Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat has returned to the Beck Center for the Arts in Lakewood. This is a great show for the entire family, as a cast of 44 actors, including 16 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 lives 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.
I’m not a very good bicycle rider and it’s been quite a while since I even tried. In fact, there was even a time I ran into a mailbox on my bike, but despite my periodic imbalances and inability to brake, there’s something wonderful about the wind blowing through your hair and the opportunity to go wherever your legs can take you. Combine this feeling with coffee, beer and unique gathering locations for family and friends, and even the bicycle-challenged such as myself can enjoy a spring day exploring local districts, restaurants and parks. This Saturday, May 14, kicks off Cleveland Bicycle Week 2011 with the Bikespresso event sponsored by local artisan coffee company Phoenix Coffee.
The event begins at 3:30pm at Phoenix Coffee on West Ninth Street in the historical warehouse district. Then, at 5:30 the group travels (by bike of course) to Edgewater Park to enjoy Umami Moto and Tasty Treat food trucks. Later, riders can enjoy coffee with local and organic baked goods from Root Café in Lakewood, followed by burgers and beer at Beer Engine. The evening concludes at 11pm at XYZ the Tavern in Detroit Shoreway.
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
As the show opens, a former spelling bee winner and hostess of the “bee” introduces the six spelling finalists. (And be forewarned, following the opening number, four audience members are brought up on stage to participate in the spelling bee through the first act.) Throughout the show, we learn more about the spelling bee finalists: their backgrounds, family life, present fears and future aspirations. One by one, the finalists are eliminated to the moment when the new Putnam County Spelling Bee winner is announced. The show is cute, endearing and funny, and it reminds us all what it was like to be a “little kid in a big world.”
I saw the touring production of this show when it came to PlayhouseSquare two years ago. I have to say that I actually enjoyed this performance a little more. The set design was even better than that of the touring production. The Beck Center is a more intimate setting, which gives this show a very different feel from those put on in a larger theater. The smaller venue actually made me feel as though I was really attending a spelling bee. Overall, performances were excellent and the humor of the show and that of the actors/characters keep me laughing in my seat the entire time.
The Buckeye Beer Engine in Lakewood is an eclectic pub with an array of customers from novices to knowledgeable beer drinkers. To know how the Beer Engine made it here, you have to look at how it got started. I had the opportunity to sit down and talk with Garin Wright, co-owner of the Buckeye Beer Engine and Buckeye Brewing. I found it fascinating.
In 1997, Garin and his father, Robert, opened the Brew Keeper on Miles Road in Bedford Heights. Garin was into home brewing and wanted to start a business where customers could come in and brew their own individual batches of beer. When things were not going so well with the business, Robert told Garin to start brewing beer to bring in some revenue. Even though brewing wasn’t intended to be Garin’s main focus, he truly fell in love with the brewing process. Over time, Garin’s passion for brew on-premise waned while his passion for brewing with Buckeye increased.
This Saturday was one of those perfect spring days when the weather’s warm and the sun is shining in a beautiful blue sky. My day was made all the more perfect by a little food and shopping with a friend. We met for breakfast at the fabulous Borderline Café in Lakewood (a near west suburb of Cleveland, for those not familiar with the geography).
The Borderline is one of my all-time favorite places—a small restaurant in the plaza across from Three Birds on Detroit Ave., it houses maybe 15 tables and is home to the best coffee ever. They actually brew coffee by Cleveland’s own Van Rooy Coffee Company. I ordered my usual, the veggie breakfast burrito and hash browns, which is always to die for and so affordable. My friend ordered the Banana Nut Stuffed French Toast ,which is even better than it sounds, and the fresh fruit bowl. Wow! This was her first Borderline experience and that was the way to kick it off.
Owned by local musician Kelly Wright, the Borderline is a great little meeting place that always delivers amazing food, friendly service and a warm atmosphere. They’re open from 7am- 2pm every day. Check it out but get there early or you’ll be waiting.
I just saw The Farnsworth Invention at Lakewood’s The Beck Center for the Arts. It is a play by Aaron Sorkin, creator/writer of The West Wing, Studio 60 and Sports Night. The Farnsworth Invention details the race to transmit a picture . . . to create the first television. It pits the powerful president of RCA, David Sarnoff, against self-taught scientist and inventor Philo Farnsworth. And, like so many inventor and entrepreneur stories we’ve seen recently (Flash of Genius, Tucker), the talented little guy doesn’t always prevail.
Last Saturday evening, a friend and I attended the Beck Center for the Art’s production of Urinetown, The Musical. Beck Center first presented Urinetown, The Musical in 2005 and due to the popularity of the show, chose to revive it for the 2008-2009 season.
This satirical comedy makes several important political statements while giving the audience an evening full of fun, laughter and music. The citizens of Urinetown are living in a surreal world where, due to a shortage of water (which has become more precious than gold or oil), private toilets have been banned. Those who need to relieve themselves must pay to use public toilets owned and operated by the powerful corporation “Urine Good Company.”
Even though its a smaller theater than, say, PlayhouseSquare or even Cleveland Play House, the acting and musical talents of the cast were top-notch. And, in my opinion, they were just as good as anything one would see on Broadway.
Cleveland is a mecca of wonderful theater options from professional to community and Beck Center is part of that roster. The first production I saw at Beck Center was The Full Monty in 2006. And it was another fine production with the same great caliber of performances. I encourage anyone from our area and beyond to see Urinetown The Musical and any of the other fine productions presented in Cleveland Plus throughout the year.
(FYI: Urinetown, The Musical continues through October 12 and Beck Center for the Arts is located at 17801 Detroit Avenue in Lakewood. Convenient, free on-site parking is available.) –CM