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WHAT’S GOING ON BROADWAY FANS?! It’s only 15 DAYS till we celebrate Broadway’s triumphant comeback with a BANG…. We are talking about The 74th Annual Tony Awards. We got more iconic legendary performances from previous telecasts coming your way on our TOP 50 TONY AWARDS COUNTDOWN.
Today, our selection day was a last minute change in support of 20 years of that horrific we’ll NEVER FORGET. At # 15 today on our countdown, we celebrate America at the turn of the century. It’s a personal favorite of NYBT’s founder and head guide Amada Anderson……. This is RAGTIME. Based on E. L. Doctorow’s best selling 1975 novel of the same name, it features an iconic score by Lynn Ahrens & Stephen Flaherty along with a book by Terrence McNally.
From the 1998 telecast, here is the show’s legendary breakout original cast performing the show’s opening title song.
RAGTIME originally premiered in Toronto back in 1996 at the Toronto Centre for the Arts before moving on a month later to Broadway which opened the newly built Ford Center for the Performing Arts (now the Lyric Theatre) for 861 performances. Members of the original production included….
Alex Strange (later Anthony Blair Hall) as “Edgar, The Little Boy”,
the late Marin Mazzie (later Donna Bullock) as “Mother”,
Peter Friedman (later John Rubenstein) as “Tateh”,
Audra McDonald (later LaChanze) as “Sarah”,
Brian Stokes Mitchell (later Alton Fitzgerald White) as “Coalhouse Walker, Jr”,
Lea Michele (later Elizabeth Lundberg) as “The Little Girl”,
Judy Kaye as “Emma Goldman”.
The original production of RAGTIME was nominated for 13 Tony Awards in 1998. It took home 4 for BEST SCORE (for Flaherty & Ahrens), BEST BOOK OF A MUSICAL (for McNally), BEST FEATURED ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL (for Audra McDonald), and BEST ORCHESTRATIONS (for William David Brohn).
Following the success of the original production, the show went on to become a worldwide hit musical from Regional productions, London’s West End, and several concert productions (including a concert production on Ellis Island back in 2016).
The 1st and most recent Broadway revival of RAGTIME happened in 2009 at the Neil Simon Theatre playing for only 93 performances. Members of that 2009 cast included…
Christopher Cox as “Edgar, The Little Boy”,
Christiane Noll as “Mother”,
Ron Bohmer as “Father”,
Robert Petkoff as “Tateh”,
Quentin Earl Darrington as “Coalhouse Walker, Jr”,
Stephanie Jean Umoh as “Sarah”,
Sarah Rosenthal as “The Little Girl”,
Donna Migliaccio as “Emma Goldman”.
The revival was nominated for 6 Tony Awards in 2010 including BEST REVIVAL OF A MUSICAL. However, it lost all of it’s categories.
How beautiful is this iconic musical?
Mike Haber
Author: Mike Haber

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