Footlights Repertory Company's summer show is "Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" the musicalized version of the biblical story of Jacob and his 12 sons. It was written in 1968 by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice as a 15 minute cantata, this now 2 hour show is high energy from start to finish. The performers plus a 14 member choir of children under the direction of Tricia Rodrigues who also does the choreography and musical direction by Alex Tirrell, have all the necessary ingredients to make this wonderful show for this summer season. Their talent is rewarded with a well deserved standing ovation at the close of the show.
The storyline of the show is told by three narrators who interact with their fellow performers and the children chorus members. Tricia puts a twist on this well known tale. She blocks them wonderfully and keeps the action moving smoothly from one scene to another. Alex taught the cast the songs in this soft rock musical which is entirely sung with no dialogue. He also conducts a topnotch 7 piece orchestra while playing lead keyboards. The song types in this show consist of country western, rock & roll, a Maurice Chevalier French song, some 60's limbo and conga line music and a Jamaican song. The choreography by Tricia is wonderful, too especially the country western dance, the Elvis dance and conga line.
The most important part of this show is casting the right people as Joseph and the Narrators. Leading this huge 50 member cast is Neal Jeronimo as Joseph who is a student at Rhode Island College. Not only does Neal have a terrific tenor voice but he dances up a storm in the show, too. His vocal prowess is heard in many of the numbers throughout the show but it is in "Close Every Door" that the poignancy and power of his rendition sends chills up your spine as his voice soars off the scale. Neal delivers the more joyful "Any Dream Will Do" at the start of the show with the children and again later when Joseph is finally reunited with his family. The huge coat at the end of the show and final tableau is wonderful to behold. Bravo on a job well done. The three talented Narrators are Kelly Morrell, Kristina Dahlene and Kasey Jeronimo. They weave their way in and out of the numbers with the rest of the cast beautifully. They can not only belt their voices but sing sweetly in the softer numbers, too. Kelly, Kristina and Kasey's voices soar in their numbers including the Prologue, "Jacob and Sons", "Joseph's Coat", "Poor, Poor Joseph" and "Go, Go Joseph". The latter number turns into a huge song and dance that mesmerizes the audience.
The other eleven brothers have oodles of talent, too. They are Ray Almeida Jr., Nate Carreiro, Victor Neto, Jeff Villarrubia, Colin Sullivan, Zach Caron, Roger Machado-Fournier, Ray Howard, Eddie Plante, Jamie Reynolds and Brian Pereira. The standout solo numbers include the country western song, "One More Angel'' sung by Roger which is sung slowly at first then turns into a big dance, the French number, "Canaan Days'' sung by Brian with the brothers holding out the last note of the song which is hilarious and "Benjamin Calypso" sung by Zach who also leads them in a conga line. The biggest scene stealer in this show is Eddie Camara as Pharaoh. His strong singing voice sells the Elvis style song where Eddie also makes the chorus girls faint at the proper moments, too. Pharaoh's wife is well played by Veronique Sylvia.The brother's father, Jacob is played by Nishan Lawton who shows warmth to Joseph but also is humorous, too while crying and singing part of "Canaan Days". John Silveira plays Potiphar while Kimberly Harper plays his seductive wife who gets Joseph thrown in jail. So for a terrific presentation of "Joseph", be sure to catch Footlights version in Warren, RI. You will thoroughly enjoy it from start to finish.