BWW Reviews: Hillbarn Theatre Lights Up the Bay Area with Technicolor JOSEPH
As bright and colorful as its title character's wardrobe, Hillbarn Theatre's production of "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" is a "dazzling work of art." A talented and adorable children's chorus leads the show as an adult figure interrupts their mistreatment of one particular child to tell the Biblical story of Joseph and his dreams come true. The story comes to life when its characters suddenly greet the children and audience and begin what promises to be two hours of entertaining music and energetic dancing.
Joseph's brothers are jealous of their father's attention to him and decide to sell their brother to Egypt as a slave. But the narrator foretells that Joseph could become a star, and as the events unfold, a lively ensemble cheers Joseph on.
Andrew Lloyd Webber's music varies from country to Parisian to Elvis in the Pharaoh's throne room, changing with the story. Director Nancy Fitzgerald-Metzler pulls in modern tidbits to match the changing styles, and designer Steve Nyberg gives the actors a wonderful school playground set (thus the children's chorus) to have fun with. Brandy Mieszkowski also adds plenty of color to the production with always-impressive choreography throughout the show.
Although Joseph clearly takes the lead spot in the musical, the entire cast shines with several taking on multiple roles. Gary Standford Jr., Russell Ward and Daniel Harper delight in their featured solos as Joseph's brothers. Mark Metzler and Adrienne Tiffany Herro play the rich Potipher and wife. And several women take the spotlight at various moments as the wives of Canaan. Michael D. Reed also treats the audience with a fun Elvis impression as the Pharaoh.
The vibrant cast flawlessly complements Lindsay Stark's Narrator and Noel Anthony's Joseph. Stark has the best vocals of the cast, and her presence remains a constant highlight throughout the show, while Anthony, the only equity actor of the cast, boasts equally strong vocals and gives the audience an amusing and loveable Joseph to cheer for.
A megamix finale highlights each of the featured cast members and gives the energized audience the chance to stand up and clap to the beat – a standing ovation well-deserved.
"Joseph" may not be your typical holiday musical, but it's full of holiday treats for all. A colorful supporting cast and astounding leads make it the perfect production for any time of the year – even Christmas. After all, there's plenty of cheer to go around at Hillbarn Theatre.
JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT
Through December 23