As fans of Musical Theater sometimes we get bogged down in the way a performance is "supposed" to be, based on the way we've seen it before. This past week I saw something that turned everything that I thought I wanted in Ragtime upside down.
By Lara Paquette (Writer)
When I was a kid I was OBSESSED with musical theater (who are we kidding? I'm still obsessed). I would see every musical and memorize the cast and every lyric in the hope that one day I would be plucked from the audience to take the place of someone on stage. Clearly that never happened, but it did cement the names of people in my head. I still recognize the names of original cast members from Footloose, Rent, and Ragtime, among many more, and will always think of them as the characters they played in those shows.
I want those shows that get under my skin to exist the way that they do in my mind forever. I have a hard time with revivals if I've seen the original cast because "No one will ever be as amazing as so-and-so in the role." This past week though, an actress who I have always cast in one role in my head played a role that has always been played by another actress, and basically my head exploded. The actress was Lea Salonga (who will always be Kim in Miss Saigon to me) and the role was Mother in the Ragtime concert (originally played by Marin Mazzie).
I'm not really going to say anymore about it. I'm just going to let you listen. Enjoy.