have to say:

Elysa Gardner, USA Today
"Those who plan to see the theatrical version, now in revival at the Neil Simon Theatre, are advised to put away their thinking caps and bring their hankies...Terrence McNally's book tugs at your heart and conscience with such artful aggression that only an ogre could resist the urge to weep at some points and smile at others. . . . Emotion conquers all in this "Ragtime," so check your skepticism at the door and enjoy."

Joe Dziemianowicz, the New York Daily News
"It hasn't even been a decade since the first production of the show left town. Did Broadway need another "Ragtime"? Seems premature. But it's hard to argue with a revival as surefooted as Marcia Milgrom Dodge's strikingly staged and vividly performed redo. . . . The focus here is the music by Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens' lyrics. . . . Dodge, who also did the spirited period choreography, has a keen eye for creating stage pictures with her large cast — all 40 of them. . . . Same goes for Flaherty and Ahrens' stirring score. It has moments of true magic."

David Rooney, Variety
"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...This is big-brain, bold-strokes musical-theater storytelling at its most vibrant. . . . By stripping back the production frills yet retaining a grandeur appropriate to the sprawling story in Derek McLane's three-tiered, wrought-iron scaffold set, Dodge has made the focus more intimate, the sorrows more piercing and the joys more uplifting. . . . The score is beautifully sung, and with 28 musicians in the pit, it's also played with all the exquisite dimension only a full-size orchestra can bring, making "Ragtime" a transporting sensory experience."

David Sheward, BackStage
"Though that first production [of "Ragtime" 1998] remains fresh in my mind, this edition finds new spark and vibrancy. The script by Terrence McNally and the lush and moving score by composer Stephen Flaherty and lyricist Lynn Ahrens eschew the cool, detached tone of the original novel by E.L. Doctorow for a somewhat sentimental flavor. [Marcia Milgrom Dodge] has fully and honestly embraced that sentiment. As a result, this "Ragtime" makes a deep emotional connection with the audience. . . . With the aide of Donald Holder's painterly lighting, Derek McLane's factorylike three-tier set becomes suburban New Rochelle, jazzy Harlem, the grimy Lower East Side, and breezy Atlantic City. Santo Loquasto's detailed period costumes are characters in themselves and add the finishing touch to this rich tapestry of Americana."

Melissa Rose Bernardo, Entertainment Weekly
"A leaner, less lavish, yet somehow even richer incarnation of the turn-of-the-20th-century-era musical has been neatly fitted into Broadway's Neil Simon Theatre. But this is no penny-pinching, recession-era "Ragtime." Stephen Flaherty's music — appropriately entrenched in the titular jagged, syncopated rhythms made so famous by the likes of Scott Joplin — gets the full 28-piece orchestra treatment. A cast of 40 — huge by today's Broadway standards — portrays the colorful panoply of characters. . . . [Marcia Milgrom] Dodge's greatest strength as a director is keeping the actors moving, particularly in the glorious opening number. . . . The opulent original production radiated an almost blinding streak of sun-soaked late-'90s optimism. This darker revival is by no means a bummer; it's simply more grounded in reality. With its wonderful blend of nostalgia, anger, patriotism, and hard-won idealism, perhaps Ragtime is simply a better suited to 2009."

Stephanie Umoh and Quentin Earl Darrington ride on the wheels of a dream

Stephanie Umoh and Quentin Earl Darrington ride on the wheels of a dream

For more information about the RAGTIME Broadway revival, including ticket availability, visit its official website. To license RAGTIME, check out its MTI show page. Discuss the Broadway revival of RAGTIME and view photos from its original production on its MTI ShowSpace page.