Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Revival of 'Ragtime' set to close on Broadway

NEW YORK – The sweet, syncopated sounds of "Ragtime" will fall silent Sunday on Broadway.

The $8 million musical will close after a disappointing run of less than two months at the Neil Simon Theatre. It will have played 57 performances.

"While we're saddened and disappointed to announce that 'Ragtime' must close, bringing this beautiful and powerful production to Broadway has been a joyous experience," lead producer Kevin McCollum said Monday. "We couldn't have asked for a more talented and dedicated company and creative team or a more passionate team of producers."

The ambitious revival opened Nov. 15 to generally positive notices but never took off at the box office.

"Ragtime" was adapted from E.L. Doctorow's sprawling novel of early 20th century America, mixing fact and fiction as it told the stories of three distinct families — one white Anglo-Saxon Protestant, one black and one Jewish immigrant — while adding such real-life historical figures as Harry Houdini, Emma Goldman, Booker T. Washington and Evelyn Nesbit.

The musical has a book by Terrence McNally and a score by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty. It was first seen on Broadway in 1998 and ran for more than 800 performances.

The current production, directed and choreographed by Marcia Milgrom Dodge, originated last spring at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington.

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