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GLITCHES FAIL TO SPOIL SMITHFIELD `JOSEPH’

SHARE GLITCHES FAIL TO SPOIL SMITHFIELD `JOSEPH’

Joseph's dreamcoat has been showing up in all sorts of strange places lately, even Smithfield. The man in the coat, in this case, was John Caldwell. He portrayed a charismatic and confident Joseph, and along with the narrators Patti Papworth and Elizabeth Noyes, he led the lively cast in an entertaining show.

Papworth started the evening off with energy. Her clear-voiced, natural soprano was made for the music. Add Noyes' strong alto, and you have impeccable, spine-tingling harmony (especially in "Pharaoh's Story"). Unfortunately, Papworth's microphone occasionally cut out. Also, the clatter from the cast as they moved props and shuffled their feet often drowned out soloists, particularly the volume-challenged John Rich, who was otherwise a very convincing Jacob.Tight blend was a major strength of the production, especially among the female cast members. The brothers exhibited wonderful harmony and excellent diction. They also achieved a fun rapport with the audience and easily set a new record for high-speed costume change.

Innovation was another strength. The brothers, for example, became scenery as they constructed a human Sphinx in "The Brothers Come to Egypt." "One More Angel in Heaven," a Western-themed performance by the brothers, featured a singing, dancing cactus.

Then in "Poor, Poor Joseph," the brothers skinned a goat, dipping Joseph's coat in the blood as "evidence" of his slaughter. The goat, complete with horns and detachable fur, was played by a darling Cache Valley toddler who nearly stole the scene.

The scene that stole the entire show, however, was "Canaan Days," starring JaceSon Parker Barrus as Simeon. His fine Parisian accent, eet vas magneeficant. The 11 brothers, in multicolored berets, sang the French-motif number and danced with, on and around 11 chairs. Breaking from the script, the brothers threw the chairs into a pile while one waved an enormous flag above the debris. The band played a few bars of "Do You Hear the People Sing" from "Les Miserables." The audience demonstrated roaring approval.

Other outstanding performances came from Potiphar/Judah (Jason Gardner) and Pharaoh/Asher/El-vis (Josh Leukhardt), who played their respective characters with flair, although Gardner took the Elvis bit a little too far.

The show was worthwhile and nicely put together, despite the random technical glitches with lighting and sound. One mentionable strength of the cast was the members' ability to play to every section of the audience in this theater-in-the-round.

The singers also placed strong emphasis on the jokes and puns in the lyrics. Nothing was lost on the audience in this fast-paced and funny production.