No. 40: Ragtime

Tonight, I will finally be seeing a show that I have been longing to see ever since I fell in love with it a little over nine-ish years ago: Ragtime.

If you have not heard any of this show’s music, I highly encourage you to do so by first listening to the show’s opening number, which I have shared below:

Majestic, collective, and optimistic are just a few of the adjectives that can be used to describe this score. The music in Ragtime is exquisite and brilliantly crafted, representing the promise of a new kind of America longed for by all of the characters in the show. It’s amazing how the same people who wrote the music for Anastasia and Seussical were able to write something so different, yet so exceptionally captivating, and I marvel at their unique ability to be such musical chameleons.

My favorite character in the show is Mother. The adventure she undertakes throughout the course of the show is one that makes me realize both humanity’s implicit biases and our capacity to realize our flaws for the greater good of those around us. It also helps that she was originally played by the luminescent Marin Mazzie, who unfortunately passed away this past September from a long, hard-fought battle with cancer, but whose voice will forever soar with authenticity in my music library. Her character’s trajectory is one I am sure many of my blog’s readers might feel they identify with, and it is one that helps me myself set things in perspective every now and then.

Overall, this particular piece of musical theatre makes me hopeful for the country we all desperately want: a country where change and disagreement is inevitable, but one where we can work together toward the promise of unity our founding fathers made to us when they created our country. Times like these are surely a struggle for many of us, especially for the plethora of disenfranchised groups who don’t feel as though their voices matter and who feel abandoned by their government. I believe seeing a show like Ragtime is musical theatre soup for the soul right now, and I’m genuinely so grateful that I finally get to see what I am sure will be a breathtaking production presented by The Eagle Theatre.

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