Ragtime | Drury Lane Oakbrook Terrace | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

Ragtime The Short List (Theater) Closing (Theater and Galleries)

When: Wednesdays-Sundays. Continues through May 23 2010

This production of the 1998 musical based on E.L. Doctorow's sprawling novel has lots going for it: Santo Loquasto's wonderful costumes; Kevin Depinet's inventive set; Rachel Rockwell's focused, creative direction and choreography; and a gifted, A-list ensemble led by Quentin Earl Darrington and Cory Goodrich. Now if only the adaptation were worthy of so much talent and expense. The show stumbles from the start as Terrence McNally's oddly disengaged book bogs it down in exposition. And though Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Aherns deliver some ear-pleasing songs, they fall short when they strive for the big, the brilliant, and the memorable. McNally and company attempt to tell all three of the tales Doctorow wove together for his portrait of turn-of-the-century America, but only that of outraged African-American ragtime pianist Coalhouse Walker (Darrington) is compelling--and then only in fits and starts. --Jack Helbig

Price: $31-$45, with dinner before show $45.75-$64

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