Saturday, May 14, 2016

REVIEW: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at The Empress Theatre

All photos courtesy Deanne Jones
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
May 13 - June 4, 2016
Friday and Saturday night performances at 7:30pm
Matinee performances May 21 & 28, and Monday night performance May 23 

Blake Yelavich as Pharaoh
After hearing so many things about Andrew Lloyd Weber and Tim Rice's production of Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat, I was excited to finally get the chance to see it at The Empress Theatre. My mother-in-law has seen it countless times, and accompanied me to the opening night performance.

"Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is one of the best examples of musical theater storytelling," said show producer Amy Metler. "It is a tale of a young man with great strengths, who stays true to himself and by doing so achieves great things."

The bases of the story is that of Joseph in the Bible who is sold into slavery in Egypt by his jealous
brothers, but the production adds a few fun elements in the form of song, dance, comedy, and even an Elvis-like Pharaoh. Interaction during this production was also an added surprise.

"It is a powerful story we can all learn from," Metler said. "Our hope is that this production simply tells that story making every morsel as rich and engaging as the next."

As always at The Empress, we immediately noticed and loved the change of scenery from the last performance we attended there. Credit goes to Devin Johnson for transforming this charming little theater into ancient Egypt, thousands of years ago.

The entire cast was amazing, but standout performances of the night came from Johnny Hebda as Joseph, Melissa Holm as The Narrator, Perry Whitehair as Jacob, and Blake Yelavich as Pharaoh. My mother-in-law has seen this production many times over the years and at many different places, and commented that last night was her favorite of them all.

The grief of Jacob over losing a son was felt throughout the audience, even through the "celebrating" of the other brothers as Jacob walked across the stage with head hung low from grief. Another touching moment was the embrace between father and son at the end when they were reunited. I noticed a few tears in the audience from the emotion that was felt from Hebda and Whitehair.

We were wowed by the vocal abilities of Hebda and Holm, and enjoyed their performances throughout the entire production.

Blake Yelavich portrayed an Elvis-like Pharaoh, and did so brilliantly. He had us laughing at his mannerisms and interactions with the Narrator and other ladies of Egypt.

We also enjoyed watching and hearing the Children's Chorus.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is now playing Fridays and Saturdays now through June 4 at 7:30pm, with matinees on May 21 and 28, and a special Monday night performance on May 23. Tickets can be purchased online or at The Empress Theatre box office in Magna.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for your comments!