In college, I was lucky enough to work on a production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and it’s been one of my favorite shows ever since; if done well, it makes me so, so happy.
Home Made Theater’s version of Joseph… is the best I’ve ever seen, and yes, I left so, so happy.
With music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice, the musical tells the story of Joseph and his coat of many colors from the Bible’s book of Genesis. Joseph (Keenon McCollum) is given a multicolored coat by his father; his eleven brothers, bitter that Joseph is the favorite, sell him into slavery and tell their father he died. Brought to Egypt as a slave, Joseph goes from being a servant to imprisonment to the Pharoah’s right-hand man and back to face the brothers who mistreated him years before.
This production is such a visual extravaganza. There are just under 50 cast members altogether (including the most adorable youth ensemble you’re likely to see for some time) and director Dawn Oesch, along with choreographer Johnny Martinez, manage them all beautifully; the stage never seems crowded and everything and everyone fits together like clockwork. Dianne O’Neill Filer’s costumes are utterly sumptuous; Joseph’s coat is one of the best I’ve seen, the gold fabric used for the lining (as well as some of Joseph and Pharoah’s costumes) is perfection, the steampunk-inspired costuming for “Potiphar” was unlike anything I’ve seen before and narrator Molly Rose McGrath’s costume was fit for a queen – so regal and striking.
I’ve seen the show done with one narrator and with two; I vastly prefer one, and when I heard that it would be McGrath, I knew we were in for a treat. I’ve seen (and loved) McGrath’s work in more shows than I can count over the years, and this role was such a gorgeous showcase for her powerhouse of a voice. McCollum’s Joseph not only has a voice to fill up Spa Little Theater (and fill your eyes with tears with his gorgeous rendition of “Close Every Door”), his acting is superb; you feel his highs and his lows (I’ve never been so emotional listening to “Jacob in Egypt”/”Any Dream Will Do” – the tears in his voice were so moving.) I am very much looking forward to seeing him in another show soon – he is a major talent. The entire cast seems to be so happy working together – the joy coming from the stage is so infectious.
This performance reminded me of why we love live theater – the audience was engaged, there were gasps, spontaneous applause and smiles, the chatter in the lobby at intermission and following the show was thoroughly positive. This is good theater done so well – every single person who worked on this show has cause to celebrate, and everyone should reserve a seat and experience this performance, as much to thank them for the hard work they’ve done as to give yourself a marvelous gift.
“Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” Home Made Theater, 19 Roosevelt Drive, Saratoga Springs; through May 6; $29-$26; Runtime: 1 hour and 50 minutes including a 15-minute intermission; (518) 587-5527; http://www.homemadetheater.org