Go Go Go Joseph (Don Ward)

By: Chiara Lotierzo
By: Chiara Lotierzo

A great cast, a great show.

THE FINE ARTS CENTER HOSTS A HIT!

The songs stay with you!

"Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat"  started life as a 15 minute piece By Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber, written in 1968 for a school choir to perform.  It evolved and expanded over the decades to become full-fledged Broadway/West End show.  

Some purists may dismiss it as trivial.  Some purists forget that, above all, an evening of theatre should be entertaining and fun.  It can't all be Sondheim!

This is the Old Testament tale of Joseph, the favorite son of Jacob, and his 11 jealous brothers. It works in general because the story is strong and the songs are catchy. It's biblical without being bible-ey.  It works at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center because the cast is fun to watch from start to finish.  The leads are really good, especially in the case of Joe Mikolaj as Joseph...his performance is remarkable.

 

The ensemble work is outstanding. The 11 brothers and their wives double in other roles throughout as the story moves along.  There are even 16 kids on stage for a good portion of the play. A few times they provide all the back-up singing for a character and they carry it off beautifully.  Full disclosure here....I have two nephews and a niece in the kids choir.  I would think they were all terrific even if I didn't know three of them!

 

I first saw this show in 1976.  I was a 10 year old kid living in England, going to the equivalent of elementary school in a very small village.  The High School equivalent in the next town over was performing "Joseph" with a talented combination of students and staff members.  A few of the classes from my school took a bus to see the show.  It was the first thing like it that I'd ever seen live. I tell you all that to tell you this.  We all saw the show and on that bus on the way back to our school..the kids were all singing a pretty good chunk of one or two of those songs that we had all just heard for the first time. 

The songs stay with you!

As the show progresses it winds its way through a wide range of musical styles. There's a country song, a (surprise) visit to the roots of rock and roll, a Calypso piece, even a hint of Hip-Hop (that wasn't there in 1968!)  There's also a melancholy chanson performed at a French-style street cafe...as the brothers regret their decision to rid themselves of Joseph.  "Those Canaan Days" becomes a highlight as brother Issacher (Marco Robinson) takes center stage.  It takes really good vocalist to sing it silly...and he is, and he does.  The chorus of brothers is particularly strong here too.

 

There is comedy and poignancy in this piece, and in this production. If you've never seen a live show, or your kids have never seen a live show ...this is a great place to start.  So take a bow cast and crew of "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat"

The Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center Theatre Company shows us once again, that you don't have to drive to Denver to see a high-quality production populated by talented actors, singers and dancers. 

Take a look at "Joseph" now well into its run. It's Thursdays through Sundays until December 19th.  Here's a link with ticket information.   http://www.csfineartscenter.org/joseph.asp      

GO -  If you've never seen a live show before.

GO - If you've never taken your kids to see a live show before.

GO - If you've seen plenty of theatre and you want to see something good. 

JOSEPH - won't leave you disappointed, and you might find yourself humming some new music in the car on the way home!

The songs stay with you!

We'll talk again soon.

Don Ward

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