Doing its part to make sure everyone in Utah sees "Joseph" before the new millenium, the Rod-gers Memorial Theatre on Pages Lane dons the famous "dreamcoat." Those who remeber the pre-Broadway revival Joseph (the one at Lagoon in the 80's) and have longed for a smaller, wittier version can find it at Pages Lane.
What more could you ask than a handsome and talented Joseph, inventive choreography, the funniest bunch of brothers this year, and a whole cast that seems to love every minute? A live pianist, maybe!For the only thing standing between this production and amateur theater greatness was the sappy, synthesized minus track. It sounded nothing like a real orchestra, and the cast had such a hard time staying with it that it ruined the spontaneity of some songs as well as the rhythm.
However, a bad minus track (or even a major earthquake) can't do much damage to a production with this much heart and talent. A veteran Joseph, Brett Bradford, leads the cast with his clear voice and natural stage presence. Wanda Copier also did well as the narrator, holding the show together with her enthusiasm. Yunga Bonner had a shining moment as Potiphar's wife, and Ben Stoneman was hilarious as the butler and Judah.
The brothers in this production have things to teach the brothers in Donny Osmond's production. They each had a distinct personality and kept the funny moments small and real (instead of destroying them by overdoing it). Craig Bowen (Reuben) told the story of "Those Canaan Days" with his face and eyebrows, while Erik Johansen (Levi) gave "One More Angel" all he had. Andrew Noyes' "Calypso" was a showstopper. Without a solo of his own, Jeff Stevens was engaging and funny as Benjamin.
On Mondays and Fridays, Jared Morgan plays Joseph, Meghan Parrish the narrator, and Utah favorite, Dave Gliattli, the Pharoah.