Source: The Flash List | 5/25/16 | Dallas
As the curtain opens and the first few notes of that instantly-recognizable tune are plunked out on the piano, Ragtime sufficiently unifies people from all walks of life with its widely-familiar syncopated rhythms.
Set in 1902 New York with the dividing lines of racial and ethnic boundaries clearly delineated, this all-new touring production tells an interwoven story depicting the hidden strife within an upper-class family, the ambitious quest of a Jewish artist who peddles celebrity silhouettes in an attempt to achieve the American dream, and the unexpected circumstance of a talented Harlem musician which yields unexpected results. Crisp white era-specific costumes (complete with parasols) convey a sense of style and affluence, while dreary gray overcoats differentiate the plight of immigrants who stand doubly-juxtaposed along with the men and women of color dressed in warm tones and brighter hues.
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New special effects and an army of cast and crew function like clockwork to bring this iconic one-of-a-kind show to life.
Although the show's sound system (brought in by the touring company) created some significant problems on opening night, the vocal performances themselves were incredibly impressive by this cast which included Chris Sams (as Coalhouse Walker), Matthew Curiano (Tateh), Kate Turner (Mother), Leslie Jackson (Sarah). Winning Tony Awards for Best Book and Best Musical Score, this 13-time Tony Award nominated musical progressed gradually like the book might read -- slow and deliberate with descriptive narrations that give audience members keen insights into the unfolding lives of its struggling but fiercely-determined characters.
Actors repeatedly ascend and descend an ever-present set of movable staircases which call to mind the natural progression of ups and downs experienced during each season of life. All the while, the example of continually striving to rise above oppression to combat a variety of oppositions reminds us that, no matter what,
We Can Never Go Back to Before.
Ragtime runs through Sunday, June 5, 2016 at the Music Hall at Fair Park with a length of 2 hours and 40 minutes and tickets ranging from $17.00-$99.00.
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