Friday, February 01, 2008
I'd have thought that two pianos and less than two dozen cast members would not be enough to bring Ragtime to life, but I'd have thought wrong. Although I have to say that the show's biggest numbers (including the curtain-raiser) sounded thin and looked underpopulated, this staged, costumed, off-book concert version (in White Plains) otherwise served the show splendidly. Despite technical glitches, the projections of early twentieth century photographs behind the actors turned out to be a nice (and unobtrusive) directorial touch. Essentially, this was a triumph of "less is more". Several performers stood out from the ensemble: Jerry Dixon, especially strong communicating Coalhouse's determination; Brian Charles Rooney, who bullt credibly to Younger Brother's angry monologue; and Rosena M. Hill, a compelling Sarah . Best of all was David Villella, the most poignant Tateh of the half dozen I've seen.