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  • Ragtime - The Musical (1998 Original Broadway Cast)
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Ragtime - The Musical (1998 Original Broadway Cast) Cast Recording

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Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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Audio CD, Cast Recording, April 28, 1998
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 28, 1998)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Cast Recording
  • Label: RCA Victor Broadway
  • ASIN: B0000064XS
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (216 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,783 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Prologue: Ragtime
2. Goodbye, My Love
3. Journey On - Original Broadway Cast
4. The Crime of the Century
5. What Kind of Woman
6. A Shtetl Iz Amereke
7. Success
8. His Name Is Coalhouse Walker
9. Getting' Ready Rag
10. Henry Ford
See all 21 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Entr'acte
2. Harry Houdini, Master Escapist
3. Coalhouse's Soliloquy
4. Coalhouse Demands
5. What a Game
6. Fire in the City
7. Atlantic City
8. Buffalo Nickel Photoplay, Inc.
9. Our Children
10. Harlem Nightclub
See all 17 tracks on this disc

Editorial Reviews

The epic sweep of Ragtime is captured in its opening prologue, a nine-minute kaleidoscope of fictional characters mingling with historical figures from the early 20th century as originally captured in E.L. Doctorow's sprawling novel. As the story continues, we meet pianist Coalhouse Walker Jr. (Brian Stokes Mitchell) and his child's mother, Sarah (Audra McDonald), who has been taken in by a respectable family (including Marin Mazzie as Mother). Parallel story lines of the Latvian immigrant Tateh (Peter Friedman), the entertainer Evelyn Nesbit (Lynnette Perry), and even Harry Houdini (Jim Corti) and Emma Goldman (Judy Kaye) eventually mingle and merge. Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens (Once on This Island) mix marches, cakewalks, and of course ragtime to create a rich, compelling score, including Sarah's song to her baby, "Your Daddy's Son," her soaring duet with Coalhouse, "Wheels of a Dream," Mother's self-revealing "Back to Before," and numerous set pieces, all performed by a perfect cast. Ragtime was nominated for 12 Tony Awards in 1998, with wins for McDonald, original score, book, and orchestration. The CD also includes an eight-minute symphonic suite conducted by Paul Gemignani and a booklet with photos, full lyrics, and a history of how the score was written. Tragic, touching, and ultimately triumphant, Ragtime is an American classic. --David Horiuchi

Product Description

Ragtime ~ Original Cast Recording

Customer Reviews

Heading the great cast are Brian Stokes Mitchell, Marin Mazzie, and Audra McDonald.
Simon Cross
The songs are wonderful and I encourage anyone who can to buy the cd set and go see the show, it is one show you will never forget!
I hope you buy this cd and go see the show, it's one of the best shows I have ever seen.
C. Jones

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By M J Heilbron Jr. VINE VOICE on March 18, 2004
Format: Audio CD
The wonderful thing about this recording is that nearly the entire show is captured on disc. Often with cast recordings, so much occurs between the songs that the essence of the show is diluted. Here, you really get a sense of the operatic scope of the production.
All the other reviews justly laud the performers...they sing while acting amazingly well. I don't have much to add there. Believe the hype...they're awesome.
I'd like to compare this to the previous iteration of the show. "Ragtime" was originally released as a "highlights" style single disc. The opening song was edited, as was the closer. It appeared a year or so earlier, and the performances are different. The latter disc is NOT an edited version of the former.
The "songs only" version is interesting in that those versions work just fine. The edited 'Ragtime' intro plays better as a song when it's edited. It just loses a ton in exposition and drama. When you have the urge to hear a song, like "New Music" or "Wheels Of A Dream", the former one is actually a tad better. But only when you consider the songs OUT of context.
Listening to this longer version, the performers tell a story. It flows from beginning to end; the songs meld together effortlessly. The story of "Ragtime" is phenomenally well told, and it's a crime that so much was excised previously. I mean, how could you really appreciate this musical without "Sarah Brown Eyes"? That's one of the many songs absent on the "highlights" version.
So, if you only have the first, you NEED the full CD.
If you have the complete version, you're missing something, but not much.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By "hippo-potto" on February 26, 2003
Format: Audio CD
There are no words to describe what this production rouses in the listeners. Speaking as a musical theatre fan, I can say that there has never been a single show that I have heard that can compare to this. Even Sondheim's amazing "Sunday in the Park with George" pales in comparison because 'Sunday' is a selfish work of art for those involved in the arts, but Ragtime covers every economic class and every race and every creed in its influence.
E.L. Doctrow's novel, "Ragtime" is an amazing read, a sweeping epic, and this musical seems to hone into the characters and the situations even more, making them seem that much more real and believable, thus, their pain becomes ours, in songs like "Atlantic City", when father asks himself 'Say, when did they change the song?', you can hear the hopelessness of a man who doesn't know how to save his marriage, and in Coalhouse's "Make Them Hear You", you feel stirred to the very core of your soul to fight when he utters 'And I could not put down my sword when Justice was my RIGHT!', not to mention all the other great moments of this show.
There are three things that make this the greatest musical recording of our time: the music, the vocalists, and the relevance. First of all, the music is treated like various authentic pieces of music rather than interpretations, leading to a more authentic, down-to-earth feel, which is key for a show with such grand themes and stories. As well as that, just as there are themes in the story, there are themes in the music, there are certain pieces of music which will be heard more than once, bringing to you a richer emotional connection to the story-one of the best uses is the 'new music' music which creeps in every so often, bringing with it a sense of sorrow.
Read more ›
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Curtis Munsey on October 12, 1999
Format: Audio CD
I have already reviewed this disc, but that was a long time ago, right after it came out. I just recently realized again how much I love the score to Ragtime and thought I would share my thoughts again. I only wish I could get to New York to see it again, especially now that most of the leads are those from the L.A. production I saw in 1997. Every performance on the CD is amazing and Brian Stokes Mitchell is fantastic, and feel so fortunate to have been able to see him. Audra McDonald's voice is amazing as is Marin Mazzie. I get goosebumps when I hear them. I especially love the bonus track that is the orchestral suite at the end of the CD. Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty are so amazing and I can't wait for their next show to open. If anyone is debating whether or not to buy this cast recording, you should be able to tell that's it's wonderful by all the five star ratings.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By T. Youker on October 19, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Fanatical fans of the show will (and should) buy this entertaining relic from the development process, if only to obtain recordings of "The Show Biz" and the older, longer version of "He Wanted to Say"; but those who are new to the show will be far less impressed by this than by the Broadway album. Not only does this version lack many excellent songs that were inserted later in the development process ("Success" and "Sarah Brown Eyes" both come to mind), but it also features poor sound quality and some fuzzy, even listless performances. Peter Friedman (whose oft-neglected work on the Broadway album is simply brilliant) sounds particularly half-baked here, with his accent drifting in and out as he sings.

So, if you already have the '98 album and are hungry for more, this is a fine addition to your collection; but if you're just starting out, go for the later recording.
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