Based on E. L. Doctorow's 1975 novel of the same name, Ragtime is a Tony Award-winning musical production that debuted in 1996 with a book by Terrence McNally, music by Stephen Flaherty and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens. After a few short stints at regional theaters, the production debuted on Broadway in 1998 and earned praise for its over the top production elements such as live fireworks and a fully operating Ford Model T. Ragtime follows three very different American tales through the lens of three characters: Harlem musician Coalhouse Walker Jr., a Jewish immigrant named Tateh and Mother, the matriarch of a upper-class family. The story examines both the consistencies and inconsistencies of the American narrative and develops to include non-fictional characters such as Booker T. Washington, J. P. Morgan, Henry Ford, Emma Goldman and Harry Houdini.
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