BWW Review: JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT at SMT Filled with Talent ... When it Gets Through

BWW Review: JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT at SMT Filled with Talent ... When it Gets Through
The cast of Seattle Musical Theatre's
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
Photo credit: Jeff Carpenter

Seattle Musical Theatre has taken on Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" for the holidays, that bright and frothy, crowd-pleaser of a tuner. And while for this production they've managed to gather up some stellar talent, that talent sometimes has a hard time getting through the noise, or in most cases, the lack of noise.

In this fun and happy little story from the Bible we meet Joseph (Garrett Dill) who's the favorite son of 12. To show he's the favorite his father gives him a glorious multicolored coat which pisses off his 11 brothers to the point that they plot to kill him. (Fun, right?) But instead of killing him they sell him into slavery (as a funny joke) where eventually he's thrown into jail. (I'm sure it's a happy jail.) But he soon proves his worth to Pharaoh (Jasmine Joshua) who makes him his main advisor where Joseph can exact revenge on his brothers when they come to him starving (in a fun way). OK, I'm being hyperbolic, but it is a little amusing that this happy little musical, done by every school, with its peppy songs is largely about murder, execution and slavery. But I digress.

The production is fun and the cast under the direction of Jeff Orton appear to be having fun with it. It flows wonderfully never lagging under a scene change and his staging of this large group on this not so large stage is admirable. As is the choreography of Troy Wageman who not only manages some killer routines with these huge groups during the show but one of the most imaginative "Joseph Mega-Mix" numbers at the end. And kudos to Brandon Peck for a great sound from the band keeping the whole thing rockin'. The problem came from their microphone system in that I couldn't hear a good chunk of the show. I'm not sure if they were cutting out or just being turned on perpetually late but songs would consistently start over-powered by the band, one off lines of joke dialog were completely lost, and one unfortunate number was almost completely obliterated even though the actor had a handheld mic AND a body mic. I won't harp on it but they're Seattle MUSICAL Theatre. They need to figure out a way to let the singing be heard.

The cast was fantastic when I could hear them. Dill has a great voice and fits the bill of the handsome dreamboat perfectly. My one qualm is that he needs to convey some levels in the show. Joseph goes on quite a journey and Dill looked perpetually happy about everything. Joshua was a delight as Pharaoh and had the moves I just wish I could have heard their vocals more. Claire Idstrom is on hand as the narrator conveying the story to the group of kids on hand and has a killer rocker chick voice bringing a new bent to the narrator than I had seen. Matthew McFadden brings in an awesome solo with the "Benjamin Calypso" as does Graham Arthur Blair with his country "One More Angel in Heaven" and, my personal favorite, Colin Briskey's hilarious French torch number "Those Canaan Days".

All in all, a fun show with a lot of potential if only it could escape the veil of silence. And so, with my three-letter rating system, I give Seattle Musical Theatre's production of "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" a promising but frustrated YAY-. I just hope they can fix those mic issues as this cast deserves to be heard.

"Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" performs at Seattle Musical Theatre through December 16th. For tickets or information visit them online at www.seattlemusicaltheatre.org.

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From This Author Jay Irwin

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