REVIEW: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

Ahhh Joseph – there’s no musical more infectious in my opinion. It makes me tap my feet, it makes me want to sing, it just makes me happy.  That said, I came into this performance a little bit biased.  I wanted so desperately for the production to be amazing, but my honest reaction is that it didn’t quite clear that bar.  I had a fantastic time but it could have been better.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is a biblical story that even an atheist can find entertaining. It’s supposed to be a campy musical, but I’m not sure they did a good enough job emphasizing that here.  The costumes were odd, but not odd enough.  The set design and props were low-budget but, again, not quite enough to make it clear that that’s what was intended.  The dance choreography was relatively uninspired and the dancers weren’t always in sync, but maybe that’s because it was more about having fun on stage. I honestly don’t know what the director’s intent was in putting this show together.  I’m pretty sure the goal was to play up a goofy, campy vibe, but the result didn’t go far enough to prevent the production from just looking a bit sloppy.

I frequently criticize musicals for having forgettable music. Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is entirely the opposite. The music is so good and they knew it so the finale piece is just a giant compilation so you can hear it all again.  The music plays an important part in telling the story, but also sticks in your head long after the curtain closes.  If you come for no reason other than to hear the music performed live, it’s worth the price of admission.  Overall, the vocal performances were great.  Brothers Simeon (Peter Surace) and Judah (Kyle Freeman) were standouts.  I only had a slight problem with the Narrator (Laura Helm), who frequently belted out tunes in a way that came off as screechy and strained.

The last time Joseph was in town was 2005.  Take advantage of this rare tour!

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is at the Orpheum Theatre through April 3, 2016.  Tickets start at $39.

DEAL ALERT: Student/Educator rush will be available for all performances of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Policy: Rush tickets are $25 each, 2 tickets per valid school ID, cash only. Rush tickets go on-sale two hours prior to the show. The rush line forms outside of the Orpheum Theatre. The sale of rush tickets is subject to availability and the resale of rush tickets is strictly prohibited.

Photo by: Daniel A. Swalec