Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s delightfully breezy musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, based on the biblical tale concerning family, faith and forgiveness, receives a joyful, surprisingly moving presentation under the direction of Kimberly Borst at Sinclair Community College.
In the deceptively demanding titular role requiring the utmost in personality and vocals, tenor David Shockey certainly masters the art of charmingly arrogant bravado. In his capable hands, there’s no question that Joseph adores being the center of attention and overzealously embraces his unique gift for interpreting dreams, attributes contributing to his downfall at the hands of his 11 treacherous, non-fashionable brothers. In addition to creating an arc believably grounded in various stages of distress from torture to slavery to imprisonment, Shockey sings terrifically throughout. In fact, he sincerely fuels the emotional drama of the gorgeous ballad Close Every Door and provides a wonderfully touching rendition of the heartwarming finale Any Dream Will Do, giving beautiful credence to Joseph’s enduring hope of one day reuniting with his father Jacob (CJ Suchyta).
Furthermore: Soprano Callista Kinney, a memorable Glinda in Brookville Community Theatre’s The Wizard of Oz earlier this season, sings with ease, grace, humor, and passion as the Narrator with a lovely rendition of Pharaoh Story among her many standouts; Joseph’s energetic, dastardly, kooky, and close-knit Brothers, enjoyably coalescing to the hilt for the Parisian-inspired Those Canaan Days, compatibly consist of Russell Paquay (strongly leading Benjamin’s Calypso as Reuben), Patrick Greco (Simeon), Chase Niemitalo (Levi), Kofi Gunter (Napthali), Rafael Santillan (Issachar), Gabriel Hrin (Asher), Matt Poliachik (Dan), Connor Gray (Zebulon), Mark Kreutzer (Gad), Micah Koverman (Benjamin), and Kasaahn Johnson (Judah); Raushawn Parker appears opposite Shockey as the dutiful Guard; The Women’s Ensemble/Wives are effectively portrayed by Rachel Charles, Riley Karr, Zoe Miller, Mackenzie Moore, Alexis Paige, Kylee Pauley, Trinity Rice (the striking soprano of One More Angel in Heaven), and Lilly Robillard; and the adorable, impressively focused Children’s Choir, unexpectedly given a great deal of interactive stage time especially in Borst’s contemporary-centric Prologue, consists of George Giese, Sasha Greco, Maria Greely, Sadie Hornick, Kaydence Kinney, Carmen Medina, and Rachael Updike.
In dual roles, Santillan excellently exudes expressive, masculine flair and fury as sophisticated Potiphar, Pauley seductively lures as Mrs. Potiphar, Gunter and Paquay respectively bond as the inquisitive Butler and Baker, and Greco playfully evokes the spirit of Elvis Presley in the aptly titled Song of the King.
In addition to an inspired use of the orchestra pit as a storytelling device, Borst assembles a first-rate production team. Choreographer Jessica Eggleston, creating flavorful movement even in the smallest, synchronized instances within Joseph’s Dreams, The Brothers Come to Egypt and Who’s the Thief?, particularly supplies nifty odes to Bob Fosse’s Chicago (Potiphar) and Michael Bennett’s Dreamgirls (Pharaoh Story). Music director David Brush’s solid if muted nine-piece orchestra keeps the dandy score pulsating. Scenic designer Terry Stump’s scaffolding and staircases efficiently aid the action in look and scale. Kevin Alberts’ outstanding costumes including the snazzy titular coat are courtesy of Utah Shakespeare Festival and coordinated by Kathleen Hotmer. Jessy Henning’s vibrant lighting is exemplary, especially the spine-tingling radiance of Joseph’s Coat. Dan Brunk’s sound design and William Bierley’s property design are also noteworthy.
Perfect for families, Joseph stands as a feel-good testament to Webber and Rice’s tuneful legacy plus a valid reason why Sinclair should do more musicals.
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat concludes today at 7 p.m. in Blair Hall Theatre, Building 2, of Sinclair Community College, 444 W. Third St., Dayton. Act One: 40 minutes; Act Two: 30 minutes. Tickets: $18 for adults; $15 for students and seniors. For tickets or more information, visit Sinclair.edu/tickets