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BWW Review: RAGTIME at McCain

Thursday April 14th, McCain Auditorium of Kansas State University hosted the National tour of Ragtime directed and choreographed by Marcia Milgrom Dodge and produced by Phoenix Entertainment.

Ragtime has a book by Terrence McNally, music by Stephen Flaherty, lyrics by Lynn Aherns and is based on the novel by E.L. Doctrow. It opened on Broadway in 1998 earning 11 Tony nominations and running for two years. A 2009 revival followed. The plot revolves around three families at the turn of the 20th century- a white family, a black family and an immigrant family. Political injustice, social unrest and a changing national outlook follow the families as they attempt to find a place for themselves in this new America.

The production had several stunning elements, but the height of which were the costumes. Lavish and intricate, Gail Baldoni delivered a gorgeous palate, flattering, and told the story by perfectly servicing each character. The scrim had a few cheesy graphics projected, but for the most part the scenic design was simple and elegant. The lighting design by Mike Baldassari perfectly punctuated the text and enhanced the production immeasurably.

Donald Coggin, as the tortured Younger Brother, possesses a simmering intensity. Matthew Curiano as Tateh has an affable charm. Kate Turner as Mother gracefully matures from sheltered wife to independent woman. "Our Children," the act two duet between Tateh and Mother, shows a different side to both characters, a tenderness with layers of humor and apprehension.

Ragtime will continue touring the country through June. For more information, visit or for more information on McCain Auditorium and upcoming offerings, visit

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From This Author Alison Bridget Chambers

Alison Bridget Chambers holds a BFA in Musical Theatre from Shenandoah University Conservatory and an MFA in Acting from The New School for Drama. A (read more...)

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