Ragtime: What other composers auditioned?

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Ragtime: What other composers auditioned?#0
Posted: 12/11/05 at 3:03pm
So I remember reading that along with Flahery and Ahrens, several other composers were invited to submit audition songs for consideration for writing the entire score.

Does anyone know who the other composers were?
Updated On: 12/11/05 at 03:03 PM
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This is still one of those pretty well kept industry secrets. Lynn and Stepheh have always maintained that they did not want to know and were never told, and Terrence McNally has never publicly mentioned any names either. I would guess people like William Finn and Jason Robert Brown, but those are just guesses on my part.
The Ahrens & Flaherty website
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That's what I thought. Thanks Ronnik.
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Interesting.... I read about them having different composers submit songs, I'd be interested to know this too. Not that it matters, but I'm just curious. Looks like it's going to remain a secret, though.

I'm so glad that Flaherty and Ahrens were chosen, though... Ragtime has one of my favorite scores.
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EL Doctorow should know. He listened to ten recordings and then picked Ahrens and Flaherty's. "That's the only one I want to hear live."

I know one key difference is that certain characters were emphasized over others in various versions. In at least one, Evelyn Nesbit played a very significant role.
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I recently purchased the novel and its interesting how the plot and main characters are portrayed. Younger brother and evelyn nesbit have much larger parts among other things.
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It's interesting how it's been kept quiet for so long. You'd think some of the people who DIDN'T make the cut might want to mention it. At least after all this time.
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EvelynNesbit1906 - wow, thanks for that info, very interesting.

I just cannot see how Evelyn could play a key role in the show, her character, in both the book and original movie is just to... supporting. I am glad E.L. Doctorow gave his blessing to Aherns and Flaherty.

Of course the inner geek in me does wish in a small way Emma Goldmen played a bigger role.

Saying that the heart of the book is the 'real' people are basically auxillery characters, regardless of size of role to the fictional characters - New Rochelle Family/Sarah/Coalhouse/Mameh/Tateh/Little Girl.

I was actually always slighty disapointed Mameh was cut. I know she wasn't that big and the role, yes, definately would be the first to go, but it was a rather interest character all the same.
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I still can't get over the fact that Lion King won instead of this re: Ragtime: What other composers auditioned?

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Most people would agree that the current score is quite flawless. But I'm gonna propose a hypothetical situation here. Who would be your choice (Besides Flaherty and Ahrens) to write tje score for this show?

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Definately Jason Robert Brown. But, as you said Link, Ahern and Flaherty's score is next to perfect.
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re: Ragtime: What other composers auditioned?#11
Posted: 12/12/05 at 10:22am

Maltby and Shire, I believe. If only they had gotten the job!



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re: Ragtime: What other composers auditioned?#12
Posted: 12/12/05 at 10:24am
Maltby and Shire have their moments, but I can't say that their score for Ragtime would be any different than the cabaret esque music they always seem to write.
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re: Ragtime: What other composers auditioned?#13
Posted: 12/12/05 at 10:29am
Much as I love his work, I can't imagine William Finn writing the score for Ragtime. Just doesn't seem like a natural fit to me.
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re: Ragtime: What other composers auditioned?#14
Posted: 12/12/05 at 10:34am
Me neither. I think Robert Brown is probably the only other living composer who could have reached the same level as A + F. I'v always thought of Parade as his Ragtime.
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re: Ragtime: What other composers auditioned?#15
Posted: 12/12/05 at 11:07am
i can't see a composer coming out and saying they lost out to anyone. and whatever they wrote as their "audition" has probably been recycled into something else.
Mind is Mantra.
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re: Ragtime: What other composers auditioned?#16
Posted: 12/12/05 at 12:56pm
I'm always holding out hope for a miniseries version of the novel Ragtime, especially to flesh out the character Mameh. It would also be interesting to see Doctorow's versions of Freud, Jung, and Lavinia Thumb (Tom Thumb's wife) brought to life.

I agree that Jason Robert Brown would have been second most ideal for composing a Ragtime score.
Updated On: 12/12/05 at 12:56 PM
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Schwartz? lol. That's a joke people. Put away your claws.
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Michael John LaChiusa is great at period pieces.
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umm... hello?! Stephen Sondheim!
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And with LaChiusa would be:

Audra McDonald - Sarah
Norm Lewis - Coalhouse Walker
Mary Testa - Emma Goldman
Carolee Carmello - Evelyn Nesbit
Tateh - Mandy Patinkin (again!)
Donna Murphy - Mother
Marc Kudish - Father
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Donna Murphy played Mother in the first workshop.
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And she's also a LaChiusa alum!
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Murphy was wonderful as Mother, but at the time that she played it, the role was much smaller than it is today. She didn't have a big number at the point ("Back To Before" was written for Marin Mazzie), and the role was very underwritten.
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Che2be, don't get me wrong - I'm a HUGE Sondheim freak, but I'm not sure I could see even The Master himself doing much better than A&F did, though he probably would have done at least just as well. That said, it would have been, if nothing else, interesting to see/hear his take on it.


Tim Rice and Elton John? Kidding, of course, but wouldn't THAT be ironic?
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