Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat: This Suzart Production radiates infectious joy.

Reviewed by Iris Winston

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Photo: Alan Viau

The joy emanating from the stage is so infectious in the Suzart Productions presentation of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat that you overlook problem areas.

Never mind that the lighting operator has trouble focusing, periodically leaving Joseph and the Narrator in darkness at the beginning of their numbers. Never mind that several of the performers did not dispense with their spectacles before portraying folks in Ancient Egypt. It is not even a downer that poor enunciation makes some of the lyrics hard to understand or that not all the movement of chorus members is as crisp as it might be.

Beyond the high quality performances of the two leads, two featured actors and some of the dancers, particularly Nahtab Sabet, the standout characteristic of the show is the fun that all seem to be having with such themes as fratricide and being sold into slavery. 

The musical,3 based on the story of Joseph’s coat of many colours from the Book of Genesis, was first staged in 1970, though lyricist Tim Rice and composer Andrew Lloyd Webber wrote it some two years earlier, well before their first hit, Jesus Christ Superstar.

As Joseph, Noah Grove, a fine singer with a strong stage presence, is highly effective — with or without his coat of many colours. And the silver-toned Kathleen Arbour, as the narrator, keeps the sing-through musical bubbling along.

In the featured role of the Elvis-impersonator Pharaoh, Jim Baldwin is hilarious and clearly having a ball with the role. And Tom Kobolak, as Simeon, one of Joseph’s murderous brothers, has fun with the Edith Piaf spoof in Those Canaan Days.

One of the ongoing jokes in the show is the use of a variety of tempos and styles, from the country hoedown version of One More Angel in Heaven to the gentle rhythm of the Benjamin Calypso.

In general, director Alan Viau manages the large cast well, though there are still moments when the stage seems too crowded, despite Elaine McCausland’s economical and adaptable set design.

Suzart’s Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat played at the Centrepointe Studio Theatre from May 21 to 25, 2014.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

Lyrics by Tim Rice; Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber

Suzart Productions

Director: Alan Viau

Musical director: Catherine Spear-Ducasse

Choreographers: Valerie Ladouceue and Anna Séguin

Set, sound, puppet design, technical director: Elaine McCausland

Lighting: Alan Viau and Dave Corbishley

Costumes: Maureen Russell

Cast:

Narrator……………………………..Kathleen Arbour

Joseph……………………………….Noah Grove

Reuben…………………………….Dave Corbishley

Levi/Potiphar………………………Marc Lessard

Isaachar…………………………….Chris Hulan

Dan…………………………………T.J. Wong

Gad………………………………….Alex Shephard

Judah………………………………..Marc Séguin

Jacob…………….Adam Goldberg

Simeon……………………………..Tom Kobolak

Naphthali……………………………Scott Shephard

Asher/Butler………………………..Michael Schilder

Zebulon/Baker………………………Jay Landreville

Benjamin……………………………Jake Hamilton

Mrs. Potiphar………………………..Dani Bone-Corbishley

Pharaoh………………………………Jim Baldwin

Camel………………………………..Clarisse Chameau

Adult chorus:

Jim Baldwin, Mackenzie Breeze Bone, Dani Bone-Corbishley, Tricia Curtis, Sarah Dee, Janine DeMan, Rachel Duchesneau, Myriam Laliberté, Nadine Levin, Peter Maitland, Alison Manning, Elaine McCausland, Katie McLaren, Kayla McSorley, Rachel Rumstein, Mahtab Sabet, Charlotte Scott-Frater, Tara St. Pierre, Rita Thompson, Gwyneth Whalen-Hughes, Katie Zeman-Maitland

Youth chorus:

Joey Arbour, Kadence Bennett, Zander Bone, Bernice Corbishley, Grace Cosgrove, Jack Dillabough, Maddie Fulford, Kieran Gerbis, Tate Holm, Kyla Kenny, Lily Meyer, Maya Ruckenstein, Bella Szpala, Cassidy Van Bavel, Bryanna Watt


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