The Times' Drama Department recently visited a smattering of holiday shows open for business. Here's a sampling of what's in and around town .
A cold wind blows through the small compendium of holiday stories and music read by Ryan Cutrona, Karole Foreman, Ken Danziger, Maggie Soboil and Bryan Rasmussen at the Itchey Foot Ristorante. The material is classy stuff, culled from the writings of E.B. White, E.E. Cummings, Dickens, Thomas Hardy, O. Henry and even one penned by Soboil, but the presentation is flat.
Rasmussen staged the show taking no apparent pains to shape it or pace it. Charles Otte's lighting is consistently too dark. The beginning and ending are tentative. It all feels like an afterthought.
Was this rehearsed? Foreman's trouble with words suggests not or very little. Rasmussen, Soboil, Cutrona and Danziger are muscular, versatile readers, but lined up at lecterns, isolated by spotlights, each performs in a vacuum.