Thursday, November 8, 2012
Additional ALT Review: Ragtime, Zach Theatre, October 17 - November 18
by Ed Penn
Grand: My best description of experiencing Ragtime at Zach.
I had a grand time last Sunday afternoon; walking in on the sunny afternoon and exiting into a sunset framed nicely by the floor to ceiling windows. Even with a full house, parking was available in their two dedicated lots. Grand entrance: walking up the promenade steps to the new Topfer building; passing a two-horned fantastical speaker resembling something out of a Dr. Seuss tale that was playing period music. Walking through the spacious lobby and the 'sound airlock' to enter the auditorium, I was greeted by the rustling of packed house eager for the show.
The seats were steeply angled, guaranteeing everyone an unobstructed view. My seat was on the left wing. While unable to see upstage-left, I'm certain that only chorus members would be out of view.
The stage was named after Karen Kuykendall in memory of an actress who graced the boards at Zach. It deserves recognition for the inclusion of every bit of theatrical hardware usually seen in the more lavish touring productions. A height variance granted from the city allowed the large box in which all the curtains and 'flies' reside. Anything could be 'flown in' to set an intimate scene on this wide-open stage framed by a two-level white wicker set: a backdrop grid to transform the outside air into Grand Central Station, globe lights for a piano hall,a projection screen for an image of the Statue of Liberty, and even a flying man.
Read more and view additional images by Kirk R. Tuck at AustinLiveTheatre.com . . . .