RAGTIME: THE MUSICAL

Critics

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100 %

Reviews: 15

Audience

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Reviews: 0

The great American musical has returned to LA for its first major production in 20 years. Nominated for 13 Tony Awards including Best Musical, Ragtime tells the story of three families at the turn of the 20th Century in pursuit of the American dream. The award-winning score uses ragtime rhythms to paint a portrait of the people who built this country with the hopes for a brighter tomorrow.

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Reviews

"If you're already familiar with Ragtime, you will be witnessing this extraordinary production as if you were seeing it for the first time. The show's run has been extended until March 9. It is highly recommended."

sweet - Cary Ginell - VC Onstage - ...read full review


Tin Pan L.A.
"The Pasadena Playhouse's first offering in 2019 is the American musical Ragtime: The Musical with a book by Terrence McNally, lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, and music by Stephen Flaherty—and what an offering. Ragtime is a big show on so many levels, thematically it deals with immigration, racism, white privilege, women's rights among other weighty themes, and logistically, it boasts a 21-person cast with a 16-piece orchestra. It's an ambitious project for any theatre company and the Pasadena Playhouse has risen to the occasion with this sumptuous production."

sweet - Ryan Luévano - Tin Pan L.A. - ...read full review


"The investment required by such an ambitious production might have scared off a lesser gambling man. The demands were all there: high budget, big show, strong material, superior talent, terrific singing, impressive design. But ultimately it is the depth of the experience that matters. This one stays with you."

sweet - Sylvie Drake - Cultural Weekly - ...read full review


Katie Buenneke
"The best thing about Ragtime is Ahrens and Flaherty's score, which is rousing and delightful as ever when sung by the capable cast here. David Lee's direction isn't particularly innovative… this doesn't feel like a daring reimagining so much as a circumspect restaging of an often-overlooked piece from the American musical repertoire."

sweet - Katie Buenneke - Stage Raw - ...read full review


Steven Stanley
"A nation where the rich get richer, the poor get poorer, and immigrants are told to get out and stay out. Ragtime may take place a century ago, but the epic 1998 Broadway musical has never been more relevant than it is today, and thanks to director David Lee and a glorious cast and design team, its 2019 Pasadena Playhouse revival blows the seven other Ragtimes this reviewer has seen out of the water, and then some."

sweet - Steven Stanley - StageSceneLA - ...read full review


Patrick Chavis
"It's a master work, showing struggle, inequality and racial injustice that highlights humanity at our darkest, but also tries its best to project an idealistic vision of how life could be."

sweet - Patrick Chavis - LA Theatre Bites - ...read full review


"If you're already familiar with Ragtime, you will be witnessing this extraordinary production as if you were seeing it for the first time. The show's run has been extended until March 9. It is highly recommended."

sweet - Cary Ginell - VC on Stage - ...read full review


Rob Stevens
"The cast size has been condensed to a robust group of 21, most playing multiple roles. With the limited playing area and the smaller cast, director David Lee has skillfully crafted a very intimate and deeply touching production.... This Ragtime demands to be seen. So see it!"

sweet - Rob Stevens - Haines His Way - ...read full review


Erin Conley
"This production is an achievement to be proud of. The heart and soul of the story feels relevant and important in today's political climate, a timely reminder that we can never truly know someone else's story, and that we often have more in common with those who seem different from us than we could ever imagine."

sweet - Erin Conley - On Stage & Screen - ...read full review


"The important themes of the America of the 1900s continue to be just as important today – classism, racism, and immigration, for example. RAGTIME: THE MUSICAL touches on them all, showing us how far we've come and how far we've still to go, but it does it with music that elevates the spirit and sends you home feeling hopeful. Welcome hope into your heart, and go see this show!"

sweet - Dena Burroughs - The Fume of Sighs - ...read full review


Shari Barrett
"As the musical's stories unfold and the ensembles intertwine, you will be blown away by the quality of all performers, fast pace of the direction, the intricate, multi-level scenic design by Tom Buderwitz which resembles a warehouse full of crates, the range of class appropriate costumes by Kate Bergh, effective and attention-grabbing lighting design by Jared A. Sayeg, with sound and projection designs by Philip G. Allen and Hana Sooyeon Kim. Each element enhances this tragic yet ultimately uplifting American classic whose themes are unfortunately still all too familiar. Director David Lee said, “The themes of the show are more relevant than ever. Set in the first years of the 20th Century, it deals with immigration, racism, white privilege, women's' rights, workers' rights, violence in the name of justice, media's outsize influence on our democracy, inter-sectional politics and even the clash between fact and fiction in reporting our history.”"

sweet - Shari Barrett - ...read full review


Carol Kaufman Segal
"Though the novel is historical, the play mixes history with fiction in a captivting production..."

sweet - Carol Kaufman Segal - Carol's Culture Corner - ...read full review


Ellen Dostal
"Several striking performances give fresh resonance to roles previously made famous by the likes of Brian Stokes Mitchell and Marin Mazzie (Broadway's original Coalhouse and Mother). Duncan's thrilling anthem "Make Them Hear You," which precedes his final moments on stage, rings with a dizzying depth of emotion and brings the production to an electrifying climax."

sweet - Ellen Dostal - BroadwayWorld - ...read full review


"This is the show that every other on the L.A. scene this year will be judged by. See it for yourself, for bragging rights, or just to soak up the magic that artists at the top of their games can gift. The large 21-member cast is a gamble these days that most playhouses don't have the means to take. Pasadena's bet has already paid off with a perfect night worth gushing about."

sweet - Melanie Hooks - Colorado Blvd - ...read full review


"The musical still has its embarrassing storytelling moments, and when the waves of honky-tonk piano give way to saccharine power ballads, the score loses its rich historical flavor. But trust me, musical theater lovers: The show, pulled off with polish and panache, is one you won't want to miss."

sweet - Charles McNulty - LA Times - ...read full review


"If you're already familiar with Ragtime, you will be witnessing this extraordinary production as if you were seeing it for the first time. The show's run has been extended until March 9. It is highly recommended."

sweet - Cary Ginell - VC Onstage - ...read full review


Tin Pan L.A.
"The Pasadena Playhouse's first offering in 2019 is the American musical Ragtime: The Musical with a book by Terrence McNally, lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, and music by Stephen Flaherty—and what an offering. Ragtime is a big show on so many levels, thematically it deals with immigration, racism, white privilege, women's rights among other weighty themes, and logistically, it boasts a 21-person cast with a 16-piece orchestra. It's an ambitious project for any theatre company and the Pasadena Playhouse has risen to the occasion with this sumptuous production."

sweet - Ryan Luévano - Tin Pan L.A. - ...read full review


"The investment required by such an ambitious production might have scared off a lesser gambling man. The demands were all there: high budget, big show, strong material, superior talent, terrific singing, impressive design. But ultimately it is the depth of the experience that matters. This one stays with you."

sweet - Sylvie Drake - Cultural Weekly - ...read full review


Katie Buenneke
"The best thing about Ragtime is Ahrens and Flaherty's score, which is rousing and delightful as ever when sung by the capable cast here. David Lee's direction isn't particularly innovative… this doesn't feel like a daring reimagining so much as a circumspect restaging of an often-overlooked piece from the American musical repertoire."

sweet - Katie Buenneke - Stage Raw - ...read full review


Steven Stanley
"A nation where the rich get richer, the poor get poorer, and immigrants are told to get out and stay out. Ragtime may take place a century ago, but the epic 1998 Broadway musical has never been more relevant than it is today, and thanks to director David Lee and a glorious cast and design team, its 2019 Pasadena Playhouse revival blows the seven other Ragtimes this reviewer has seen out of the water, and then some."

sweet - Steven Stanley - StageSceneLA - ...read full review


Patrick Chavis
"It's a master work, showing struggle, inequality and racial injustice that highlights humanity at our darkest, but also tries its best to project an idealistic vision of how life could be."

sweet - Patrick Chavis - LA Theatre Bites - ...read full review


"If you're already familiar with Ragtime, you will be witnessing this extraordinary production as if you were seeing it for the first time. The show's run has been extended until March 9. It is highly recommended."

sweet - Cary Ginell - VC on Stage - ...read full review


Rob Stevens
"The cast size has been condensed to a robust group of 21, most playing multiple roles. With the limited playing area and the smaller cast, director David Lee has skillfully crafted a very intimate and deeply touching production.... This Ragtime demands to be seen. So see it!"

sweet - Rob Stevens - Haines His Way - ...read full review


Erin Conley
"This production is an achievement to be proud of. The heart and soul of the story feels relevant and important in today's political climate, a timely reminder that we can never truly know someone else's story, and that we often have more in common with those who seem different from us than we could ever imagine."

sweet - Erin Conley - On Stage & Screen - ...read full review


"The important themes of the America of the 1900s continue to be just as important today – classism, racism, and immigration, for example. RAGTIME: THE MUSICAL touches on them all, showing us how far we've come and how far we've still to go, but it does it with music that elevates the spirit and sends you home feeling hopeful. Welcome hope into your heart, and go see this show!"

sweet - Dena Burroughs - The Fume of Sighs - ...read full review


Shari Barrett
"As the musical's stories unfold and the ensembles intertwine, you will be blown away by the quality of all performers, fast pace of the direction, the intricate, multi-level scenic design by Tom Buderwitz which resembles a warehouse full of crates, the range of class appropriate costumes by Kate Bergh, effective and attention-grabbing lighting design by Jared A. Sayeg, with sound and projection designs by Philip G. Allen and Hana Sooyeon Kim. Each element enhances this tragic yet ultimately uplifting American classic whose themes are unfortunately still all too familiar. Director David Lee said, “The themes of the show are more relevant than ever. Set in the first years of the 20th Century, it deals with immigration, racism, white privilege, women's' rights, workers' rights, violence in the name of justice, media's outsize influence on our democracy, inter-sectional politics and even the clash between fact and fiction in reporting our history.”"

sweet - Shari Barrett - ...read full review


Carol Kaufman Segal
"Though the novel is historical, the play mixes history with fiction in a captivting production..."

sweet - Carol Kaufman Segal - Carol's Culture Corner - ...read full review


Ellen Dostal
"Several striking performances give fresh resonance to roles previously made famous by the likes of Brian Stokes Mitchell and Marin Mazzie (Broadway's original Coalhouse and Mother). Duncan's thrilling anthem "Make Them Hear You," which precedes his final moments on stage, rings with a dizzying depth of emotion and brings the production to an electrifying climax."

sweet - Ellen Dostal - BroadwayWorld - ...read full review


"This is the show that every other on the L.A. scene this year will be judged by. See it for yourself, for bragging rights, or just to soak up the magic that artists at the top of their games can gift. The large 21-member cast is a gamble these days that most playhouses don't have the means to take. Pasadena's bet has already paid off with a perfect night worth gushing about."

sweet - Melanie Hooks - Colorado Blvd - ...read full review


"The musical still has its embarrassing storytelling moments, and when the waves of honky-tonk piano give way to saccharine power ballads, the score loses its rich historical flavor. But trust me, musical theater lovers: The show, pulled off with polish and panache, is one you won't want to miss."

sweet - Charles McNulty - LA Times - ...read full review