August 4, 2007
Run Don't Walk To Ragtime, The Musical At Upper Darby Summer Stage, Through August 11, 2007
Theater: Upper Darby Performing Arts Center's Upper Darby Summer Stage
Show Title: Ragtime, The Musical
Opened: August 3, 2007
Seen: August 3, 2007
Reviewer: Charlie Seymour Jr
Submitted: August 4, 2007
[As I've written before, though I will write here from time to time, I will not present formal reviews - others do that better and I think it's just better to leave it to them.]
If powerhouse musicals with intelligent and intertwined themes, singing that you want to stand up to cheer half way through Act 1, and performances that crecendo to drain your emotions even before Act 2 is half way finished, you should run, not walk, to Ragtime, The Musical, now playing through August 11, 2007 at Upper Darby Performing Arts Center.
In fairness, I admit to having been their photographer for four years, have watched many of these "kids" grow up, have directed several of the performers and staff, and am the father of one of the leads. So who cares?
In my role as the main cheerleader for theater attendance here at StageMagazineOnline.com, I will jump in here any time a production grabs me, shakes me, rips my heart out, stomps on it, throws it back in, and leaves me begging for more. Such is Ragtime in the very capable hands of Director Marcus Stevens, Choreographer Robert Harris, Music Director/Conductor Gina Giachero, and their terrific staff, cast, and orchestra.
Harry Dietzler, the founder/producer of this Summer Theater which is one of the premiere Children's Theater in the country, took a risk this year with this edgy, thought-provoking, nearly sung-through musical. With performers 16 - 25 years old, this production is wise beyond their years and powerful enough to keep you talking about it for a long time.
As I said before, I'll leave the review for others. But here's a terrific production. Go see it. The box office is 610.622.1189… but don't wait: the few tickets left won't last long.
And if you know a child that enjoys theater and wants to learn by DOING theater, Upper Darby Summer Stage is THE place to be any summer.
Charlie Seymour Jr
Founder / Chief Marketing Director