My, my, look what this cast and crew have done. I am so incredibly proud to be a part of this show. Everything has come together so beautifully, so perfectly, and I want to shout to the world that this is a show everyone needs to, and should want to, see.
My realization of how much I love Ragtime has been a slow process. I read the novel before I read the script or heard the music, and although I did enjoy the novel, I was a bit confused about how it would turn out on stage. When I sat in on the first read-through, I realized that it was beautifully written, and the music was perfect for what the show needed. I was rather impressed with how well the novel, in which I somewhat struggled to identify a plotline in the early chapters, translated into a musical with a linear plot.
The process of working on the set from February through early April also increased my love for Ragtime. When I first saw Torry’s model in January, I loved the Victorian style and I thought the design was a great idea for this show, but I was also a bit intimidated by the thought that I was going to help build such a massive wooden work of art on the Reynolds stage. Building the main structure of the set was fun, but the real excitement was in the train and car, the interesting parts of the set that stand out from the main stage. I had no idea we could make a car out of wood and watch it turn out to look so similar to the original Model T. When the set was finally painted, complete with the variegated hardwood floors on the platform and the tile floor on the lower level, I was finally able to step back and realize that the set was beautiful. I do think it is the paint job that did this. The wings on the I-beams are lovely and Victorian, but the colors and patterns used in the professional painting give the set such a warm glow. When the painting was finished, I realized that we were ready for the show to open, and at that point I could stop seeing it as a project and start seeing it as a work of art.
In past shows that I have worked on, in high school and with Hoof ‘n’ Horn, there are generally a few particular elements of the show that I really love– possibly a great song that brings me to tears, a fun dance sequence, a cool set, or lovely costumes– but I think Ragtime is the first show I have worked on that I genuinely love every detail of the show. This is something I realized after watching a dress rehearsal. Considering simply the libretto, I love the dialogues as well as every song in the show. In most shows, there tends to be a song or two that I’m not such a fan of, and that I often skip over when listening to the soundtrack– not for Ragtime. I am excited to listen to every song, and I feel like each and every song is my favorite. Our actors are, of course, all perfect for their roles.With regards to the costumes, I adore every outfit on every actor in this show. The costuming was done brilliantly. The set is great, I love the design and especially the painted details. I really appreciate the lighting design of this show; the colors on the screen behind the set are perfect for each scene, and I think the lighting adds so much emotion to the show.
I feel like I could go on for several paragraphs. I would like to congratulate every member of the cast and crew of Ragtime for the stellar show that we have put together. I am so pleased, so impressed, and so proud to be a member of this team.
Following are some details from recent weeks in the shop (and in the show):