Livent Inc.s Ragtime, the musical adaptation of E.
L. Doctorows classic novel, set to premiere at the Ford Centre for the
Performing Arts, Metropolitan Toronto, on December 8, 1996
to be one of the richest, most dazzling and original works to emerge in
the last two decades," says Livent Chairman and CEO Garth Drabinsky.
"The novels theatrical possibilities are tremendously exciting.
The story is not only compelling and vastly entertaining, but, like our
current musical hit Show Boat, Ragtimes human drama
is set within a seismic time of upheaval in American history. Ragtime
has something substantive to say about such topics as capitalism versus
socialist ideology, industrialization, racism, and the assimilation of the
immigrant into WASP America."
Winner of the first National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction and the
Arts and Letters Award given by the American Academy and National Institute
of Letters, Ragtime was first published by Random House in 1975, and
became both an international best-seller and an instant classic. Since then,
more than seven million copies have been sold around the world, and the novel
has been translated into 30 foreign languages. Ragtime is currently taught
in secondary schools, colleges and universities throughout Canada, the United
States and Western Europe, as part of the curriculum for numerous Contemporary
American Literature and American Studies programs.
A cavalcade of American cultural, political and economic evolution that
extends from the beginning of the twentieth century to the advent of World
War I, Ragtime unfolds in such varied turn-of-the century settings
as Ellis Island, Broadway, Harlem, Penn Station, Atlantic City and Manhattans
Lower East Side. Interwoven with such major historic events as Admiral Peary
s expedition to the North Pole, the sinking of the Lusitania, the
birth of American labour unions, the development of assembly line technology,
and the dawn of the motion picture and automotive industries, Ragtime
is populated with such legendary figures as Harry Houdini, Henry Ford, J.
P. Morgan, Emma Goldman, Stanford White and Evelyn Nesbit. At the heart
of Ragtime is, however, the story of three remarkable familiesone
upper-middle class, white Anglo-Saxon Protestant, one socialist immigrant
Jewish, and one Harlem Blackwhose lives the come dramatically intertwined
with one another and with the historical characters and events of the period.
As described by director Frank Galati, Ragtime is "an enormously
complicated historical, political, social and artistic panorama" that
will enable audiences to examine "the origins of the twentieth century
from the perspective of the last decade of the twentieth century."
Adds Garth Drabinsky, "Ragtimes commentary on the human
condition is timeless. Though the story takes place during the centurys
first two decades, its substance is as timely as ever today as we prepare
to enter the next millennium."
About the Author
All I can say is that its like driving a car
You can only see as far as your headlights extend,
but you can make the whole trip that way."
E. L. Doctorow (1994)
Son of a music store owner and a pianist,
Edgar Laurence Doctorow was born in New York City on January 6, 1931. Educated
at Kenyon College and Columbia University, he worked as an editor at both
the New American Library and Dial Press and as a script-reader for Columbia
Pictures before publishing his first novel, Welcome to Hard Times,
in l960. In addition to Ragtime (published in 1975) Mr Doctorow has
written seven other novels, including Big As Life (1966), The
Book of Daniel (1971), Loon Lake (1980), Lives of the Poets
(1984), Worlds Fair (1985), Billy Bathgate (1989), and
The Waterworks (1994). In 1933, Mr Doctorow published his first non-fiction
work, Jack London, Hemingway, and the Constitution, a collection
of his essays written between 1977 and 1992.
Between books, Mr Doctorow wrote the play Drinks Before Dinner,
which was produced by Joseph Papp and directed by Mike Nichols at the New
York Shakespeare Festival Theatre in 1978. It has since been produced in
England, Western Europe, and at regional theatres throughout the United
States. Drinks Before Dinner has also been adapted, by Mr Doctorow,
as a radio play for the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).
Mr Doctorow is the recipient of the National Book Award, the Pen Faulkner
Award, the Arts and Letters Award, a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, the
William Dean Howells Medal of the American Academy of Arts and Letters,
and two National Book Critics Circle Awards. Since 1982, he has served as
Glucksman Professor of American and English Letters at New York University.
