I wasn’t expecting to enjoy “Blood Type: Ragu,” and I was pretty much right.
A one-man, growing up first generation Italian-American, coming of age tale? Well, it just didn’t sound like my particular cup of tea. But I was willing to give it a chance.
Actor-playwright Frank Ingraciotta has not only penned his theatrical autobiography, but he’s also taken on the Herculean task of portraying more than two dozen different characters – all without benefit of costume changes or props. Not just any old characters, either, but real characters who he has known intimately – his taciturn father, his long-suffering mother, his sister, brother, grandparents, neighbors and more.
Part of the problem may be that Ingraciotta is simply too close to the material, unable to see the big picture or the overall narrative arc. I can’t figure out any other explanation for the fairly large chunk of the show that he devotes to driving across country so he can lose his virginity at that Best Little Whorehouse in Nevada, the Chicken Ranch. Up til then, “Ragu” had been squarely focused on the trials and tribulations of growing up in a Sicilian household in Brooklyn – the tears, the laughter and, of course, the food.