This week I had the absolute pleasure of attending the Ford’s Theatre’s production of Ragtime. As someone that not only majors in theatre but minors in history, I was very excited to attend a show at this historic theatre and was there on the anniversary of President Lincoln’s assassination.
Ragtime takes place during the turn of the 20th century. The show, based on the book by the same name from 1975, follows 3 sects of America, The African Americans, The white rich elites, and the immigrants.
This was a very powerful production of the musical. Going into this production, I had been familiar with Peter Flynn’s direction based on his all-star concert production of On The Twentieth Century starring Marin Mazzie and Douglas Sills. Having been his son’s camp counselor at French Woods Festival of the Performing Arts, I was told while attending the all-female 1776 that Peter Flynn reached out and worked with Ahrens and Flaherty, the composers, to make a few changes to the show.
Looking around this historic theatre while the show was playing, it appeared that everyone was glued to this story and production. The cast was also all-star. I would have been satisfied with them even if it was Broadway.
Jonathan Atkinson’s “Tateh” truly stole the show for me. His performance was all-star and one that if on Broadway, would have at least gotten him nominated for a Tony Award. If this production were to transfer to New York, I think we would see Tony’s all around, starting with Peter Flynn for his direction and Jonathan Atkinson for best actor.
This show truly is very powerful as it details how hard the American Dream was for immigrants in the early 1900s. If you are in the DC area or can make it to the DC area, I highly encourage you to see this production while it is running through mid-May. I don’t regret the 5 hour drive from New York at all.
A college student that sees many shows annually.