About the Ragtime Creative Team
Book: Terrence McNally
One of the theatres most acclaimed playwrights, Mr McNallys
long list of accomplishments includes winning the 1996 Tony Award for the
smash hit Master Class, and the 1995 Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics
Circle Awards for Love! Velour! Compassion!. He is also the renowned
author of A Perfect Ganesh, Lips Together, Teeth Apart, The
Lisbon Traviata, The Ritz, and Frankie and Johnny in the Clair
de Lune. Mr McNally wrote the book for the musical production of The
Rink, and won a 1993 Tony Award for his book for Livents musical
production of Kiss of the Spider Woman. For the screen, Mr McNally
adapted both The Ritz and Frankie and Johnny. In 1991, he
was awarded an Emmy for Best Drama for his teleplay for Andres
Score: Stephen Flaherty (music) & Lynn Ahrens (lyrics)
Mr Flaherty and Ms Ahrens are perhaps best known for their vibrant and
imaginative score for Once on This Island. The Broadway production
of Once on This Island received eight 1991 Tony Award nominations
and the recent London West End version won the prestigious 1995 Olivier
Award for Best Musical. This talented pair have also collaborated on Lucky
Stiff (Playwright Horizons 1988 season), and the 1992 musical
adaptation of My Favorite Year, (Lincoln Center Theatre, 1992). Together,
they contributed material to the best selling album Free To Be ... A
Family, starring Marlo Thomas. In addition, Ms Ahrens collaborated with
multiple Oscar-winning composer Alan Menken on the recent Broadway musicalization
of Dickens A Christmas Carol. Ahrens and Flaherty are currently
writing the score for Twentieth Century Foxs first full-length animated
feature film, Anastasia, starring the voices of Meg Ryan, John Cusack,
Kelsey Grammer, Christopher Lloyd, Bernadette Peters and Angela Lansbury,
which will be released in 1997.
Director: Frank Galati
A member of Chicagos renowned Steppenwolf ensemble since 1987,
Mr Galati was the recipient of two 1990 Tony Awards for his adaptation and
direction of The Grapes of Wrath. Mr Galatis other stage credits
include You Cant Take It With You, Aunt Dan and Lemon,
Born Yesterday, The Glass Menagerie and various operas. His
film credits include the screenplay (with Lawrence Kasdan) for The Accidental
Tourist, which earned an Academy Award nomination.
Musical Staging: Graciela Daniele
Multi-talented choreographer-director Graciela Daniele s Broadway
accomplishments include such diverse productions as Dangerous Games,
The Mystery of Edwin Drood, The Pirates of Penzance, Zorba,
Once on This Island, The Most Happy Fella, History of the
American Film, and last seasons Tony and Drama Desk-nominated
musical, Chronicle of a Death Foretold. With the New York Shakespeare
Festival, her credits include The Knife, A Midsummer Nights
Dream and Alice in Concert. At Intar, Ms Daniele co-adapted,
choreographed and directed Tango Apasionado. Her list of film credits
includes both of Woody Allens most recent releases, Bullets Over
Broadway and Mighty Aphrodite. She is currently working on Mr
Allens next film project, his first musical.
Set Design: Eugene Lee
For more than two decades, Mr Lee has served as Resident Designer for
the Trinity Repertory Theatre in Providence, Rhode Island. A two-time Tony
Award winner for his designs for director Harold Princes 1974 production
of Candide and for the original Broadway production of Sweeney
Todd (1979), Mr Lee also received both the 1995 Drama Desk and Outer
Critics Circle Awards for his stunning contribution to Livents
epic production of Show Boat. His other New York stage credits include
Slaveship, Alice in Wonderland, Agnes of God and Uncle
Vanya. For television, Mr Lee has served as production designer for
Saturday Night Live and The Kids in the Hall.
Costume Designer: Santo Loquasto
A three-time Tony Award-winner for his exquisite designs for The Cherry
Orchard, Cafe Crown and Grand Hotel, Mr Loquastos
many stage credits include Sticks and Bones (Drama Desk Award), That
Championship Season, American Buffalo (Drama Desk and Outer Critics
Circle awards), Agamemnon, Three Sisters, and Lost In Yonkers.
