sealPurdue News

February 1, 2002

Tony Award-winning 'Ragtime' to play Elliott Hall

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – "Ragtime," the four-time Tony Award-winning Broadway musical, will be presented at 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 15, in the Elliott Hall of Music.

Tickets are $36, $31, $27 or $12 for general public; $28, $24, $20 or $12 for Purdue students and children K-12. Tickets can be purchased at Purdue box offices or charged by phone at (765) 494-3933 or (800) 914-SHOW. "Ragtime" is presented by Purdue Convocations.

"Ragtime," which is based on E. L. Doctorow's best-selling novel, is a timeless tale of innocence lost and freedom won. It is an epic story of three American families at the turn of the century who discovered an era where everything was new and anything was possible.

"Ragtime" is a panoramic portrait of three families: one upper-middle class white, one socialist immigrant Jewish and one Harlem black. As they embark on personal voyages of self-discovery, their lives become dramatically intertwined with one another. There also are a number of real-life historical characters woven into the story, including Henry Ford, Harry Houdini, J.P. Morgan and Booker T. Washington.

"Ragtime" is a cavalcade of American life at the turn of the century, an age of exciting transition and great change. "Ragtime" is interwoven with pivotal historic events such as Admiral Peary's expedition to the North Pole, the sinking of the Lusitania, the birth of the American labor union, the development of assembly-line technology and the dawn of the automotive and motion picture industries.

The libretto for "Ragtime" is by Tony Award-winning playwright Terrence McNally, who claimed a Tony in 1995 for "Love! Valour! Compassion!" and again in 1996 for "Masterclass." The score is by lyricist Lynn Ahrens and composer Stephen Flaherty, whose previous collaborations include "Once on this Island," the animated film, "Anastasia," and the musical adaptation of "My Favorite Year."

Richard Zoglin of Time magazine wrote, "'Ragtime' is stunning! A triumph for the stage! ‘Ragtime' combines big social themes, imaginative staging and emotionally involving storytelling in a way that has all but vanished from the American musical."

CONTACT: Larry Sommers, Purdue Convocations, (765) 494-5045,

NOTE TO JOURNALISTS: A publication-quality photograph of a scene from "Ragtime" is available at

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

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