Dressed in lavender suits with sequin appliques, the Dramatics trotted onto the stage at Constitution Hall Saturday night looking, dancing and singing in the great tradition of Detroit vocal groups. It wasn't until later that they ran out of gas.
Ron Banks' falsetto soared high over the rumbling, romantic raps laid down by bass singer Willie Ford. L. J. Reynolds broke into a sweat regaling the crowd (and skirting constant jibes from his three partners) with heartfelt pleas and half-baked plans for love, all sung in a raspy melismatic manner Tony Green, the Dramatics' bass player, gave them plenty of room and reason to dance and brilliantly perform songs like "Be My Girl" and "I Want to Go Outside in the Rain," which brought thunderous approval from the crowd.
But in the end, all the polish and precision the Dramatics brought to their songs and choreography couldn't compensate for the lack of worthwhile material. Many in the crowd headed toward the doors shortly after the group finished its medley of hits, and those who didn't heard nothing new.
Earlier, comedian Woody Henderson opened with several street-wise monologues that were obviously the product of an odd and very funny mind. Tierra, a Latin band, followed with an energetic but predictable blend of dance rhythms.