Sometimes a rare thing happens. I get up from my computer and *gasp* leave my house! Ok…that is probably a bit of an exaggeration, as, you know, I do things like go to work every day, but you get my drift! This past weekend we partook in one of my favorite activities…going to the theatre!
Now, I know that Seattle can’t compare to New York’s Broadway or London’s West End, but it does have quite a strong, thriving arts community. This past weekend, I was somehow able to strong arm Brade into taking me to the 5th Avenue Theatre’s rendition of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Let me be honest here, I am highly biased when it comes to this musical, having seen it a number of times on any number of national tours (nobody will ever touch Donny Osmond as Joseph!). Knowing that, the 5th Avenue had very big shoes to fill.
On the Cast
Their production had some guy from some season of American Idol as Joseph, who did a formidable job with the role, and had pecs and abs that must have cost him hours in the gym! However, there were some very stand out performers in this rendition that I was much more impressed with.
Jennifer Paz, as the narrator was probably one of the best performers that I have seen in this role. I believe her bio stated that she was in the first national tour of Ms. Saigon, in the lead role, so she definitely has some musical/acting chops, and that stood out here. She was just fantastic and had a gorgeous voice.
They also had some local rock musician cast in the role of Pharaoh, and he was perfectly cast. The best part was that he played some of his own music for his scenes. I was pleasantly surprised.
A much lesser role, Pontifer, was also fantastic (even though I can’t recall his name >.<). Additionally, all of the brothers did fantastic jobs in their roles.
On the Show in General
Joseph is one of Andrew Llyod Weber’s first musicals (years before smashes like Cats! and Phantom). He actually paired with Tim Rice (you probably know him as that Disney lyricist that worked with Alan Menkin on things like Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast). Joseph is quite literally one of my favorite musicals of all time. Not only is it a journey through a biblical parable, it’s a journey through the world’s music. The range of music from in the show goes from go-go, to elvis, to country, to Bernstein (if you can’t catch the West Side Story reference, shame on you!). It’s just all over. And it’s flat out FUN. Hell, the show itself is so filled with energy, that even Brade couldn’t doze off as he tends to do when I drag him to “culture”.
You honestly cannot see Joseph and not tap your foot as the show goes on, and not leave humming one of the many catchy toons in the show! It is a huge ensemble production with dance numbers that you just don’t see in that many shows anymore (probably largely due to the cost of having to hire all those dancers). The show is a bright, loud, colorful experience.
One of the other things that I love so much about this show is huge children’s choir. I like that it introduces children to the world of the theatre and arts. Not only the children that are in the show, but their siblings and friends that come to see them perform. It opens a whole new set of doors to many youngsters who may become future performers, or patrons, of the arts. And to me this is a hugely valuable asset.
So, all in all I would wholeheartedly recommend taking in this show, should you ever have the opportunity to do so! I do not think you will be disapointed!