Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is now playing at the Beck Center for the Arts in Lakewood. And this production truly is amazing. A cast of 43 actors, including 15 school-age children in the youth chorus, brings this magical story to life with bright lights, vibrant colors and joyful song.
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat tells the Biblical story of Joseph of Canaan, found in the Book of Genesis. As the show opens, the narrator introduces us to Jacob and his 12 sons. Joseph’s brothers become jealous of their father’s favorite son after Jacob gives him a beautiful “coat of many colors.” In retaliation, they sell Joseph into slavery, and he is taken to Egypt.
Joseph passes several years as a slave, but after interpreting Pharaoh’s dream, he is promoted to the second most powerful man in Egypt. Eventually, a happy ending comes about as Joseph reconciles with his family, and they join him in Egypt. The show incorporates a lot of humor and parody, especially in its menagerie of musical styles, including French ballads, the Charleston, country-western, reggae, disco, and even Elvis-inspired rock and roll.
Tricia Tanguy is superb as the narrator. Her facial expressions alone are priceless, and her interaction and rapport with the children of the youth chorus are very endearing. Connor O’Brien is the perfect Joseph, just as good as Donny Osmond or any previous actor to play the part. The other cast members, including the children, play their parts with a zest for life and storytelling. The beautiful sets and costumes, too, make this Joseph a stellar production.
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat has always been a Broadway favorite for community and school performances. It is a fun show, but also wholesome and appropriate for the entire family. Joseph, written in 1968, was the second collaboration by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice. This powerhouse British team would soon collaborate on another classic of musical theatre, the rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar (1970). And Lloyd Webber and Rice’s rock opera Evita (1976) would arrive six years later.
This was my first viewing of Joseph, and I was thoroughly amazed by the show. For anyone who has not seen this modern Broadway classic, I highly recommend it. It is everything a Broadway spectacular should be. And although it is not a “holiday show,” it is perfect for the holidays. Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat will run through January 2, 2011.
Coming this spring to the Beck Center for the Arts is the regional premiere of Jerry Springer: The Opera in the Studio Theater (February 18 – March 27) and The Underpants on the Mackey Main Stage (April 1-23). And coming this summer will be Hairspray, Broadway’s smash hit musical (July 8 – August 14).
The Beck Center for the Arts is located at 17801 Detroit Avenue in Lakewood. Convenient, free on-site parking is available. For information on showtimes, pricing, and future productions, please visit the Beck Center’s website at www.beckcenter.org.
– Submitted by Christopher S. Musselman, guest blogger