Supporting the Arts in Western Massachusetts and Beyond

October 16, 2014

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

The Bushnell, Hartford, CT
through October 19, 2014
by Mary Ann Dennis

The Bushnell brings in another “must see” musical, “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”. The technical aspects of the production captivate from start to finish. The plot is based on the "coat of many colors" story of the trials and triumphs of Joseph from the Bible's Book of Genesis.

The show’s family friendly storyline of hope overflows with universal themes, toe-tapping, finger-snapping music, and spectacular staging. Thanks to Musical Director Wayne Green and the cast’s crisp enunciation, not a beat of the script is missed in this fully sung musical.

Perfect choreography and direction allow this talented ensemble to showcase a bit of tap/clogging, athletics and lifts, stepping and plate slapping percussion leaving the audience quick to respond with applause.

The Narrator, played by Diane DeGarmo, is no stranger to the stage; she has amazing stage presence, vocal perfection, and commanding characterizations. She hits the high notes with tremendous power.

In the lead role, Ace Young is handsome with abs of death and gorgeous teeth, thank goodness, because his nasal vocal quality is a bit distracting to this otherwise stunning cast. What should have been a bone chilling moment for Young, his rendition of “Close Every Door” unfortunately lacked sincere depth. Young hits some powerful notes, however without connecting to his “character” the role lacks guts and luster.

The ensemble of brothers is the true star of the show. “One More Angel in Heaven” sung by Brian Guleb (Rueben) was the show’s first fun moment. “Those Canaan Days” sung by Paul Castree (Simeon) was a true showstopper. No, seriously, it stopped the show and the applause just wouldn’t end. Ryan Williams truly rocked the audience as Pharaoh when he sang about his dream in “Elvis” style.

Let’s get technical: Bravo to lighting designer Howell Binkley who uses every spectrum of color and direction possible. Binkley’s incredible concert/Broadway style design is captivating as it highlights the songs exquisitely.

“Joseph” is musical comedy at its best, supported by a great score, a story of hope, a humorous ensemble, and a brilliant narrator that skillfully takes the audience through this journey.