Theatre Mirror Reviews - "Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat"

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide


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entire contents copyright 2011 by Tony Annicone

"Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat"

Reviewed by Tony Annicone

Triboro Youth Theatre's 112th show is the biblical story of Jacob and his 12 sons in the musical version, "Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat". It is a terrific presentation and stars Hayley Sheaff as the narrator and Brendan Duquette as Joseph. The show was written in 1968 by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice as a 15 minute cantata. This now 90 minute show is high energy from start to finish. The 27 performers under the direction of Vivian K. Humphrey with musical direction by David Renoni and choreography by Erin Caster have all the necessary ingredients to make this a standout show. This hard working cast receives a well deserved standing ovation at the end of the night.

The storyline is told by the narrator who interacts with her fellow performers and sings to and with them at various points in the show. Joseph has prophetic dreams and is the best loved son of his doting father,Jacob who gives him the coat of many colors. His 11 brothers become jealous of his prophecies and his splendid coat so they sell him into slavery in Egypt. There Joseph rises from house slave to become Pharaoh's second in command because of his gift for interpreting dreams. Pharaoh is depicted as Elvis and this well known tale becomes timely as well as timeless. Director Humphrey takes this story and creates many topnotch picture postcard moments throughout the show. She combines moments of shtick and pathos to deliver a well rounded show for the audience to enjoy. Erin who is 17 years old, creates and uses a variety of dance styles including a hoe down, tango, the limbo, the swim and the 1950's rock and roll. She also plays the vampy Mrs. Potiphar and the tango dancing waitress. This hard working cast receives a standing ovation at the close of the show.

Since this soft rock musical is entirely sung, David as musical director not only taught the cast these songs but has the harmonies soaring within them. The two story set and scenic design is by Glen Jestus while the costumes are by Troy Pepicelli. The most important part of this show are the two leads. The Narrator is played by beautiful blonde Hayley Sheaff. She has a fantastic singing voice which soars in all her numbers including the Prologue, Poor Poor Joseph and Go, Go Joseph. She weaves her way in and out of the numbers with the rest of the cast beautifully. Hayley can not only belt with her voice but also sing sweetly on her softer ones, too. She is a dynamic performer and she makes this role her own. Her talented partner in this show is Brendan Duquette as Joseph. He has a fabulous tenor voice whether he is singing softly in "Any Dream Will Do" or with deep feeling and pathos in "Close Every Door" where his voice soars off the scale sending chills up your spine with its poignancy. Brendan's interactions with the other characters are handled as well as his warm, touching relationship with Jacob, standing out. You need two strong performers to lead the ensemble but in this case the rest of the cast lives up to the high standards set forth by Brendan and Hayley.

The other 11 brothers have oodles of talent and also shine in their singing and dancing prowess. The standout solos include the country western song "One More Angel" sung slowly and sadly to Jacob and then with wild abandon by David Aranjo in his lilting tenor voice, (he is also a dynamic dancer who does flips in some of the numbers and a dynamite tango with Erin in the French number), the "Benjamin Calypso" is sung by Justin Gilbert who is another powerful tenor and another voice that soars off the charts is Connor Grieve in the French type song "Those Canaan Days". He and the brothers hold one note out for a long time in this song winning many laughs while doing so. Another stunning performer is Jay Vita who plays Pharaoh. He is a young Elvis wannabe and he makes the chorus girls scream at the proper moments in his terrific and show stopping number. The harmonic blend of voices and dancing skills of these young performers is topnotch. So go, go, see "Joseph" in Attleboro before the show dances out of town.

"Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" (18 & 19 November)
@ Thacher School, James Street,ATTLEBORO MA

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide