I had the privelege of attending a performance of Ragtime The Musical at Grand Rapids Civic Theatre, one of the oldest and largest community theatres in the nation. The cast of this production did an outstanding job executing such a powerful storyline, centered around various groups of individuals intersecting as they try to succeed in America. Set at the birth of the 20th century, this is a story of how our country, and those who immigrated here, share the same hopes and dreams while struggling with class and racial divides.
The cast and orchestra consisted of 55 individuals, all who volunteer their time to increase the cultural vitality of our community. Having been to a multitude of theatrical shows, I can honestly say that the cast of this musical were some of the most talented individuals I have ever had the privilege of seeing.
Following the performance, I dined at a downtown restaraunt for a post-show meal with my family where I ran into several members of the cast. Congratulating them on their success and beautiful performance, I was met with twenty glowing smiles of continuous gratitude. Living in our “little big city,” I had the opportunity to meet and exchange words with the cast that I had just witnessed on stage, which is something that would not necessarily happen in larger cities. It made the theatre experience that much richer, and truly memorable for me.