BWW Reviews: JOSEPH a Technicolor Surprise at CALMT

BWW Reviews: JOSEPH a Technicolor Surprise at CALMT

Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice wrote Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat as a mosaic of musical styles and humor, meaning any dream will do for design and concept. American Idol husband-wife team Diana DeGarmo and Ace Young bring a tech and color production to Sacramento this week. And Tuesday evening's audience devoured the show's original, energetic staging.

Projections are used in awe-inspiring and surprising ways. Andy Blankenbuehler lends fantastic, acrobatic choreography, particularly for Joseph's scheming, jealous brothers. A new highlight includes the brothers in a Beauty-and-the-Beast-esque clever clanking of kitchen bowls and utensils, replacing the usual Parisian tango. And the score gets a slight revamp to suit its stars' voices, too.

DeGarmo has a fitting country twang as the Narrator and leads the musical with priceless facial expressions. Young's voice is less impressive, with a boyish nasal sound, but he soars with power when he belts. Unfortunately, his character is difficult to root for in this version of the Biblical tale. The musical has always taken turns at both honoring and jabbing the original history, but this time around things go a bit too far when Potiphar's wife seduces Joseph. The moment ruins the title character's integrity, especially given that this is usually considered a family show.

Putting criticism aside, though, the national tour of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat provides an amazing two hours of nonstop fun that concludes with a club-like remix. It's a shame that DeGarmo and Young spend so little time together on stage. In their final moments they have great chemistry and adorable smiles as they call the audience to dream with them.

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JOSEPH & THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT
Broadway Sacramento
Through February 1
http://www.californiamusicaltheatre.com/


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