|I think Ford's number fine because it makes its point quickly and that point serves the show as a whole, and if memory serves he is not really a particularly major character in the novel.
Evelyn Nesbit is a fascinating character in the novel, but she sure is not in the musical. I think her number is an especially weakly conceived one, not helped by the original staging. Houdini is also given short shrift in the musical, but at least he is not made ridiculous as Nesbit is. And making Nesbit ridiculous makes Younger Brother ridiculous, at least the way it is handled in the musical.
Goldman is given somewhat short shrift in the musical, with her sexuality gone, but at least she is not ridiculous. I think her two numbers are among the stronger ones in the show, even if I think they might have been still better. So we agree on "He Wanted to Say."
I think if anything several of the historical characters would have profited by more fleshing out, which might have been done relatively quickly, and then perhaps we would be more interested in them. The one thing that could not have been done quickly is Evelyn Nesbit, but perhaps that could have been solved had they not decided to not bother, had they not decided to take away the fascinating colors of the character in the novel.