Roy Furman is having a very busy year producing Broadway Bound, Brighton Beach Memoirs, The Adams Family, and now the transfer of the Kennedy Center production of Ragtime to Broadway. “I had no thought of bringing it to Broadway, the veteran producer told Joel Markowitz at last month’s press preview, “until I went to Washington to see it at the Kennedy Center.”
Roy was involved in the original 1998 Broadway production, and tried to keep the show alive against unfortunate odds, ultimately having to close the show.
“I was stunned by the brilliance of the (Kennedy Center) production … There was greater balance between the first and the second act – between Sarah and Coalhouse and Mother and Tateh… It was a deeper immersion into their lives. The set design left more room for you to focus on the storytelling.”
The set has undergone some changes since DC, there have been some cast changes -he tells specifically of the nationwide search for a new Sarah – the orchestra is bigger and the first act is shorter. That night at the Kennedy Center, Roy sat next to famed Broadway producer Manny Azenberg who said, when it debuted on Broadway that Ragtime was 15 years ahead of its time. As for Roy, it’s simple: “Ragtime is one of the greatest musicals of modern times, and one of the most magnificent scores ever written.”