Colorful wardrobe, dancing enliven
DeSoto Family Theatre’s rollicking production of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” oozes fun, not just from the witty material and staging, but from infectious performances as well.
Director Harry Snelling has done a deft job in satisfying “Dreamcoat’s” challenges. There are some 30 kids to wrangle along with a hefty cast that is busy singing and dancing throughout this contemporary take on the Old Testament tale.
Joseph (Blaine Means) is the favorite of the 12 sons of patriarch Jacob. He’s a nice kid and pretty smart, although sometimes clueless as illustrated when daddy gives him the fab designer frock. Joseph thinks all his brothers are equally thrilled by his good fortune; instead the siblings seethe rivalry, roughing him up, shredding the coat and selling him into slavery.
Means, whose wide-eyed, baffled expression resembles Dana Carvey, is in good voice and makes the transition from slave-in-chains to savvy dream interpreter whose services are called upon by the Pharaoh (Tracy James).
The allure of “Dreamcoat,” besides being family friendly, is the variety of styles that lyricist Tim Rice and composer Andrew Lloyd Webber offer up. Calypso, disco and country are all represented along with the ham-heavy Elvis stylings of the Pharaoh. James gives it his all in a Vegas-meets-ancient-Egypt goof-o-rama.
Longtime DFT songbird Ashley Wieronski is the narrator, her lovely voice stitching the story together. Veterans Dean Bryant and Jeffrey K. Smith stand out in their scenes as conniving brothers, and Marissa Newton is a terrific dancer whether in traditional ballet or a sultry seven-veils kind of frolic (but still keeping it G rated).
There is a whole lotta choreography going on and Otis Smith and Cindy Lipscomb get credit for keeping it coherent and entertaining. Special nods go to costume designer Mary Ann Overman for smart and appropriately colorful choices and to music director Jennifer Rushton for keeping things on track. Robert Tackett’s spare set allowed the focus to remain on the talent.
The show ends this weekend, so you’d best try to get those tickets now.
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
When: 7 tonight and matinee performances at 2 p.m. today, Sunday.
Where: DeSoto Civic Center, 4560 Venture Drive, Southaven.
Tickets: $12 and $18. Tickets are sold at the DeSoto Civic Center box office, by phone at (662) 280-6546 and through all Ticketmaster outlets, including by phone at (901) 525-1515 and online at Ticketmaster.com.
Link to Article on the CA Site:
Memphis Commercial Appeal
Way to Go People and Praise the Lord!!!