BWW Review: Heavenly Performance of JOSEPH AND THE TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT at Dreamhouse Theatre
Having no prior knowledge of the musical JOSEPH AND THE TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT, I thought I was in for a lengthy bible sermon on stage at Dreamhouse Theatre. Who knew the Old Testament could be so exciting?
Less than two hours later, I am delighted to say I was 100% wrong. This Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber musical has something for everyone - a fun, captivating storyline; a gorgeous cast; rich, silken costumes and a beautiful, rainbow coat by Darci D'Onofrio, Melissa van Shaik, Lynda Ulmer, Lori Littlefield, Tresa Hall, Donna Sanborn, and Lori Schaefer; choreography by Theresa Colado that seems impossible to have been coordinated in just three weeks, and voices that make the angels sing.
The set is minimal, which works out fine because all eyes are on the ensemble, an ultra-talented cast that truly looks like they are having an amazing time together. Despite the music score overpowering the vocals in the beginning, Brianna Filippelli charmed the audience with her pure soprano, leading them on this journey as the story's narrator.
The show features a variety of music, which adds to the humor and keeps the audience entertained. From Brianna's pop "Prologue," to Joseph's (Bryan D'Onofrio) light rock "Close Every Door" to a country hoedown - Reuben's (RoB Smithers) "One More Angel in Heaven, a French number - Simeon's (Paul Frey) "Those Canaan Days" and even a Jamaican reggae, Judah's "Benjamin Calypso" expertly performed by JorDan Daley, there was literally something for everyone.
I must call attention to the Pharaoh's Elvis-themed numbers. Trevor Lloyd was spot on with his impersonation. I couldn't see exactly what he threw into the audience, but they swooned when he said 'thank you, thank you very much.'
Finally, there is no way to talk about JOSEPH AND THE TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT without mentioning the incredible Joseph. Though he claims he's a little older than the character, after seeing him in this role, I cannot picture anyone other than Bryan D'Onofrio as Joseph. Bryan commands the stage with powerhouse vocals. Any song this man sings will hold your attention to the last note.
The role of Joseph was significant for more than being his dream "bucket list" role. After prompting from his wife Darci, Bryan took on the role to honor his father Joseph who passed a month before.
I was very happy to visit ancient Egypt and experience this family-friendly show with catchy numbers that just - simply put- leaves you feeling good. At the close of tonight's show, I'm confident that much like the earthbound audience, Bryan's dad Joseph was giving him a well-deserved standing ovation from heaven.
JOSEPH AND THE TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT plays at Dreamhouse Theatre until April 8. For tickets and more information visit www.dreamhousetheatre.com.