note: entire contents copyright 2008 by Beverly Creasey
The Reagle Players, for the most part, present gorgeous replicas of beloved “old fashioned” musicals so it’s a lovely surprise to find a hip, contemporary show like JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT kicking up its heels in Waltham (for two more weekends). Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s first successful musical irreverently, but sweetly, follows the Old Testament story of Jacob and his favorite son, Joseph. You may remember that his eleven jealous brothers sold him into slavery and told their father he was dead. Then he began interpreting dreams for the Egyptians and became indispensable politically and economically.
If you’ve not seen the show, now is the time….but the Reagle version is not your grandfather’s JOSEPH. Susan Chebookjian has tweaked the original, added oodles of delightful touches----like Joseph’s hilarious travel slides of his trip to Egypt (via Boston landmarks)----or the ‘60s guru in the go-go, hully-gully number who looks like Ozzie Osbourne. Chebookjian’s production is a high voltage affair with jaw dropping choreography (based on the original production). Every moment pops, thanks to an electric cast who can sing and dance as well as any Broadway company you will see.
Eric Kunze is by far the best Joseph I’ve seen. He camps it up when the script calls for it and then takes your breath away with his despair when he sings the rapturously beautiful “Close Every Door.” Also wonderful is Jose Delgado’s huge, letter and choreography- perfect children’s choir. Ayla Brown makes a pert, spunky narrator and Jeffrey Max gets lots of laughs as the heart throb Pharoah with blue suede shoes. Matthew Kossack is a standout as the Butler and Colin Liander stops the show with “Those Canaan Days.” Gayle Sullivan’s costumes are divine, right down to Joseph’s gold combat boots. Dan Rodriguez’ orchestra keeps the pace lively and you’re caught up in the happy momentum.