We did not plan to see this musical, but it was hot outside, the theatre was cool and we kept hearing how great it was, so we went. A wise decision as it turned out, as Jackie Maxwell did a great job directing this rambling musical based on the novel by E. L. Doctorow.

I did not particularly like the novel and was surprised by how much better the musical form fit the story. I did wonder how the Americans in the audience felt about this rather negative view of their history, as I found some of the portrayals of racist behaviour uncomfortable to watch. But perhaps I worry unnecessarily, as the audience was fully ebgaged in watching the performance and gave it an enthusiastic standing ovation.

One of my definitions of a great musical is that I should leave humming. This does not happen, as I had never heard any of the songs before and none stuck with me. So in my view this is an excellent production of a good musical. But not great.

The staging was very effective and visually dramatic. The cast was uniformly good, as expected at Shaw. Thom Allison has the big voice and the big number.


About cathyriggall

Theatre junkie, who thinks live theatre is the ultimate form of living on the edge. You never know what will happen when an actor steps on the stage.
This entry was posted in Shaw 2012, Thom Allison. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Ragtime

  1. Keith says:

    Well, I am not generally a musical fan and, if I do go, my expectations are unfair.I do not leave a straight play expecting to be repeating the lines to my self, but i do expect to be singing or humming at least one song from a musical. This one just left me wanting to go home and play Scott Joplin.Really good performance, just not for me.

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