The Golden Apple’s Joseph pops with energy and enthusiasm.
By Kay Kipling
It’s repeatedly amazing to realize how often the best and most lasting things in life are so simple. Case in point: the Andrew Lloyd Webber-Tim Rice confection Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, now onstage at the Golden Apple Dinner Theatre.
This show has been around in some form or other for about 40 years now, and I can’t remember how many times I’ve seen it. But if performed with energy and affection, as it is here, it still entertains, without requiring any vast scale of production. A palm tree here, a bright yellow sun there, some neatly executed dance moves, and the mix of sprightly and more sober songs, ranging from country to Parisian cabaret to Elvis Presley, and voila! You’ve got a fun evening on your hands.
The cast of the Golden Apple’s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat.
For anyone who has never read the Bible, Joseph tells, in streamlined form, the story of a young man (Craig Weiskerger) shunned by his 11 brothers because he’s their father’s favorite (and because they’re sick of hearing about his dreams). Fortunately for him, he ends up being the favorite of an Egyptian pharaoh, too, and all ends happily despite some time in prison and a long separation from his family.
The narration needed is handled by—well, the Narrator, played here by Heather Kopp, who does a fine job of moving things along while having a specific style of her own. Weiskerger is a likable Joseph (despite his early cluelessness about his brothers’ true feelings), and many other cast members get a chance to shine, too, such as Dewayne Barrett as a hip-swiveling pharaoh who knocks out all the girls when he sings, Robert Ennis Turoff as both Jacob and Potiphar, Samantha Barrett as Potiphar’s siren of a wife, and brothers Roy Johns (Those Canaan Days) and Charles McKenzie (Benjamin Calypso).
The orchestra, under the direction of John Visser, sounds bigger than it is, and Barrett, who also serves as choreographer, has really made the dance numbers pop (they’re given more time to do so in this version of Joseph). A new (to most of us) closing Megamix number extends the finale and gives us one more chance to appreciate the infectious high spirits of the entire cast; it really does feel as if they’re reluctant to leave us.
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat runs through May 31; call 366-5454 or go to thegoldenapple.com