REVIEW: JOSEPH AND THE

AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT

at The Arvada Center

by Emilee Hatfield

ANY DREAM WILL DO…

If you asked any musical theatre lover, which musical this song title is from, nine times out of ten they will almost immediately know. It isn’t hard to tell just how much impact JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT has made when we look at musical theatre; just as many Lloyd Webber musicals have. So much so, that Joseph has become a holiday tradition at the Arvada Center for Arts and Humanities as their production opened Nov. 17th, after a five year Hiatus.

This production arrived with a colorful blast of creativity. Joseph is an older musical, and one that is in some ways desperately in need of some updating. The production team did some choices of modernization that did get a few good laughs from the audience especially the older members who have probably seen the show more than they can possibly count. With the updating came a very well designed set by Brian Mallgrave; that brought a colorful ballad to the show, accompanied by the phenomenal choreography by Kitty Skillman Hilsabeck. It never dawned on me just how much this show relies heavily on dance. It isn’t to say that it could easily be seen but it defiantly proved a point with such a great ensemble filled with such talented actors that they all almost stole the entire show.

But what is a show like Joseph without its narrator played by Sarah Rex; who was a delight and brought about the magic and wit that is needed for such a memorable character. It is through her that the story is told; and her voice is so pleasing to the ear, especially as she sings, “A Pharaoh’s Story.”

Director Gavin Meyer did an exceptional job in selecting Rex to reprise this role as her previous credits at the Arvada Center have earned numerous amounts of praise from the community. Joseph’s, (Aaron Young’s) rendition of, “Close Every Door,” Is superbly  done; his innocence and naive behavior worked well as a young Joseph. It is in between Joseph’s change from young boy, to Pharaoh’s second-hand that we lose him for a bit (perhaps it is the lack of dialogue). Once he rises from the ashes of his cell,  we begin to see him come into what Joseph should be – a strong, confident young man who uses his gift to save not only one nation that he has come to accept but also his own sense of self. Joseph is an amazing tale and the score is very simplistic yet extremely enchanting. With such different melodies and styles I was a bit shocked to see just what this talented cast pulled off.

Overall this production of Joseph is a nice family orientated production, and the Arvada Center’s production team continues to amaze me not only in their creativity but how they are able to use their skills to tell a story that sometimes can be overdone.

JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT is enchanting audiences now through December 23rd.  Performances are Tuesday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m., matinees on Wednesday at 1:00 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday at 2:00 p.m., through December 23rd. To purchase tickets go to www.arvadacenter.org or calling 720-898-7200. The Arvada Center is located at 6901 Wadsworth Blvd. and provides free parking for all its patrons.

PHOTO CREDIT:  M. Gale Photography

 

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