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Review Roundup: PRINCE OF EGYPT at TheatreWorks Silicon Valley

Review Roundup: PRINCE OF EGYPT at TheatreWorks Silicon Valley

THE PRINCE OF EGYPT follows the saga of Moses and Ramses, his Pharaoh brother, and the indomitable people who changed them both forever. The show is based on the DreamWorks animated film of the same name, and runs at TheatreWorks through November 5. It has music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, and a book by Philip LaZebnik.

The cast stars Diluckshan Jeyaratnam as Moses, Jason Gotay as Ramses, Brennyn Lark as Tzipporah, Tom Nelis as Pharaoh Seti, Christina Sajous as Queen Tuya, Julia Motyka as Miriam, Will Mann as High Priest Hotep, David Crane as Aaron, Ayelet Firstenberg as Youcheved, Jamila Sabares-Klemm as Nefertari, Paul-Jordan Jansen as Jethro, and Natalie Schroeder and Alexandra Van De Poel alternating as Young Miriam.

The cast also includes C.J. Blankenship, Dominic Dasdagan, Katherine Dela Cruz, Jourdan Epstein, Brian Flores, Gabriel Hyman, Joshua Keith, Travis Leland, Alison Mixon, Ramone Owens, David Sattler, Alicia Shumway, and Kalyn West.

PRINCE OF EGYPT is directed by Scott Schwartz, with choreography by Sean Cheesman

Let's see what the critics had to say!


Dominic May, The Stage: There are hints of Schwartz's earlier show Children of Eden in the music, but here he differentiates between the Egyptians, Hebrews and Midians through his use of instrumentation.Representing the scale and scope of the story of Moses in a 650-seat theatre on limited resources is ambitious, but director Scott Schwartz rises to the challenge. A chariot race is impressive and a mixture of light and movement is made to represent the plagues; the parting of the Red Sea is recreated using blue drapes.

Karen D'Souza, The Mercury News: The decision to humanize these mythical figures gives the story surprising nuance. Philip LaZebnik's book gives each of the brothers their own authentic voice but keeps them rooted in the ancient legend. Schwartz's score brims with soaring ballads and pounding rhythms that aren't terribly distinct, but they do convey the drama and pageantry of the events retold... The most miraculous part of the staging is Sean Cheesman's sculptural choreography, the way the bodies of the dancers writhe and undulate to form the burning bush, a chariot led by stallions and the parting of the waters. The use of dance as a way to move the story forward and eliminate the need for elaborate sets and special effects has its own poetry.

Lily Janiak, SFGate: Also mitigating is Sean Cheesman's choreography, each step and gesture with a curveball's zing. And some cast members' voices soar. Gotay's Ramses strokes each note with the tenderness and sonorousness of a bow upon strings. Lark's Tzipporah is worthy of appreciation for her breath control alone; you can imagine her deciding how much air to let escape the way a conductor might score a symphony.

Judy Richter, For All Events: Director Schwartz employs imaginative staging on Kevin Depinet's spare set with its movable sandstone blocks and Shawn Sagady's projections. Also figuring into the staging is Sean Cheesman's creative choreography, a strength of this production... The cast is solid, especially the featured women. However, Jeyaratnam doesn't have the stage presence needed for Moses... Two of the more memorable songs are the introductory "Deliver Us," sung by the ensemble and others, and "When You Believe," sung by Miriam, Tzipporah and the Hebrews.

Photo: Kevin Berne


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