BWW Reviews: JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT at the Fox Theatre
Though it was written before Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's successful Jesus Christ Superstar, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat caught on after Superstar's success as a kind of adjunct sequel. Family friend in tone and full of catchy musical numbers, it's a pleasant and upbeat show with considerable appeal. Oddly enough, the majority of the times I've seen this show the stars have been a married couple, and the current production playing at the Fox Theatre is no exception, with Diana DeGarmo and Ace Young headlining.
Set in ancient Egypt, this clever musical tells the biblical story of Joseph. Joseph is singled out as special among his eleven brothers by his father, Jacob. Jacob gives him the gift of an attention-grabbing, rainbow-hued coat. In an extreme act of sibling rivalry, his brothers strip him of his clothes and toss him in a well, before they finally decide to sell him into slavery. But, even though he's jailed after an unsuccessful stint as a servant for Potiphar, he impresses the Pharaoh with his ability to read his dreams. His advice is taken, and when his visions come true, he ascends to the number two spot. In the end, things come full circle, with his brothers learning a valuable lesson along the way.
Ace Young is a likable and capable fit as Joseph, and his version of "Any Dream Will Do" gets the action off to a pleasant start. His take on "Close Every Door", while imprisoned, hits the proper emotional marks, but seems somewhat restrained vocally. Diana DeGarmo adds immeasurably to the proceedings as the Narrator, and her vocals cut through the mix with ease. "The Prologue" sets the tone for the show, and she immediately lets the audience know that this is going to be a fun, fast-paced ride. Ryan Williams rocks the pyramid as The Pharaoh, and Paul Castree (Simeon), Will Mann (Judah), and Brian Golub (Reuben) stand out in support.
Andy Blankenbuehler directs and choreographs, and the show speeds along at a nice, lively clip. What seems like a fairly simple scenic design by Beowulf Boritt fits well with Daniel Brodie's video and projection designs that neatly fill in the blanks. Howell Brinkley's flashy lighting scheme, and Jennifer Caprio's colorful costumes augment the action in fine fashion.
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat continues at the Fox Theatre through May 11, 2014.