‘Ragtime The Musical’ preaches the importance of equality

Photo by Rachael Anne Keisling / Contributing Writer

Murfreesboro’s Center for the Arts latest play “Ragtime The Musical” tells the story of three varying ethnicities whose families oppose one another because of the era in which they live. The segregated families, who often blurt racial slurs toward one another, lead the audience down their journey of learning to accept each other as equal, regardless of their background.

Divided into two acts, the musical lived up to its name by providing the audience with multiple songs from beginning to end. Also included in the play were scenes pertaining to significant historical movements, such as the mentioning of Booker T. Washington, an educator and well-known speaker in the “Atlanta Compromise” and Harry Houdini, a famous Jewish stunt performer who tragically died from a ruptured appendix in 1926.

The plot of the musical, which was interesting to say the least, revolved around the idea that people should not be divided based on race, class or gender, but rather learn to view everyone as equal and show respect to all. The message of the play serves as an invitation to all people. 

The actors and actresses of “Ragtime The Musical” performed impressively well. They truly delivered a Broadway presence through their singing and acting abilities, driven by passion and backed by skill.

Former MTSU student Allison Hall, who played the role of Mother, performed and sang exceptionally well, delivering a standout performance. Eight years ago, Hall sat in the audience and watched “Ragtime” for the first time and became fascinated with the character she would soon play herself.

Ryan-Chavez Richmond, who acted as Coalhouse Walker Jr., also delivered a standout performance by doing a phenomenal job portraying his hard-working character who was forced to face several hardships throughout the musical. 

Although the actors and actresses of “Ragtime The Musical” delivered great performances, the final minutes of the play became political with a nod at the “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” movement. 

“Ragtime The Musical” was well worth the wait. Both the acting and singing were unbelievable, and it sends a heavy message that still needs to be heard by people in today’s society.

“I think it’s a message of acceptance for everyone, and no matter what your stance is, you can overcome (it) despite race and class,” Hall said.

“Ragtime The Musical” runs through July 23.

To purchase tickets, click here.

To contact Lifestyles Editor Tayhlor Stephenson, email lifestyles@mtsusidelines.com.

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