Mr Loquastos film credits include Desperately Seeking Susan,
Big, and all of director Woody Allens last 13 films, from Stardust
Memories through Mighty Aphrodite. In addition, Mr Loquasto designed
the sets and costumes for the National Ballet of Canadas new production
of The Nutcracker, which debuted in December 1995. He is also currently
designing the sets and costumes for the Livent-Stratford festival co-production
of Barrymore, starring Christopher Plummer.
Lighting Design: Jules Fisher & Peggy Eisenhauer
Mr Fisher and Ms Eisenhauer are the 1996 Tony Award-winners for Bring
in Da Noise, Bring in Da Funk. Additionally, Mr Fishers
remarkable lighting designs have enhanced more than 150 Broadway and off-Broadway
productions, garnering 15 Tony Award nominations and seven Tonys. His Tony
Award-winning productions include Pippin, Ulysses in Nighttown,
Dancin, Grand Hotel, The Will Rogers Follies,
Jellys Last Jam, and this seasons smash hit Bring
in Da Noise, Bring in Da Funk. Mr Fishers other Broadway
credits include Chicago, Jesus Christ Superstar, La Cage
aux Folles, Angels in America and Victor/Victoria.
Orchestrations: William D. Brohn
Mr, Brohn has been awarded two New York Drama Desk Awards for his critically
acclaimed orchestrations for Miss Saigon and The Secret Garden.
He is currently the worlds most heard music theatre arrangerscores
he has arranged are playing nightly around the globe in productions of Miss
Saigon, The Secret Garden, Crazy for You, Livents
Show Boat, and the current West End revival of Oliver! Among
his ballet orchestrations are those for Agnes de Mille, Twyla Tharp and
Lar Lubavitch and the American Ballet Theatre. Mr Brohns film work
includes Endless Love and Blue Thunder and he has worked with
recording artists such as James Galaway, Placido Domingo, Jerry Hadley,
Marilyn Horne, John Raitt and Bonnie Raitt.
Musical Supervisor: Jeffrey Huard
Mr Huard is currently the music director for Livent Inc. He serves as
me production musical supervisor for Show Boat, which he conducted
in Toronto and on Broadway. He is also the musical supervisor for Kiss
of the Spider Woman and served as conductor for its opening in Toronto,
London and New York. Mr Hoard has conducted me Broadway production of The
Phantom of the Opera and is presently the music supervisor for its Toronto
and Canadian international touring productions. His recordings include the
Canadian cast albums of The Phantom of the Opera and Sunset Boulevard,
as well as me original cast albums of Kiss of me Spider Woman and
Dance Arrangements: David Krane
Mr Krane composed the dance and incidental music for Victor/Victoria,
Big, Music of the Night and Kiss of the Spider Woman.
He also conducted the Viennese premiere of Kiss, and produced and
conducted the German language recording. He created orchestrations for She
Loves Me, and dance music for Damn Yankees. His orchestrations
for The World Goes Round were nominated for the drama Desk
Award. He provided musical direction and design for the Tony-nominated revival
of Sweeney Todd, arranged the music for The West Side Waltz,
starring Katherine Hepburn, and has composed dance, incidental music and
arrangements for many other shows.
About Livent Inc.
Livent Inc.s musical stage productions, featuring many of the finest,
internationally renowned creative talents working in contemporary theatre,
have thrilled audiences across North America, in Londons West End,
and throughout Southeast Asia. Listed in the USA on the NASDAQ National
Market and in Canada on the Toronto Stock Exchange, Livent is the only publicly
traded commercial live theatre production company.
Under the producing leadership of Garth Drabinsky, Livent has mounted
several of the worlds most popular musical theatre productions, including
the Toronto production of The Phantom of the Opera, which ranks as
the longest-running and most successful musical in Canadian theatre history,
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, starring Donny Osmond,
Aspects of Love, The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber, Andrew
Lloyd Webber - Music of the Night, Sunset Boulevard, starring
Diahann Carroll and Rex Smith, the 1993 Tony Award-winning Kiss of the
Spider Woman, starring Chita Rivera, and Show Boat, which was
the most honoured production of the 1994-95 Broadway season, winning, among
its numerous awards, five Tonys, including Best Musical Revival.
