Where Some Dreams Should Stay Just A Dream!
There's a parable in the Bible that many of us hold close and dear to our hearts, the story of Joseph (the dreamer) who was born into a family of 12 boys all the sons of Jacob. He was his father's favorite son and to show his love for Joseph he gave him a vibrant multi-colored coat. As you can imagine, his brothers were jealous of Joseph and his many dreams, but this is a great story told in the book of Genesis about a man and his divine purpose.
Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat has been a favorite musical by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber that delighted audiences of all ages, however, if you're looking for the Donny Osmond version of this play look again because you will not find it at The Drury Lane Theatre.
This tumultuous rendition of this classic musical is over the top with its timeless tale of courage, destiny, and hope. From the very first scene when an airplane is shown flying on the screen taking Joe to Las Vegas; it's evident that this is not the story as we remembered of Joseph in Egypt in The Old Testament. It's a more up to date bizarre selfie-portrayal of the allegory in a different type of dessert.
Nonetheless, the play opens up with the Narrator (Christina Bianco) finding an old book, dusting it off and reading it. The story that she tells is of a young Joseph (Evan Alexander Smith), the dreamer in the Luxor hotel. At this point, one would have to grapple with the thought that even though this is going to be an outrageous adaptation, you just hope that it stays true to the Biblical facts of the story of Joseph.
One can only dream that this play reminds you of the former lead Donny Osmond as Joseph, but that dream faded fast and seemed to turn into a nightmare when the storyteller became a celebrity impersonator who personified the song stylings of Britney Spears, yellow digital snake in all, Cher, Celine Dion, Liza Minnelli and Shania Twain. At this point you have to set back and just go along with it just for entertainment purposes; especially when you noticed Jacob, Joseph father was either a pimp or a mobster. Either way, it just didn't seem right, along with the cocktail waitresses dressed in fishnet stockings dancing seductively around Joseph in his hotel room. In Joseph defense, he was jet-lagged from his extremely long trip from Egypt to Las Vegas.
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat were set mainly in Joe's hotel room where he seems to be in a dreamlike fantasy. In this bizarre version of this classic tale, many will not be able to grasp the full storyline of the beautiful parable from the Bible, due to the many unparalleled distractions which also featured a horrific shock of seeing the biblical portrayal of Joseph (Joe) in drag, dancing with Vegas showgirls and guys.
There was some great entertainment in this play. In a brief stint actor, Colte Julian did an excellent job as his portrayal of Elton John-as-Pharaoh, we were looking for Elvis Presley to come out as the voice of God. The men singers were phenomenal, and the multiple voices of Christina Bianco were without question a show within itself. She was terrific doing a list of celebrity impersonations throughout the show. It was, however, a little strange to watch the entire cast on stage standing uncomfortably watching her sing numerous song samples from different celebrities before the show concluded.
If the Director Alan Souza, wanted to do something fresh and different, he did, however, many seemed perplexed by this performance. Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat maybe geared for a younger, more liberal audience that is not fully aware of the biblical story, however; it's not suitable for kids and teens due to some adult content in this musical.
This play reminded us of the Tyler Perry character Madea in "I Can Do Bad All By Myself" when she tells a young girl about the story in the bible that is nowhere close the what happened. You will need an open mind if you see this version of a classic.
As Kenny Rogers would say, "you gotta know when to fold them," and this musical is without question a risk-taker like The Gambler.
We somewhat recommend this musical for entertainment purposes only, but maybe it would have been better when Joe got to his bedroom in Las Vegas, he just would have gone to sleep.
The cast includes:
Christina Bianco (Narrator)
Evan Alexander Smith (Joseph)
Colte Julian (Jacob/Potiphar/Pharaoh
E. Clayton Cornelious (Judah)
Nick Cosgrove (Levi),
Paul-Jordan Jansen (Rueben)
Darcy Jo Wood (standby for the Narrator)
The cast also includes Anthony Avino, Nathanial Braga, Tony Carter, Lexis Danca, Jed Feder, Nathan Fister, Brad Giovanine, Rachel Hafell, Julia Klavans, Nich O'Neil, Lindsay Loretta Prerost, James Monroe Števko, Cara Salerno, and Anthony Sullivan Jr.
Drury Lane Theatre announces casting for final production of 2017/2018 Season
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor® Dreamcoat
Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber
Lyrics by Tim Rice
Directed by Alan Souza
Choreography by Grady M. Bowman
January 19 – March 25, 2018
Filed under: ChicagoNow