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REVIEWS

Ragtime the Musical in Concert (2004), by McNally/Ahrens/Flaherty
Too Bad for you if you missed this!!!!
Monday, August 30, 2004
5.0
For you sad saps who waited until the last minute to see this show, and then tried to get a ticket - I was laughing at you from the line of Will Call. I do feel pity for you, though for missing this extraordinary show. It is a shame that it is gone.

So, lets get down to the nitty gritty and talk about what was so good about Ragtime!

THE CAST: Wow, wow, and wow. Not a weak link among them. Eric Catania's Tateh had perfect diction, accent, emotion and voice. Truly entertaining to watch. Jerrica Knight's Mother was beautifully voiced and gracefully acted. Lynne Evans Sarah was gorgeous! A beautiful voice backed by emotion and intensity. Nat Martin's Coalhouse was outstanding. I wish he had more money notes like in "New Music". Charlie Bradshaw's Younger Brother was robbed of most of his character development, but his beautiful voice and emotion made up for the loss. Marty Carlson's Emma Goldman was powerful and just a bit scary - I liked it! Kristie Krabe's Evelyn Nesbit was fabulous, with all the cutness and sexiness of Marilyn Monroe with the comic timing of Carol Burnett - I have a crush on her now. And the role of Sarah's Friend played by Summer Bergeron was powerful. It had the ladies in the back row standing and answering back in Baptist Church fashion. Speak it! And the rest of the show was beautifully rounded out by an amazing ensemble of folks. The level of committment in everyone's faces was amazing. I have never seen an "In Concert" Performance where the folks onstage were really observing the action and reacting to it, and not just wating for the next time to stand and sing.

THE DIRECTION: Great job by all involved. I know this show very well (It has permanent rotation in my CD player in my car), and I know what a daunting story it is to tell with out all the lavish sets and props. Jefferey Brown did a great job of keeping in what was important to the story line. I was only bothered by a few ommissions that might have made the story flow better, such as making it clear that Sarah's child did live, that Sarah was beaten to death and Coalhouse did die. People not familiar with the story may have benefited from a plot synopsis in the program.

THE MUSICAL DIRECTION: Linda Uzelac, beautiful job! I cannot believe that there was only 5 of you up there! And all the nuances that were found dynamically in the vocal lines were chilling. Bravo! Bravo!!

TECHINCAL: Lighting was great - it served well to focus our attention to the important part of the story and really set the mood. The sound balance was a little off. I noticed the use of microphones this time around, which was great. Adding a drum to make the band even louder though, not so great. The balance in the 2nd act was much better.

So, what do I think? I think that if I had to get very nitpicky and go by Olympic Judging, then this performance would get a 4.545759. But I like to round up, so it's a 5!! Here's hoping that we see this level of excellence in future performances at Onstage!

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