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

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entire contents copyright 2010 by Tony Annicone

"Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat"

Reviewed by Tony Annicone

North Shore Music Theatre's second show of their new season is "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat". Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's entertaining family musical retelling of the biblical story of Joseph played by "American Idol" finalist Anthony Fedorov, his devoted father, his jealous brothers and his incredible series of adventures. Filled with spectacular costumes and high energy dance numbers, the story is told through a variety of musical styles, from country to calypso to rock and roll. It is story of Jacob and his sons. It was originally written in 1968 as a 15 minute cantata and now this two show is high energy from start to finish. The storyline is told by a narrator who interacts with her fellow performers and sings to and with the 20 children at various times thorough the show. Joseph has prophetic dreams and is the most 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 Pharaoh's second in command because of his gift for interpreting dreams. Under the direction and choreography of Jayme McDaniel and musical direction of Eric Alsford they supply the necessary ingredients to make this the must see show of the summer season and bring joie de vivre back into your life.

Owner and producer Bill Hanney and producing artistic director Evans Haile produce another hit show at the reopened jewel of a theatre in Beverly. They spare no expense in bringing live theatre back to NSMT. Director/choreographer Jayme McDaniel takes this story and creates many magnificent picture postcard moments throughout the show. He combines moments of shtick which include "Cool" form "West Side Story" is interspersed into "Poor, Poor Joseph" when the brothers decide to off Joseph, one of the brothers sings the sad obligato from "One More Angel" and Napthali holds the note out for a long time in "Canaan Days" (he drinks and smokes while the others try to get him to hold the note) and pathos which include "Close Every Door" and when Joseph forgives his brothers in the second act (both brings tears to your eyes), to deliver a well rounded show for the audience to enjoy. Since this soft rock musical is entirely sung, Eric Alsford as musical director not only taught the cast these songs but has the harmonies soaring within them. He conducts the beautiful sounding orchestra. He also taught the twenty children in the show, too. Jayme creates and uses a variety of dance styles including a hoe down, tango, the limbo, the swim and the 50's rock and roll. taught the huge cast these dances which they execute perfectly. Stage manager Gail Eve Malatesta keeps the sets moving on and off stage with ease, making the show flow seamlessly from one scene to the next. The gorgeous sets are by Campbell Baird while the numerous and colorful costumes are by Jose Rivera.

The most important part of this show are the two leads. The Narrator is played by beautiful brunette , Jennifer Paz. She has a fantastic soprano voice which soars in all her numbers including the Prologue, "Jacob and Sons"/ "Joseph's Coat", "Poor, Poor Joseph", "A Pharaoh's Story" and "Go, Go Joseph". She weaves her way in and out of the numbers with the rest of the cast wonderfully. Jennifer can not only belt her voice but sings sweetly on her softer ones, too. She is a dynamic performer and she makes this role her own. Her best number is the opening song of Act 2 "A Pharaoh's Story". Her soprano voice shines in this song. Her talented partner in this show is blond haired, blue eyed, Anthony Fedorov as Joseph. He has a fabulous tenor voice whether he is singing softly in "Any Dream Will Do" or with deep feeling in "Close Every Door" where his voice soars off the charts sending chills up your spine with its poignancy. He stops the show with his high tenor range in the Mega Mix number. His interactions with his brothers and all the other characters are excellently handled as well as his warm touching relationship with Jacob. Anthony gives a tour-de-force performance in this role. Bravo!.

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 played by Bob Amaral who is also the Baker and Potiphar and then with wild abandon by Allan Snyder in his lilting tenor voice, the "Benjamin Calypso" is sung by another powerful tenor, Brandon O'Neill and another voice that soars off the charts is in the French type song, "Those Canaan Days'' sung by Daniel Levine who is a hoot in this role and he also plays the comical butler. The other brothers are Will Cohen, Anthony Christian Daniel, Nick Kenkel, Miles A. Johnson, Matt Owen, Frankie Paparone, Christopher Spaulding,and Michael Warrell as Benjamin. Another stunning performer is Gary Lynch as the Pharaoh. He plays the part perfectly like Elvis, making the chorus girls faint at the proper moments in his song, "Song of the King". Some comic touches Jayme adds include an oxygen tank in the middle of the song to help him recover from the energetic dance. I saw Gary play many roles at TBTS in the past including this role, too. Potiphar's slutty wife is played by Rachelle Rak where she seduces Joseph and gets him thrown in prison. The 20 children do a topnotch job in this show with their vocal and dancing skills. Another strong part of the show is the Mega Mix finale where the energetic cast reprises most of the songs from the show brilliantly. So go, go, go to see Joseph in Beverly, MA to lift your spirits during this long hot summer.

"Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" (3 - 22 August)
@ 62 Dunham Road, BEVERLY MA

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide