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My theatre trip: Ragtime, Piazza & All Shook Up
Posted by DottieD'Luscia 2005-07-06 10:01:39


I was in NYC last week and made it a point to see as many shows as I could during my brief stay. I ventured out to Papermill on Thursday evening to see Ragtime. Though I'm glad I saw it, I wasn't blown away by this production, especially after seeing the original Broadway production 5 times. Rachel York made a wonderful Mother as well as Neil Ben Ari as Tateh. To me the weak links were Sarah and Coalhouse. Kenita Miller was under pitch the entire evening. Quentin had a nice voice, but lacked the presence and charisma needed for Coalhouse. The scaled down aspects of the production did not bother me with the exception of the costumes. I couldn't figure out why they had mother in a red dress during Sarah's funeral. I definitely missed Graciela Danielle's original staging, but Liza Gennaro's take on it was fine. My one big complaint was that it definitely was not convenient getting back to NYC that night and I didn't get back to my hotel until after 1:00 am. If I ever go to Papermill again, it will be for a matinee.

I saw "Light in the Piazza" on Friday evening and this show did not disappoint!! I got chills the moment I saw the set and knew I was in for a treat. I found this show to be perfectly cast in all aspects. In all my theatre going experiences, this has got to be one of the most beautiful shows I have ever seen. I'm happy that I had the CD a few weeks prior to seeing this. It was very difficult for me to describe this production to people, but I said it was a play with music. The story, direction, actors and the physical aspects of the production were all integral to my enjoyment. Victoria Clark definitely deserved the Tony for this. Her last line of the show brought me to tears. Matthew Morrison was wonderful! Kelli O'Hara, what a joy!! For those who I spoke with afterwards know how moved I was since I would get choked up recalling my experience. One last comment, the audience at this performance were extremely attentive. Not a cell phone went off and there were times that you could hear a pin drop they were so quiet, but they definitely showed their enthusiasm during the curtain calls.

I saw "All Shook Up" on Saturday afternoon and I'm sorry to say I did not like it. I went in wanting to enjoy it, but unfortunately I couldn't wait for it to end. It reminded me of a theme park musical review. The cast was very talented, but the show was just bad. Standouts: Cheyenne Jackson, Jenn Gambatese, Alix Korey, Michael Cusamano (ensemble; absolute adorable). Audience comment: tacky, tacky, tacky. If you're going to sit and have a conversation or sing during the entire show, do everyone a favor and just stay home!!!



re: My theatre trip: Ragtime, Piazza & All Shook Up
Posted by loganp37 2005-07-06 10:09:40


! Everyone must love All Shook Up!

Nice reviews. Only makes me want to see Piazza so much more.

re: My theatre trip: Ragtime, Piazza & All Shook Up
Posted by WiCkEDrOcKS 2005-07-06 10:20:00


Great reviews! Im so jealous!

(What is it with rude people at ASU? Everyone always complains about rude audience members when they return from that show)

re: My theatre trip: Ragtime, Piazza & All Shook Up
Posted by DottieD'Luscia 2005-07-06 10:32:18


Wickedrocks: I don't know what it is about that audience, but I knew from the moment I set foot in the theatre that they would be trouble!! That's why I hate matinees. In a nutshell, they were the audience from hell!!

re: My theatre trip: Ragtime, Piazza & All Shook Up
Posted by Greekmusicalfan 2005-07-06 11:15:46


I am glad you had a great time at NYC and sorry about the audience in ASU !! But I am happy you enjoyed Piazza ! So, can we now welcome you to the Matt appreciation club ?

re: My theatre trip: Ragtime, Piazza & All Shook Up
Posted by DottieD'Luscia 2005-07-06 11:26:30


Absolutely (about Matt)!!! After seeing his performance, I wish he would have won the Tony. He had me believing that he was a hopelessly romantic Italian! He also looked very moved by the audiences response during the curtain call.

re: My theatre trip: Ragtime, Piazza & All Shook Up
Posted by PleaseChangeMe 2005-07-06 11:28:05




Yes! Her very last line in Fable, "The Light in the Piazza..." is terribly sad. Glad you loved it.

re: My theatre trip: Ragtime, Piazza & All Shook Up
Posted by musicnmath 2005-07-06 11:53:53


How interesting you saw Ragtime and Piazza back to back. I was thinking that of all the musicals I could compare Piazza to (and that really is a pointless thing to do), it would be Ragtime. Maybe it's the legit voices and the dramatic nature of the show. Or the focus on relationships and "love" in a time that's not this one. They're both at the intersection of where 2 (or more) cultures are colliding and trying to navigate that ground. (I study Intercultural Relations, so I like this stuff :) )

re: My theatre trip: Ragtime, Piazza & All Shook Up
Posted by DottieD'Luscia 2005-07-06 12:07:17


Musicnmath: I made a comparison of the two shows (Piazza & Ragtime) after I had seen them, but in a different context. I made mention that I had not been as emotionally moved by a show since I had seen Ragtime (original production).

re: My theatre trip: Ragtime, Piazza & All Shook Up
Posted by MojaniD 2005-07-06 15:03:33


Thanks for the reviews. And I thought I was the only one who didn't like ASU.

re: My theatre trip: Ragtime, Piazza & All Shook Up
Posted by MusicalDirector109 2005-07-06 15:39:09


I also hated ASU. It made "Momma Mia!" look like "Long Days Journey Into Night".

re: My theatre trip: Ragtime, Piazza & All Shook Up
Posted by marincrazy11 2005-07-06 16:00:41


Dottie-I had what sounds like the exact same reaction to Piazza as you did. I could not stop shaking from the curtain call until I got in my car to leave because I was so moved. Glad you enjoyed it as much as I did.

re: My theatre trip: Ragtime, Piazza & All Shook Up
Posted by ClumsyDude15 2005-07-06 18:28:28


I loved ASU, I didnt have audience problems expect during intermission with some loud old ladies behind me talking about Cheyenne's butt.

re: My theatre trip: Ragtime, Piazza & All Shook Up
Posted by Jordan Catalano 2012-11-04 23:04:52


Jealous! I love RAGTIME!