Performance diary: Ragtime

January 7, 2010

January 6 –
Ragtime closes on Sunday, having gotten a week’s reprieve because ticket sales picked up. David Zinn invited me to see it with him. We’d both seen the original production at the Ford Center, directed by Frank Galati, and didn’t care for it. (See my review here.) Hope springs eternal. Maybe director-choreographer Marcia Milgrom Dodge found something thrilling to do with this mediocre adaptation of E. L. Doctorow’s fantastic novel (book by Terrence McNally, score by Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens)….? Wrong. I can see how it would be perfectly acceptable at the Kennedy Center in Washington, or anyplace accustomed to touring productions of mediocre Broadway musicals with second- or third-tier casts. But there wasn’t enough to hold our interest past intermission.

It did give me an opportunity to wear my vintage handmade three-piece pin-striped wool suit (above), a look that Herr Zinn approvingly dubbed “mean little gangster” (he’s become a big fan of Jersey Shore). We went for a drink at Park Blue, which – sadly – has closed, and ended up down the street at Seasonal, the Viennese wine bar, which was cozy and quiet. I heard all about his post-Christmas trip to Berlin and Thomas Ostermeier’s spectacular production of Hamlet at the Schaubuhne, which I hope Joe Melillo brings to BAM.

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