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Charles Strouse: On Writing Music

Charles Strouse in conversation with Rodgers & Hammerstein President Ted Chapin talks about his life in the theater.

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Charles Strouse in conversation with Rodgers & Hammerstein President Ted Chapin talks about his life in the theater.

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Charles Strouse in conversation with Rodgers & Hammerstein President Ted Chapin talks about his life in the theater.

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Charles Strouse, in conversation with Rodgers & Hammerstein President Ted Chapin, talks about his career in the theater.

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Charles Strouse talks about the development of RAGS. With great passion and humor, the story is told of Rebecca, a naive Russian immigrant arriving at Ellis Island with her young son, and their struggle to make a life for themselves in the New World. She goes to work in a sweatshop while searching for her husband who has preceded them to America. When they are finally reunited she discovers that his assimilation is not entirely for the best. His desire to change their name and strip away their ethnic culture so as to fit in with his cronies distresses Rebecca, whose gradual enlightenment leads her into union activities against the very men her husband so hopes to impress. Subplots concern an elderly immigrant, his daughter, and their respective romances, one of which ends tragically. This sweeping saga of awakenings and disappointments, of greed and power, of strength and love is as deeply moving and inspirational a musical as you could hope to present.

Learn more about RAGS

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Charles Strouse talks about the story of RAGS.

With great passion and humor, the story is told of Rebecca, a naive Russian immigrant arriving at Ellis Island with her young son, and their struggle to make a life for themselves in the New World. She goes to work in a sweatshop while searching for her husband who has preceded them to America. When they are finally reunited she discovers that his assimilation is not entirely for the best. His desire to change their name and strip away their ethnic culture so as to fit in with his cronies distresses Rebecca, whose gradual enlightenment leads her into union activities against the very men her husband so hopes to impress. Subplots concern an elderly immigrant, his daughter, and their respective romances, one of which ends tragically. This sweeping saga of awakenings and disappointments, of greed and power, of strength and love is as deeply moving and inspirational a musical as you could hope to present.

Learn more about RAGS

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