RAGTIME Reunion Concert Was Filmed According To Lyricist Lynn Ahrens

The one night only concert at the Minskoff Theatre to a sold-out crowd and raised more than $1 million for The Entertainment Fund.

By: Apr. 11, 2023
RAGTIME Reunion Concert Was Filmed According To Lyricist Lynn Ahrens
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In a new interview with the Observer, Tony-winning songwriting duo Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty reflected on the recent gala concert presentation of their beloved musical, Ragtime. As a part of their profile, acclaimed lyricist Ahrens revealed that the starry, one night only event was filmed!

She tells the Observer, "They filmed it. So you'll get to see it, thank goodness. I just want the world to see it. It was magnificent. Magical. I've never experienced anything like it. It was like lightning in a bottle-you know, an explosion of joy."

There is no word on when or how the concert will be available for viewing.

Flaherty described his take on the special presentation saying, "It was mind-blowing. I was telling myself that I should just try to be in the present-but I was always in the present and in the past at the same time. I remembered when we had written these individual songs. Seeing the original performers we'd written them for reinforced that. When we got Audra McDonald to join us very early on, I began to write for her, so hearing her sing 'Your Daddy's Son' brought me back to the day we had written that song for her in Toronto. Even a lot of the ensemble people. I remember the immigrant section where they're coming through Ellis Island-[director] Frank [Galati] devised that through improvisation in one afternoon. He was the ultimate collaborator, very much into the group effort and the idea of ensemble. We had a lot of very smart people in that first production-people who had done much more than what they were credited for. Santo Loquasto, who did our costumes, was a great set designer. Graciela Daniele is a choreographer as well as a director. Everybody brought their A Game and their best ideas to the room. It was infectious. It lifted us up. It was a perfect collaboration because we felt we were supporting one another."

See the starry company take their curtain call following the sold out event.

The Entertainment Community Fund's long-awaited one-night-only benefit reunion concert of Ragtime took place at the Minskoff Theatre to a sold-out crowd and raised more than $1 million in support of the programs and services to help people in the performing arts and entertainment community.

The event celebrated the 25th anniversary of the show's Broadway opening and starred original cast members Emmy, Grammy and six-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald ("Sarah"), two-time Tony Award winner Brian Stokes Mitchell ("Coalhouse Walker, Jr.") and SAG Award winner Peter Friedman ("Tateh"), with Tony Award winner Kelli O'Hara ("Mother") in the role originally performed by the late Marin Mazzie.

All proceeds from this one-night only benefit concert, as well as net proceeds from the sale of merchandise, benefit the programs and services offered by the Fund.

"The Ragtime reunion concert was such a gift to everyone involved: everyone on stage performing and working tirelessly backstage to make it happen; all those in the audience, many of whom had held on to their original tickets for over three years; and the people in our entertainment community who the Fund will be able to help thanks to everyone's support and generosity," shared Mitchell, who also serves as Chair of the Fund.

Additional cast members included Mark Aldrich, Shaun Amyot, John D. Baker, Jack Baumrind, Darlene Bel Grayson, Dara Paige Bloomfield, Sandra M. Bonitto, Sherry Boone, Jack Casey, Mark Cassius, Jamie Chandler-Torns, Albert Christmas, Jim Corti, Pierce Cravens, Larry Daggett, Bernard Dotson, Roberta Duchak, Donna Dunmire, Adam Dyer, Duane Martin Foster, Patty Goble, Elisa Heinsohn, David Hess, Adam Hunter, Mark Jacoby, Kimberly JaJuan, Anne Kanengeiser, Judy Kaye, Mary Sharon Komarek (Dziedzic), Joe Langworth, Kai Latorre, Joe Locarro, Dan Manning, Michael X. Martin, Mary McCandless, Anne L. Nathan, Lynnette Perry, Orgena Rose, Gordon Stanley, Steven Sutcliffe, Addyson Evelyn Tabankin, Keith Thomas, Todd Thurston, Vanessa Townsell-Crisp, Allyson Tucker, Rema Webb, Leon Williams, Bruce Winant and Eric Jordan Young.

Based on the classic American novel by E.L. Doctorow, Ragtime has a book by Terrence McNally (Master Class, Love! Valour! Compassion!) and a score by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty (Once On This Island, Anastasia, Seussical). The evening was directed by Stafford Arima, with James Moore as music director and conductor. On the original Broadway production, Mr. Arima served as associate resident director, David Loud as musical director and conductor and Mr. Moore as associate conductor. Additional credits for the one-night-only evening include Wendall K. Harrington and Shawn Boyle as projections designers, Peter Hylenski as sound designer, Don Holder as lighting designer, Tracy Christensen as costume designer and casting by Mungioli Theatricals, INC., Arnold J. Mungioli, CSA. This evening is executive produced by Robert Pullen of Nouveau Productions.