Ace Young and Dianna DeGarmo in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
The opening night performance of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat brought audiences to their feet in resounding cheers as the show closed on January 27th at the Community Center Theater. Running from January 27th – February 1st, this musical was packed with non-stop singing and dancing, making many audience members wonder how each performer was still standing by curtain close! With music ranging from reggae to pop, funk, rock and country and dance styles such as Bob Fosse-esque jazz, tap, lyrical, acrobatic tricks and even a western hoe-down, Joseph offered a little touch of everything for all those in favor of a night filled with pure fun.
Dianna DeGarmo played the spunky yet charming Narrator of the classic biblical tale that followed Joseph, Ace Young, as the 11th son of Jacob who was sold into slavery by his jealous brothers. The musical was a caricature of the original story. It used modern references to vamp up a mellow bible story into a Vegas- styled glitz show with strobe and bright neon lights, fog machines and complex dance numbers. The audience was included in the show and asked on occasion for call-and-response with some choice characters. Those who left Josephs’s performance could liken it to a rock discotheque of biblical proportions.
L to R: Ace Young (Joseph) and Dianna DeGarmo (Narrator).
We followed Joseph on his journey of hope and perseverance which lead him out of slavery and into Egyptian royalty. The over-arching theme of the show taught that anyone could reach for their dreams if they were courageous enough to pursue them even in the face of tragedy. Though the plot line was fast-paced, and some research ahead of time to study the story could help, the soaring vocals and clever dialogue was sure to have entertained anyone in attendance.
Married in reality and both American Idol alumni, DeGarmo and Young led an impressive cast through a truly successful opening night performance. Director and choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler strategically used graphics to portray scene changes, which allowed there to be minimal set pieces to manipulate on stage. This provided ample space for impressive dance sequences filled with high energy routines in songs such as “One More Angel in Heaven,” and Act 1’s closing number “Go, Go, Go Joseph.” With such an upbeat and quick moving show, Act 1 seemed to be finished in a flash.
L to R: Ryan Williams (Pharaoh) and Ace Young (Joseph).
Two standouts in the cast were no doubt, Paul Castree who played Simeon, the 2nd oldest brother to Joseph, and the Pharaoh played by Ryan Williams. Castree’s comedic skills partnered with his stellar vocals made for an outstanding performance in the number “Those Canaan Days.” The Pharaoh was set to mock Elvis Presley in dress and demeanor, and Williams was hilarious in his execution of the late King of Rock n’ Roll. With his swinging hips and coquettish attitude Williams had the crowd shouting for more thrusts in their direction by the end of his Act II number “Poor, Poor Pharaoh.”
If Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is touring in a town near you, take the kids, grandparents, cousins, 2nd cousins; take anyone you can to see this fantastic production. It’s simple, this story touches everyone with meaningful lessons along with spectacular visuals, songs and dialogue. Just GO, GO, GO see it!
For more shows at the Community Center Theater visit calmt.com for ticket and event information. Check them out on Facebook as well!