BWW Review: JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOUR DREAMCOAT at Spotlight Theatre, Paptoetoe, Auckland
Reviewed by Sharon Hewlett
The multicoloured, stained-glass lettering across all the marketing for this show is a hint of the colourful spectacle that awaited us at MPA this evening.
Knowing this was a family-friendly musical romp through the book of Genesis in the Bible I was happy to take my children along- and there truly was something for everyone- from slapstick comedy, to mime, to dancing girls and boys- all bases were covered.
Walking into the theatre you are confronted by a completely white minimalist set which really allows the actors, lighting and costumes to shine. (figuratively and literally!)
From the moment Adeel Surendran (Joseph) opens his mouth the audience are hooked. His rich tones captivate. He is a true storyteller and you find yourself sucked into his story. Chanelle Bulluss (Narrator) has a powerful presence to match her powerhouse voice and when Joseph and Narrator have a chance to sing together, it is a perfect vocal match.
It is not often that boys outnumber girls in a show. Each of the brothers could sing, and dance and act. The harmonies were strong and they related well to one another. The small female ensemble worked hard- filling multiple roles and dancing in most numbers. The children's cast were woven into the action but came into their own when singing as a choir in the Entr'acte.As a character actor myself I am drawn to the cast members who maintain their character throughout the show. Joshua Downs (Naphtali) was the perfect choice for 'Those Canaan Days', it is not easy to deliver comedy and vocals but Downs does this with ease.
Another standout for me was Francis Johnson (Issachar). Every time Johnson was onstage he was engaged in his character- it was easy to watch his outstanding facials and understand all the feelings of the story and then to find out he could sing too in 'One More Angel in Heaven' was a real treat.
In the cameo roles I appreciated the pompous presence of Thomas Calver (Pharoah) complete with quivering upper lip and rich Elvis-like tones, Alex Smith (Potiphar) with an outstanding 'roar', Seminario Vili (Levi) for injecting Pasifika flavour into 'Benjamin's Calypso', Joshua Browne (Judah) who's vocal cameo's at the extreme ends of his range show his talent and Keegan Bloem (Gad) who made my sons laugh out loud with his slapstick comedy.
Visually this show is spectacular thanks to super talented costume designers Helen Chessum and Michael Sanders. My particular favourites were Potiphar's scene with it's truly striking black and white theme and all the Pharoah scenes where the attention to detail ensured the wow factor- collars, wigs, sparkly shoes and even a fully bedazzled Elvis cape. Marty Wilson's attention to detail in his hair and make-up design was highlighted for me by the blue stripes in Pharoah's hair which matched his Egyptian eyeshadow.
This is a family friendly show that will have you tapping and clapping along and leaving with a smile on your face, 'Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat' is one to see, but book fast as they are already selling out!
Manukau Performing Arts
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat