The musical Ragtime has long been one of my favorite musicals. I first saw it in 1996 in Toronto. The show later came to Broadway in 1998. I saw it countless times over the years on Broadway (original and revival), on tour and on college campuses. This evening, I had the pleasure to revisit the musical in concert at Avery Fisher Hall in New York with what one might consider to be a dream cast, at least vocally.
Big names from Broadway included Lea Salonga (Mother), Howard McGillan (Father), Norm Lewis (Coalhouse Walker, Jr.), Michael Arden (Younger Brother), Kerry Butler (Evelyn Nesbitt), Matt Cavanaugh (Henry Ford), Tyne Daly (Emma Goldman), Jarrod Emick (Willie Conklin), Manoel Felciano (Tateh), Dick Latessa (Grandfather), Jose Llana, (Harry Houdini), Michael McCormick (J.P. Morgan), and Patina Miller (Sarah).
It was a wonderful evening! It was so nice to revisit this beautiful score (by Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens), even though the orchestra sounded a little under-rehearsed and the conductor (Sheilah Vaughn Walker) seemed to be sawing away at times (and this came out in the sound of the orchestra). The audience was filled with Ragtime fans, and they generously showed their appreciation throughout.