The stories of three American families intertwine against the backdrop of a towering slate of historical figures. Together, through a dazzling array of musical styles from the era, they weave a stunning tapestry that reveals both the promise and prejudice of the American experience.
"...For pageantry is “Ragtime’s” brand. And Gardiner masters the form here, casting the parts, fictional and real, as emblematic cogs in an evolutionary demographic machine. The touchstone characters, all sensationally realized — Teal Wicks as a White patrician undergoing a feminist awakening; Bobby Smith as a Jewish immigrant with a gift for entrepreneurship; Awa Sal Secka as a Black woman of infinite devotion — animate those cogs hearteningly."
"...Ragtime is as close to an American musical epic as we have and its endurance is testament to its power. If Ragtime's inclusive revisioning of who gets to be American and share in the dream isn't enough of a salve for our sorrows, perhaps even temporarily, to hear its score performed by a 16-piece orchestra (under the baton of music director Jon Kalbfleisch) and a stellar ensemble of performers certainly should be. "It was the music of something beginning, an era exploding, a century spinning in riches and rags, and in rhythm and rhyme. The people called it Ragtime." This person calls it a smash."
"...Twenty-five years after its Broadway debut, the iconic musical Ragtime has been revived at Signature Theatre. Kudos to director Matthew Gardiner for undertaking a supremely ambitious work brimming with all that was best and worst about America’s Gilded Age: hope and despair, opportunity and savage repression, astonishing technological breakthroughs, and blighted lives. It’s a tall order for a small, intimate theater."
"...Yet, this small dive into Signature Theatre’s production isn’t enough. How does one capture a production that simultaneously felt like light rippling through a stained-glass window or a glass of warm milk with honey? The energy hummed through this show like a live wire. The ensemble of actors, coupled with a thunderous orchestra backing them, was spellbinding. You don’t want to miss this one."