Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

Dates and Venue 8 - 24 Apr @ 8 pm evenings and 2 pm matinees | Massey Theatre, New Westminster

Reviewer Roger Wayne Eberle

This year’s Royal City Musical Theatre presentation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat pulls out all the stops. Valerie Easton directs and choreographs this stellar production. Dancing and singing his way with distinctive flair into the hearts of audience members as Joseph is Mat Baker. Another singing sensation is narrator, Jennifer Neumann. These two leads bring a depth and fluidity to this colourful epic tale.

Adding lustre to the vivacious, animated performances of the principals, which include a spate of talented actors who play Joseph’s eleven brothers and their wives, are eight members of the ensemble and a children’s choir numbering twenty-eight in all.

Another strength of this performance is the orchestra, ably directed by Musical Director James Bryson.

This wonderful play is a joy to watch and guaranteed fun for the whole family. Playing fast and loose with the Biblical narrative, but staying true to its essential elements, the story follows Joseph from his home in Canaan through his adventures as a slave in Egypt. Throughout his struggles, Joseph maintains his dream, and the message is that anyone can become a star if they hold on tight to their dreams.

One segment that really leaves the audience “all shook up” is when Pharaoh, played admirably well by Danny Balkwill, channels Elvis Presley himself in a show-stopping performance.

Rounding out the cast with panache is Ken Irwin, in the memorable role of Joseph’s father, Jacob.

It would be hard to imagine a production that can match Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat for sheer energy, musical variety, colourful costumes and powerful choreography. This year’s Royal City Musical theatre production of the show delivers on all counts.

© 2010 Roger Wayne Eberle