In addition to Ragtime, productions Livent currently has in development
are a musical adaptation of the 1957 film noir classic, The Sweet Smell
of Success, with a score by Cy Coleman, and the original musical I
Love a Parade, to be directed by Harold Prince with a book by Alfred
Uhry, award-winning author of Deriving Miss Daisy, and a score by
the acclaimed young composer Jason Robert Brown. Livens has also acquired
the rights to restore the Rodgers and Hart musical masterpiece Pal Joey.
Fundamental to this restoration of Pal Joey will be both a new book
by Terrence McNally and Livents acquisition of the rights to the entire
Rodgers and Hart catalogue.
Livent will also mount a new production of Leonard Bernsteins musical,
Candide, to be directed by Harold Prince. This production is based
on three earlier versions of the musical directed by Mr Prince, including
his recent critically acclaimed production at Lyric Opera of Chicago. Candide,
which will star Jim Dale, Andrea Martin, Harolyn Blackwell and Jason Danieley,
will begin previews on Broadway April 9, 1997, at the Gershwin Theatre,
where it will play a limited engagement before commencing a North American
Livents success in the development, production and management of
world-class musical stage productions has led to the companys dramatic
expansion during the past six years to include in-house costuming, casting
and creative development departments and services.
Livent owns and operates Torontos historic Pantages Theatre, manages,
programs and operates the three-theatre, 3000-seat Ford Centre for the Performing
Arts in Metropolitan Toronto, and co-owns and operates the new Ford Centre
for the Performing Arts in Vancouver. Through its wholly-owned subsidiary
Livent (US) Inc., the company intends to refurbish and revitalize the legendary
Oriental Theatre in Chicago, and to create a new 1850-seat, state-of-the-art
facility for the presentation of live musical theatre productions in New
York. The theatre will be created within the framework of the landmark Lyric
and Apollo Theaters, located between 42nd and 43rd streets off Times Square.
Plans are also under way for the construction of a new 1400-seat theatre
in downtown Toronto, adjacent to the Pantages Theatre.
Disclaimer: Nothing here is "official."
Everything is a composite of media releases, information supplied by or
procured from the theatres by direct or devious means, or downright personal
opinion. If you don't like what you see, blame us,
not the fine folks in the theatres of Southwestern Ontario.
|Do you have a review or opinion to share?
Send us your
reviews or stories about theatre in SWOntario, and we'll see they
Speaking of which, here's what You are saying:
Hi! I saw Ragtime for the first time last night. I ADORED
it!!! It is now one of my favourite musicals, tied with The
Phantom of the Opera.
I bought a souvenir program and love the pictures in it. Is there
anyway that you can set up a picture gallery so that the pictures
can be printed off? Being such a new musical, only being performed
in Toronto, there are few people who know about it, therefore
even fewer homepages. I would love to be able to print off some
of the pictures and put them
in my locker at school.
Also, I would like to comment on the cast. WOW!!! I owned the
recording before I saw the musical, and didn't think that the
cast could possibly be as good live as they were on the recording.
Was I ever wrong! Audra McDonald has been added to my select few
of favourite singers (no easy feat, I assure you). The whole cast
was incredible. I am hoping to see the performance again before
it leaves for Broadway.
Hello! I just wanted to say that I love Ragtime ! Ive
seen it twice and want to see it again (but don't think I will)
. I love Brian Stokes Mitchell, even though he was'nt there the
second time I went,because he was openind L.A & NY . I also
love Audra Mcdonald!!!I love Ragtime!!!!!
Saw Ragtime Saturday at the Ford. It was the best. Congratulations.
I saw the show on Thursday night in L.A. and loved it!. Is www.stage-door.org
the only Ragtime Home Page? I am interested in ordering Ragtime
merchandise...particularly a window card poster. They did not
have it at the theater. Any suggestions? Thank you for a wonderful
Saw Ragtime in Toronto in June and fell in love with it so
much, I went out and read the book. I'm looking forward to cheering
for all of the Tony awards the show will recieve in 1998. Livent
has a real hit on their hands!!!!!!
Sharon di C.
||I think that the play Ragtime is SO great! I am 10 years
old, and am currently in it at Maine State Music Theatre. I am playing
the role of the little girl. I think that the musical's score is
EXCELLENT! It is a really special story about three extraordinary
dreamers, and I would recommend it to anybody! Haley Bennet