Port Tobacco Players Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor DreamcoatBy Laura & Mike Clark • Mar 12th, 2007 • Category: Reviews
Listen to our review of the Port Tobacco Players’ production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat [MP3 5:29 1.6MB].
Mike: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is a musical written by Tim Rice, with the music by Andrew Lloyd Webber. It’s the retelling of the biblical story of Joseph, a young man whose brothers are jealous of his ability to tell the future. They feel threatened by it because he is predicting that for some reason he will be worshipped by the brothers. They decide to kill him. But instead of killing him they end up selling him as a slave to some passing Ishmelites. Joseph ends up going to Egypt and, through no fault of his own, ends up in prison. While in prison he interprets some dreams of other prisoners. One thing leads to another and he is released and becomes the number 2 man in all of Egypt. Meanwhile there is a famine throughout the land and his brothers are starving. They come out to Egypt and end up before Joseph who has to decide if he should give them food or not. Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is a wonderful tale. It’s very popular to do in community and professional theater all throughout the country.
Laura: This was a final dress rehearsal so there were a few tasks to be hammered out. I think one thing that really adds to, I don’t know if it’s the adrenalin or what, but because there were only like 4 people in the audience, not everybody gave it quite 100%. It was still a good performance and they all worked very hard.
Mike: I was expecting a super wizbang performance of Joseph. Partially because the night before we saw this was the WATCH Awards Ceremony for 2006. Port Tobacco Players had a lot of nominations and a lot of wins for the shows from last year. I was expecting a super stupendous show. I was disappointed unfortunately. It just didn’t quite live up the hype I had built up in my own mind. A lot of the places in the show I felt like they were just trying to get a laugh and trying to make fun of the situation. Nothing directly wrong with that, but it just didn’t really work for me.
Laura: There were two Narrators in this version of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat which I had not seen before. I thought that was kind of interesting. I wondered why they needed two Narrators. The two Narrators were Sarah Koon and Kristen Page-Kirby. They did a good job, but I didn’t know if they really needed two.
Mike: Joseph was played by Philemon Tevis. He did an ok job with the part. He didn’t quite have a stage presence. A lot of the time for a lot of the numbers he just kind of stood around. For example during the Grovel, Grovel song when the brothers are trying to talk Joseph into giving them food to eat, he just kind of stood there and looked at them. He didn’t really do anything. He felt very weak.
Also, there were a few things that were kind of funny. When he was a slave in Egypt working for Potiphar, he still had the irons on his wrists. I didn’t understand that at all. I think he shouldn’t have had them on and then put them back on once he was arrested. That was kind of a strange thing.
Laura: A few other interesting things. When the Ishmalites came out to buy Joseph, they came out supposedly riding a camel. It was a camel head attached to a bike. That was kind of amusing. When they gave the money to the oldest brother, instead of giving him a bag of silver, they gave him a check.
Mike: Another place where they went for the laugh was the role of Potiphar, played by Justin Foster. Potiphar was a pro wrestler. He had the big booming voice. I can see the ads on TV when I’m flipping channels. He was a pro wrestler. That went for the laugh. It was a very different interpretation of the part. It worked OK, but it was kind of odd again.
Laura: In the song,”Those Canaan Days” in the second act. There was one part that I thought was kind of crude. One of the brothers went behind a dune in the desert and then brought out a roll of toilet paper.
Mike: One of the funniest lines in the show during Canaan Days as well when they say they’re down to their very last sheep. A dog came a cross wearing a sheep costume. That was actually kind of funny. The dog kind of got lost because he was at upstage and you really couldn’t see him too well. Hopefully that got worked out so the dog/sheep could be a little more prominent.
Laura: Then at the end when Joseph snuck around and put the supposedly put the gold cup in Benjamin’s sack it was actually, a 7-11 Big Gulp cup that they painted gold. It didn’t quite work out. I always picture like a gold chalice thing. Something much bigger. That was a little disappointing.
Mike: So all in all I guess that’s the word to describe my thoughts of the show. I was disappointed. I was expecting super duper top notch like the other shows we’ve seen at Port Tobacco in the past.
Laura: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is playing through April the 1st. Friday and Saturday at 8 and Sundays at 3PM at the Port Tobacco Players Theatre in La Plata Maryland.
Mike: And now, on with the show.
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Laura & Mike Clark started ShowBizRadio in August 2005 because they love live theater. They each have both performed in and worked behind the scenes in DC area productions, as well as earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College. Mike & Laura are each members of the American Theatre Critics Association, and Mike is a member of the Online News Association.