The national tour of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” made its debut at Kansas City’s Starlight Theatre,Tuesday, July 8, to an enthusiastic crowd anxious to see Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Biblical story, staring a pair of American Idol contestants/finalist, Ace Young, and eventual winner Diana DeGarmo.
The national tour stops at Starlight Theatre for a one-week run before continuing its cross-country trek. Performances under the stars begin at 8:30 through July 13. Tickets begin at $10.
The show, Webber’s first such musical, utilizes all the tricks of his trade to please a wide spectrum of audiences. The show includes, rock ‘n roll, an Elvis impersonator, a French cabaret song, country/western, pop, rock, and more.
Bright costumes, lively music, flashy dance numbers, fantastic voices, and bright lighting effects highlighted the evening. The Starlight Theatre audio system allowed the dynamic voices of DeGarmo, Young, and the men’s vocal ensemble to showcase their outstanding vocal skills.
“Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” tells the story Jacob’s 12 sons, highlighting his favorite son Joseph. Joseph well-known for his interpretation of dreams, commands his father’s attention, and, as such, is rewarded with a coat of many colors. Jealousy abounds with his brothers, and they devise his demise by selling him into slavery where he eventually ends up in Egypt. Once there, Joseph rises from a lowly slave to the head servant of Potiphar. Joseph serves Potiphar well until he is caught having sex with her Potiphar’s wife.
After that, Joseph goes to prison and sees no hope for his freedom. While in jail he begins interpreting dreams of other inmates. Word of his special talent travels to Pharaoh, and Joseph is called upon to interpret Pharaoh’s dreams. Pharaoh, so impressed with Joseph, makes him his number two man and allows Joseph to develop a plan to navigate Egypt through a 14 year period of seven years of plenty followed by seven years of famine. With Joseph’s help, Egypt prevails successfully through the 14-plan that steered the country though both feast and famine.
The endearing tale contains a lot of happiness and hope. The music is fun and tuneful. Webber’s score is familiar to many and served as a foretaste to his more popular musicals of “Cats,” “Starlight Express,” and “Phantom of the Opera.”
Add to that the vocal talents of DeGarmo who proves that she can belt out a song with the best of them. It’s quite evident that DeGarmo talent and American Idol win was no fluke. She’s charming, strong, funny, demure, and works her way effortlessly through the show. Young is handsome, chiseled, and a dominate force when onstage. The score does not allow him to showcase a lot of his vocal talents, but the show does show some dance moves on his part.
Watch for good performances from the members of the men’s ensemble with William Thomas Evans as Jacob and Potiphar, Brian Golub as Reuben, and Ryan Williams as Pharaoh. They stand out in the show.
What’s very engaging in the Starlight Theater production of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” is the choreography and movement of the piece. The action flows quickly and smoothly from song to song. Sets change without distraction and the pace stays rapid throughout. The curtain call brings the main characters back on stage to perform brief excepts from their songs so the audience can relive and applaud each performer.
A standing ovation signifies the enjoyment of the show. Expect the same for each night of the week’s run.
Tickets can be purchased at: www.kcstarlight.org.