Footlight Theatre Company
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

Dates and Venue 6-14 Nov @7.30pm & 8 Nov matinee 2pm| Michael J. Fox Theatre, Burnaby

Music Andrew Lloyd Webber Lyrics Tim Rice

Reviewer Ed Farolan

What an amazing show! This is the first time I've seen a show by this company, and I'm truly impressed by the high calibre of the performers. And to boot, this is community, not professional theatre, and the only professional actor in the cast is Danny Balkwill who plays Joseph.

Before the show, I met the producer, Jim Stewart who was sitting in front of me, and he talked to me about the company, and how lucky they've been in getting funding. Before the show, he announced that his mother, Rita Stewart, was the patron of the show and thanked her. He also mentioned that it's only been recent that rights were given to perform this musical to amateur groups, and that's why it hasn't been shown for a while.

But a lot of credit goes to Director/Choreographer Lalainia Lindbjerg Strelau for her mise-en-scene. She not only used the stage but the aisles at the beautiful Michal J. Fox Theatre giving more impact to the show and rapport to the audience. I wanted to meet her during the gala reception to congratulate her, but I didn't see her.

But everyone was fabulous. When you put a professional in the cast, the others want to do their best and put a notch higher in the performance, commented Stewart. I think Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber was in a playful mood when they composed this musical. They put in an array of songs and characters portraying celebrities. The Brad Strelau (Pharaoh) impersonated Elvis and mimicked songs like "Blue Suede Shoes". He even came down to the audience and joked around with them.

The dancers and singers were fabulous. From their credits, they've done a lot of work on stage and I could see that they felt at ease doing their songs, acrobatics, and dances on this stage. I liked the tango number, as well as the Fiddler on the Roof/Jacques Brel-type rendition of Joseph's brothers as they wept when the years of famine struck them. The children were just a joy to watch , singing and dancing. These are kids studying at the Lindbjerg Academy of Performing Arts, and it's an all-in-the-family situation: the directors of the kids' chorus are Monique Creber (married to another celebrity, Michael Creber, piano and bandleader of the show) and Elaine Lindbjergh, perhaps the mom of the show's director, Lalainia?

Special mention should be given to Bree Greig (narrator). What a beautiful voice. From the tech aspects, there were a few glitches especially in the sound aspect. There were some annoying microphone feedbacks, and the microphones weren't turned on when some singers started to sing. The set and props were professionally designed, and the set designer, Ian Schimpf, won a competition two years ago for Disney's Imagi-Nations design competition. Last but not least, the costume designer, Christina Sinosich. What fabulous costumes, and where do you get all of those wonderful costumes, from Egyptian to the 70s psychadelic era? You must have a monster warehouse to store all these costumes!

I wish that this show gets the audience coming in the next performances and hopefully, get an extension to its run.

© 2009 Ed Farolan