REVIEW: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Chicago)

Back from “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” It was a good show. Though, nothing can compare to the production I saw with Donny Osmond. At least, I haven’t seen one yet that can compare.

Ace Young was effective as Joseph. He has the looks, he has the singing ability, he has the acting chops, he has the abs. Again, doesn’t compare with Donny, but I did not dislike his performance.Joseph

Diana DeGarmo, as the narrator, was less effective. Her singing was rather nasal. My poor cousin had to hear me groan on her left while another woman was groaning at the same time on her right. The high notes were screeched rather than sung. I wanted to remind her very often that she is the narrator – the show is called “JOSEPH and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” not “The Narrator and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” Sweetie, don’t try pulling focus when Ace is singing.  Your job is to guide us through the story, not be the center of the story.

The 11 brothers were a lot of fun. “Those Canaan Days” was particularly delightful.  Though “One More Angel in Heaven” left a bit to be desired.  It was a bit too forced.  It’s a humorous song.  The humor should be delivered to the audience, not thrust at the audience.

There was no chorus of children in this production.  Given the limited stage space, I can understand why – there’s nowhere to put them.  But, I also think the show lacked that “storytelling vibe” by not having them present.

The stage setting was rather creative and reminded me of my days as a theatre major.  There were no elaborate sets here.  Instead, they used blocks and staircases throughout to depict various settings throughout the show.  The movement of these set pieces was woven nicely into the blocking and choreography.  In addition. projections were employed along the proscenium, back curtains, and costumes to provide additional setting details for various scenes and locations.  I felt this was nicely done.

I was impressed by the choreography – they made very good use of the very small stage space. The variety of dance styles was fun and inventive.

Overall, I say 3 1/2 out of 5 stars.

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