The Late Terrence McNally Pens Note on RAGTIME: 'It's All For Marin Tonight'

The one-night-only reunion concert benefitted the Entertainment Community Fund.

By: Mar. 28, 2023
The Late Terrence McNally Pens Note on RAGTIME: 'It's All For Marin Tonight'
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Last night, the best of Broadway gathered at the Minskoff Theatre for the years-in-the-making Ragtime reunion concert benefitting the Entertainment Community Fund. The special night was originally set to take place in Spring 2020, but of course was postponed due to the pandemic and very shortly after, legendary playwright and book writer of Ragtime Terrence McNally, passed away at 81 from complications due to COVID.

His husband, producer Tom Kirdahy shared in the concert program: "[Terrence] was determined that this evening be dedicated to Marin [Mazzie]. As you will see in Terrence's original remarks for tonight, he and Marin were exceptionally close."

You can read McNally's note to the audience in full below:

Working on E. L. Doctorow's masterpiece of creative imagination brought out the best in all of us: the creatives, the cast and musicians and the crew. Our determination to honor Ragtime the novel guided us as we brought Ragtime the musical to life as a theater piece. Tonight is a reunion of old and deep friendships, profound and perfect work experiences. Ragtime is all of us at the top of our respective games. We are jubilant to show it again to you.

But at the heart of our pride and celebration is the sadness that the great Marin Mazzie is not on the stage with her Ragtime family. A brutal cancer had a rendezvous with her before tonight. She didn't put up a good fight, she put up a great fight. The war against ovarian cancer is a whole new ball game because of Marin. She gave of herself unstintingly until the very end.

In many ways Marin embodied the very spirit of Ragtime: American to its fingertips hopeful even though the darkest clouds were already beginning to darken her once Eden-like landscapes.

The story of Ragtime is precipitated not by hateful racists but by Mother's spontaneous generosity in taking in Sarah's infant baby. My favorite line in our show (often not heard in performance) is Younger Brother's "Thank you" to his sister for her instinctive kindness. Marin embodied all these qualities in every scene, every song. If possible, but probably not, she was even better off stage than on.

We dedicate this evening to our beautiful, radiant, fearless friend. We will make her hear us.

And we welcome and embrace her friend and colleague, the wondrous Kelli O'Hara to the Ragtime family tonight. Thank you, Kelli. Ragtime the musical and all its people will take very good care of you. It's all for Marin tonight.

-Terrence McNally


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