BWW Review: Hale Centre Theatre's JOSEPH is an Amazing Technicolor Dream
Utah favorite JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT at Hale Centre Theatre in West Valley is an "amazing technicolor" dream of a production.
JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT (lyrics by Tim Rice, music by Andrew Lloyd Webber) retells the beloved Bible story of Joseph, who is sold into slavery in Egypt by his eleven jealous brothers, only to eventually rise to power. Will he seek revenge or offer the hand of forgiveness? With minor exception, the irreverent retelling is more concerned with pastiche and parody of various musical genres than it is with emotional resonance.
As one of the first creations of the celebrated composer and lyricist, the score largely lacks subtlety and finesse. However, this production transcends the material to achieve a result even a non-fan can admit to admiring.
Conlon Bonner is Joseph (double cast with Zack Wilson) thanks to refreshing non-traditional casting that recognizes a true talent. He knocks it out of the park. Equally remarkable are the extraordinary vocals and charisma of Angie Griffiths Call as the Narrator (double cast with Amelia Rose Moore). The ensemble is more than just solid--there is not a weak link to be seen.
The choreography by Cory Stephens, and its execution by the cast, is legitimately impressive. The whirl of color is snappy, precise, and joyful. Jennifer Parker Hohl's direction pulls all the chaos together while allowing room for the few emotional moments to breathe and shine through.
Occasionally it is difficult to hear the lead vocals through the overpowering ensemble and accompaniment. However, that is the only technical misstep.
The candy-colored visuals, including a number of brilliant surprises, are a true delight from start to finish. The contributions of production and set designer Kacey Udy, properties designer Michelle Jensen, costume designer Joy Zhu, and hair and makeup designer Krissa Lent cannot be overstated. Especially delightful is the lighting design from Brian Healy, which features substantially more shades than even the average rainbow.
JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT plays through August 12, 2017. For tickets, call the box office at 801-984-9000 or visit www.halecentretheatre.org.
Photo Credit: Conlon Bonner (Joseph)