Are We Really Achieving The American Dream?

Rep follows immigrants pursuing American dream in ‘Ragtime’

The worst in the nation in this broad category for two years in a row! Unacceptable. There are other numbers we need to be aware of as well: Montana has one of the highest rates of teen suicide in the nation; 20 percent of Montanas children live below the poverty line. We need to elevate the well-being of Montanas children. When we do that, we will elevate the future of those children, and thus, elevate the future of this great state.

They’re real, but with a twist.” The analogy to Dickens is shrewd, and it doesn’t just apply to “Ragtime.” It’s also true of much of Clements’ work, which regularly takes realistic situations and then heightens them, underscoring Elevation Group how extraordinarily much is at stake in the dramas that pass for ordinary, everyday life. Far more than any stage on Broadway, the Quadracci Powerhouse Theater is ideally suited for fostering such double vision: It’s big enough to stage musicals such as this one, while still intimate enough to make the characters in those musicals matter. It’s hard to believe that just three years ago, Clements was battling skeptics insisting that musicals couldn’t be staged in the Powerhouse. Now that we’ve seen the likes of “Cabaret,” “Next to Normal” and “Assassins,” it’s difficult to imagine a Powerhouse without them. “While it’s epic in some ways, this story feels very intimate,” Clements observed of “Ragtime.” “The characters are detailed visit and nuanced. So I hope there’s something about the proximity of our performers to our audience, coupled with how I’m staging this, that will make for a different experience.” Milwaukee will get to see for itself, starting this week, whether Clements’ dreams of something different have come true. The Rep has already sold more tickets for “Ragtime” than it sold during the entire run of “Assassins” last fall.

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