Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Beck Center

(Connor O'Brien as Joseph)

First, a small confession: I have Dreamcoat fatigue. This is a debilitating condition that builds slowly over time, with repeated exposures to this Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice musical. And, I assure you, the exposures are repeated—ad infinitum—by practically anyone with a stray Klieg light and some unused pancake makeup.

So I approached this latest iteration by at the Beck Center with all the enthusiasm and glee of a snail approaching an escargot factory. But, surprise, surprise! This production is infused with energy and spirit. And thanks go a couple great voices in the leads, this Dreamcoat is a kick, for kids and adults, from start to finish.

As directed by Scott Spence, this sung-through show pulses with youthful passion, as the biblical story of Joseph and his coat of many colors is laid out. It is all aided immeasurably by Trad A Burns’ spare set and richly complicated light show. Indeed, the stage is awash in so many colors, Burns’ Amazing Technicolor Lightshow makes you feel as if you’re face-planting into a huge bowl of neon gumballs (but in a good way).

The show is anchored in dazzling fashion by the supple voice of Tricia Tanguy, who plays the narrator. Her efforts are matched by Connor O’Brien as Joseph, who gives each of his songs a distinctive spin, especially “Close Every Door.” Josh Rhett Noble, Beck’s go-to guy for arrogant, testosterone-riddled dudes, has fun with Pharaoh/Elvis, and Zac Hudak as one of Joe’s brothers, Levi, adds some most-appreciated smiles in “One More Angel in Heaven.”

Spence keeps the large cast, which apparently numbers in the thousands, on track and involved. No one in the cast is mailing it in as they execute Martin Cespedes eye-catching choreography, and that generates its own particular zing.

In short, this Dreamcoat will fit you just fine. No alterations required.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

Through January 2 at the Beck Center, 17801 Detroit Avenue,


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