Theatre Mirror Reviews - "Ragtime"

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide


"What Happened in Boston, Willie"

entire contents copyright 2002 by Robert Guenthner


Reviewed by Robert Guenthner AKA oldgrump

book by Terrence McNally
music by Stephen Flaherty
lyrics by Lynn Ahrens
based on the book by E.L. Doctorow

scenic design Dex Edwards
choreographer Candace Jenning
director Stafford Arima
music director Mark McLaren
costumes Santo Loquasto


Alan H. Green - Ann Van Cleave - Joel Briel - Nikki Renee Daniels - Perry Ojeda Joseph Delliger - Jeff Cyronik - Roger Dewitt - Dann Fink - Shannon Hastings Justin Lee Miller - Tracey Moore - Jimmy Dieffenbach - Carolina Konopka Edward M. Barker - Latoya D. Brown - Paul David Bryant - Kathy Calahan Dioni Michelle Collins - Edwardyne Cowan - Craig Davinport - Dick Deceareau Antoinette Dipietropolo - Debra Thais Evans - Chad Hudson - Janice Lorraine Richard E. Waits - Todd L. Underwood - Samantha Goober - Eric Murray

A theater in the round, presents many problems for both the director, and the set designer. North Shore Music Theatre has had Dex Edwards do several shows. I have been lucky enough to see most them. Of course the lavish sets from the New York stage, or even a touring company prove to be an impossibility on a round stage. With the exception of the model T Ford, Dex proved the old say true, that less is more.

This was Stafford Arima's first show at N.S.M.T. He has an extensive resume, and his work in this production showed his wonderful talent. The choreography, and costumes were also first rate.

There were no superstars in this cast, just extremely talented people from top to bottom. I have seen Ragtime once on Broadway, and on tour three times. This cast held it's own with all of the others. Handsome men, pretty women, good voices, and good acting made the 2 !/2 hour show fly by.

While talking to some of the cast after the show, I had to marvel at their enthusiasm. This was probably the happiest group of actors I have ever met. They were laughing, smiling, and joking around like school kids. I have subscription seats for the second and third Sunday for each of the shows. The one and one half hour ride can be tedious for me at times, but after having such a lovely time, both during and after this musical, I am eagerly looking forward to next Sunday.

I wouldn't bet against the possibility, that someday, one or more in this cast will have a big part, in a big show. The talent is there, now luck is needed. The only familiar actor to me was Roger Dewitt. He played in the touring production of Jekyll & Hyde. A super nice young man, who patiently allowed me to interrupt his coffee break between shows in Providence, for an autograph and a picture.

I am always pleased with the shows at this theater. I may not like each and every musical, but the way they are presented, and the talent that are put in the roles, make it my favorite professional venue.

"Ragtime"(till 2 June)
62 Dunham Road, BEVERLY, MA

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide