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cold_turkey [ALL REVIEWERS]
Companies Reviewed#
North Spings High School Drama Department1
Average Rating Given : 3.00000
Reviews in Last 6 months :

Ragtime, by Terrence McNally, Stephen Flaherty, Lynn Ahrens
Pulled off...
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
First of all, let me say that this school is well known for its arts, and the past few show titles have been no exception. I wasn't expecting the sword to be pulled out of the stone, and, got halfway out.

Ragtime pulled off a good show, yet it has ended the streak of stellar shows from Antigone to Urinetown.

I knew that there was talent, but what good's talent without the tech? The sound and lights were horrible the entire night (and the pit sounded like it hadn't seen the music before), and many actors were almost not audible. However, Stephanie Daniels (Sarah) combatted the tech problems and sang above and beyond her mic and the extra-loud pit. If the tech could just get their act together, I could get through the 3 hour-long flashback.

Individual performances carried this show by a landslide- it wasn't that the chorus was bad in any way, they were just a little weak in the effort onstage. I became bored watching a few people become bored onstage.
Alex Engquist (Father) had a wonderful composure throughout the show, never breaking character: Great man to watch (and pretty voice too)
Nick Harper (Coalhouse) and Dustin Smith (Younger Brother) definately carried the show [to its full extent]. Nick's character drew the audience in, I thought, and I actually sympathized with his character toward the end. His voice was a little uneasy though, like he was sick, or just couldn't hit the high notes. Dustin's got some talent, for singing and acting, though he seemed a bit stiff and weak in his dialogue sometimes. I enjoyed his presence onstage.
Gwen Stembridge (Mother), like Stephanie Daniels, has an amazing voice, though it also felt a little wobbly (perhaps sick too), yet she was descent onstage. Gwen can portray emotion through her songs better than her words.
Brian Rooney (Tateh) did a fantastic job. He pulled off that accent, and even managed to sing with it. We seemed a little stiff and forceful at times, however. I can't say I agreed with his character choice, but he made it happen, and I look forward to seeing more stuff with him.
The little kids were adorable, kudos to Mr. Jarrett for making that happen.

All in all, I wasn't expecting much from Mr. Jarrett and the staging shows my expectation, but the music sounds great, even if the pit doesn't. I recommend seeing it, as hopefully most of the tech stuff will be worked out by next show, and the actors really do shine. They pulled it off and will continue to.


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