Welcome to Urban By Design Online! This blog is a notebook of my travels as a city planner, historic preservationist and nonprofit advocate. It's a virtual collection of the many things that I adore, featuring cities, the arts, architecture, gardens, interior design, and retail. Enjoy! - Deena
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Entries in Broadway (1)


Ragtime The Musical was phenomenal

Ragtime: I really, really, really loved it!

Hours before the snowstorm blanketed the streets of New York City on Saturday night, I attended a matinee performance of the 2009 Broadway revival of Ragtime The Musical. I actually WON the tickets in a contest sponsored by Akila Worksongs, owned by April R. Silver.

Ragtime, based on the book by E.L. Doctorow, is set in early 20th century New Rochelle, New York.  It chronicles the changing times in the lives of an affluent Protestant family; a confident and daring African American musician from Harlem; and a struggling Latvian Jewish immigrant.  All are on the quest to find the sometimes-elusive American dream, and share their aspirations for the future. This story masterfully delves into the often thorny and controversial issues of race, class, immigration, as well as the role of women in society. While it is a period piece, its themes still resonate, because the same subjects continue to occupy a prominent place in modern American life.

Ragtime’s 40-member ensemble was a rich cast of diverse actors, accompanied by a glorious 28-piece orchestra.  The captivating production was full of exquisite singing, wonderful choreography, brilliant acting, and magical staging.  The costumes, lighting, and sets were equally marvelous.  Overall, I was mesmerized, and could not take my eyes off of the stage.

Officially, it is my favorite Broadway show of all time. Ragtime is exhilarating, and a must-see for anyone who loves the theater.  I still find myself humming the songs!  While the show lasted for three hours, I truly didn’t want it to end. 

Many thanks again to April R. Silver for granting us this extraordinary and memorable Broadway experience!