Theatre Mirror Reviews "Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat"

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entire contents copyright 2012 by Tony Annicone

"Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat"

Reviewed by Tony Annicone

Turtle Lane Playhouse's winter show is the musical version of the biblical story of Jacob and his twelve sons called "Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat". The show was written in 1968 by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice as a 15 minute cantata, this now two hour show is high energy from start to finish. The storyline is told by the narrator who in this version is a school teacher with a class of 12 students. 11 of them ostracize a boy, like the brothers do to Joseph. The narrator teaches her students how to get along with each other and interacts with her fellow performers and sings to and with the 12 children at various times 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 that 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. Director/choreographer Rachel Bertone and musical director Dan Rodriguez create a splendid show which the audience can savor and enjoy. The talented cast obtains a thunderous ovation at the close of this spectacular show.

Rachel takes this story and creates many picture postcard moments throughout the show. She has her cast in constant motion including the children in many numbers. Rachel combines moments of shtick and pathos to deliver a well rounded show. Rachel has deep insight in this show and says in her director's notes "Like the youth of today, Joseph faces obstacles that include bullying, severe family dysfunction, and unfair treatment. However, it is in the way he meets these challenges, with unwavering integrity and forgiveness, that a worthy and accessible role model emerges." also creates and uses a variety of dance styles including a hoe down, conga, tango, the limbo, the swim and rock and roll. She has the children mistreating the one boy during the overture when they rip his drawing and at the end of the show they learn their lesson and tape it back together for him. Rachel taught her talented cast these dances and they all execute them perfectly. Dan not only musically directs the show but plays lead keyboards and conducts the beautiful sounding orchestra. Since this soft rock musical is entirely sung, he taught the cast these songs and has the harmonies soaring during them. The gorgeous multitude of costumes are by Richard Itczak and the set is by Laura Schrader. The impressive lighting and projection design is by Saulius Slezas. Bravo on a job well done!

Beautiful red head, Shonna Cirone plays the Narrator. She has a fantastic soprano voice which soars in all her numbers including the Prologue, "Jacob and Sons", "Joseph's Coat", "Poor, Poor Joseph" and "Go, Go, Go Joseph". Shonna weaves her way in and out of the numbers with the other cast members beautifully. She shines whether she is belting out a number or singing sweetly on the slower ones ,too. She is a dynamic performer and makes this role her own.Her talented partner in this show is Peter Mill as Joseph. His vocal prowess is heard in many numbers throughout the show. Peter has a fabulous tenor voice when he sings the more joyful "Any Dream Will Do" at the start of the show with 12 member youth ensemble, and again belting it out near the end of the show when he is reunited with his family. Their reunion scene is breathtaking and filled with the pathos it needs especially his reunion with Jacob. But it is in "Close Every Door" where his voice soars off the scale sending chills up your spine with its powerful and poignant delivery. His interactions with the other characters are handled beautifully, too. Terrific job by both leading players.

The other eleven brothers have loads of talent 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 Matthew Kossack and Alex Nemiroski in their lilting tenor voices, the sorrowful obligato is sung by Lisa Moore in her soprano voice, the Maurice Chevalier French type song "Those Canaan Day" by Jacob Sherburne in his strong tenor voice with the breathtaking, Maria LaRossa as the apache dancer in it with Matt and Alex as her partners in this French song and the "Benjamin Calypso" sung by Christopher King, another powerful tenor. The other talented brothers include Noam Ash, Andrew Winans, Bobby Imperato, Ben Moore, Raaid Cotman El and Daniel Nickerson. Another stunning performer is Kyle Carlson as the Pharaoh who does double duty in the show as a brother,Reuben. He delivers the goods with his powerhouse vocals and his pelvic thrusts, making the chorus girls faint at the proper moments. Kyle is dynamite as Elvis, the King and has some ad-libs with the audience including crooning "Blue Christmas" and "It's Now or Never" to a woman in the audience. Rick Sherburne plays  their father, Jacob and Potiphar. He shows warmth and humor as Jacob and anger as Potiphar. Lisa Dempsey, a gorgeous blonde, plays the slutty Mrs. Potiphar who wears a leopard jumpsuit and seduces Joseph, getting him thrown in jail. Another strong part of the show is the "Mega Mix'' where the energetic cast reprises most of the songs from the show splendidly. The twelve children are splendid in this show and will go far in show business in years to come.So go, go, go see Joseph before time runs out. This fabulous show will lift your spirits and warm your hearts during this cold winter season. It is one of the must see shows of this season.

JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT ( 7 to 30 December)
Turtle Lane Playhouse, 283 Melrose Street, Auburndale,MA
1(617)244-0169 or www.turtlelane.org  

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