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'Joseph' good but he needs a better technicolor coat

Jim Murphy, left, stars as Potiphar with Jason Millar as Joseph and Suzy Greenwood-Fox as Mrs. Potiphar in the musical "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat."
Jim Murphy, left, stars as Potiphar with Jason Millar as Joseph and Suzy Greenwood-Fox as Mrs. Potiphar in the musical "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat."
Provided by Scera

"JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT," SCERA Shell Outdoor Amphitheater, Orem, through Aug. 15 (801-225-2569) ; running time: 2 hours (one intermission)

OREM — In most shows, it would matter little what kind of coat the main character wore.

But in "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat," it's a big deal.

So the fact that the coat in SCERA's production is badly fitting and short (not the well-fitting, luxurious frock you'd expect), makes it a problem.

However, it doesn't stop the show from being a fun, colorful production.

The music — mostly from a soundtrack — is lively and familiar, and the main characters do a good job with their vocals.

The clever adaptations — the dummy butler, the "Laugh-In" go-go scene, Potiphar as a gangster — make this production fresh and interesting.

It's fun to see a Potiphar's wife clone chase Joseph around with pillows.

It's unusual but visually interesting to see a bunch of tourist-type well wishers lined up outside pharoah's house while he hides under the blankets.

Using Lucy's "the doctor is in" stand from the Peanuts comic is a new way to highlight Joseph's dream interpretation abilities.

There were some minor issues on opening night, such as mike fade-outs and missing twinkling lights on the pyramid.

And what's with the Ishmaelites who appear to be a cross between Irish leprechauns and circus freaks?

But overall this production is clean, nicely paced and enjoyable.

Joseph, played by Jason Millar, has the right combination of assurance and humility as he goes from beloved son to outcast brother to the pharoah's right-hand man.

Suzy Greenwood-Fox is an outstanding Mrs. Potiphar and steals the scene. As does Amber Smith when she's chasing a young boy who doesn't want her affection.

Chris Holmes as Pharaoh is a wonderful character, though Holmes cast against type.

Dane Allred, playing the butler and the baker, adds new voices and interest to the two parts.

The three narrators, played by Rebekah Osmond, Shoni Winkel and Stephanie Lewis, perform well and move the story along nicely. Lewis is the standout.

Jacob, played by Matt Christensen, is another bit character who takes his role and makes it memorable.

It's obvious that director Jeremy Showgren has invested a lot of time and effort into this production, and it can't have been easy given the number of cast members and children involved.

The choreography, handled by Shawn J. Mortensen, is also worth praising.

For a summer night's entertainment, give this a go.

e-mail: haddoc@desnews.com