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.
For the Record
Los Angeles Times Wednesday December 11, 1991 Home Edition Calendar Part F Page 8 Column 1 Entertainment Desk 1 inches; 29 words Type of Material: Correction
Wrong actress--Actress Susan Angelo was inadvertently listed among performers in "Winter Tales" at the Itchey Foot in Thursday's Calendar. She was not in the show. The actress who appeared was Pilar Strom.
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.
A cappella bridges sung by Susan Angelo are a weak, artificial connection, and one musical story told by guitarist Edward Lee Masterson seems merely misplaced. This is a show without a heart that feels longer than it is.
* \o7 "Winter Tales," Itchey Foot Ristorante, 801 W. Temple, (213) 680-0007). Sunday and Dec. 22, 1 and 6 p.m. Ends Dec. 22. $8. Running time: 1 hour, 45 minutes.\f7