Ragtime: Westchester's Hometown Musical!

Published: Thursday, March 20, 2014 2:00 pm By: Solange DeSantis Source: Solange On Theatre
with the real-life figures trotted out to make a point.

However, this cast makes the most of the show's intimate moments, underscored with such glorious melodies as "Ragtime," "Your Daddy's Son," "The Wheels of a Dream," and "Till We Reach That Day."

FaTye and Brittney Johnson as Coalhouse and Sarah.

Coalhouse is played by the Westchester-based actor FaTye, whose story is a journey as dramatic as this musical. Raised in foster homes and group residences around New York, FaTye was mentored by several Westchester educators and theater people, including Fanelli at Ovation. I saw him in a smaller part last year in In the Heights, however he has had lead roles, including Jim in Big River at WBT. 

On opening night, FaTye seemed a bit tentative, however, both he and Brittney Johnson (who played Sarah, the baby's mother and was miked too loudly) were contending with difficult sound problems that may well have thrown them off a little. I would love to see FaTye take the stage with power and verve, because he has acting and singing talent to burn and deserves to inhabit fully his gift.

Two other standouts for me were Victoria Lauzun and Joey Sanzaro. Lauzun plays Mother, the compassionate New Rochelle woman who takes in Sarah and her son, radiating grace and tenderness in songs such as "Goodbye, My Love" and "What Kind of Woman." 
Sanzaro as Tateh reminded me of a young Topol, his warm tenor blending beautifully with Lauzun's on "Our Children," as Mother and Tateh form a deep friendship. Earlier, in "A Shtetl Iz Amereke," Sanzaro ably communicates a father's rage at the brutality of a new land and his desperate quest to keep his child safe.