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Woodrow Wilson Senior High School Ragtime

By • Nov 24th, 2008 • Category: Cappies

Woodrow Wilson Senior High School’s production of Ragtime was a heart-wrenching performance filled with tears and sorrow, yet in the end produced a light at the end of the dark tunnel. Ragtime tells the story of three groups in the beginning of the twentieth century, the upper-class Anglo-Saxons, the fleeing immigrants from Europe, and the struggling African Americans searching for a new way in America.

As an ensemble Wilson performed superbly. The synchronization was astounding; each movement had an impact, whether it was as complicated as three triangular formations which the entire assemble would form, or a simple hand gesture, which a group would do. Individual performances, in terms of movement, were wonderfully done by Ashley Nicholas (Sarah’s Friend), during the end of the first act, in the song “Til We Reach That Day.” The song is expressing the pain of the African American community for their unjust loss of Sarah. Miss Nicholas’ solo made tears well in the audience’s eyes. She understood her character’s pain and was able to execute it beautifully through the smallest hand gesture and sobs. Another actor who had nice physicality was Georgi Goldstein (Evelyn Nesbit). Her character was a vaudeville “diva” who loved the attention she would receive from the press and the men. Although Goldstein appeared as Evelyn only few times, she made each moment shine with a wink, a kick, and a wave performed with a flare of childlike cuteness.

Vocal performances from cast members such as Christopher McFadden-Gooding (Booker T. Washington), Maggie Roos (Emma Goldman), and Ashley Nicholas (Sarah’s Friend), were delightful surprises, and they instantly captured the audience with their strong and unwavering voices. Lead actors, who gave more substance to the show, were Tebo Geo-Mba (Coalhouse), and Kevin Kelly (Tateh). Both of their performances consisted of a difficult emotional range for their characters, varying from being ecstatic, to depressed, to enraged, to in love. The actors’ strong portrayal of their characters was much appreciated by audience members.

The lighting, costumes, and props were all done exquisitely. All of these components helped the audience fully believe that they too were living at the turn of the twentieth century.

Overall the show was wonderful and very well worth the price of admission!

by Mariana Barbosa of J.E.B. Stuart High School

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