Ragtime, With an Italian Accent

PlayBlog   Ragtime, With an Italian Accent
Ragtime, the Tony Award-winning musical that returns to Broadway Oct. 23, is known as a kinetic cultural collage in which tribes collide in and around New York City, circa 1906. Yet, it boasts a presentational, modernist storytelling frame. So how do you express this in a print ad or a poster? You call Italian illustrator Lorenzo Petrantoni, says SPOTCO advertising president Drew Hodges.

The newly unveiled ad/poster for the musical revival sports Petrantoni's signature arrangement of calligraphy, typography, photos and what looks like "clip art" found in the public domain. In the design, the Statue of Liberty sits atop Coalhouse Walker Jr.'s upright piano, and images and words explode upward.

"The combination of Lorenzo Petrantoni and Ragtime made for a perfect match of illustrator and subject matter," Hodges told Playbill.com. "Lorenzo's work is all about combining the old and new — and in doing that, he's able to create art that is really fresh and contemporary. He weaves historic photos, engravings and pop culture images into collages; in this case, literally a cultural collage that matches the sensibility of the show. Lorenzo says that he loves telling stories of the present through the past and it's exactly what we gave him the opportunity to do on Ragtime. And it makes for advertising that gives a nod to the past without feeling old itself."

To see more work by the Milan-based artist, whose portfolio includes a Newsweek cover that featured President Barack Obama, visit www.lorenzopetrantoni.com. Ragtime, based on the novel by E.L. Doctorow and featuring book by Terrence McNally, lyrics by Lynn Ahrens and music by Stephen Flaherty, will play the Neil Simon Theatre. Visit RagtimeBroadway.com.

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