McLean Community Players Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor DreamcoatBy Laura & Mike Clark • Jul 20th, 2011 • Category: Reviews
McLean Community Players
Alden Theatre, McLean, VA
Through July 30th
2:00 with one intermission
$19/$17 Seniors and Students
Reviewed July 17th, 2011
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is a musical with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice. The classic Bible story (with some literary license thrown in) of Joseph, the son of Jacob, and Joseph’s eleven brothers, who did not get along. Joseph has these dreams in which he becomes the ruler over his brothers, which does not go over well. The brothers end up sending Joseph packing to Egypt as a slave, and after a heartfelt story including a goat and a jamboree go on with their lives. In Egypt Joseph begins his rise to fame in the household of Potiphar until his wife becomes a little too “hands on” and Joseph finds himself in jail. Joseph’s penchant for dream interpretation comes in handy and eventually finds himself as Pharaoh’s right hand man during the worst famine Egypt has ever seen. The brothers come to Egypt to beg food, not recognizing brother Joseph who does however, recognize them. After some tense moments (and a calypso song) Joseph’s identity is revealed, Benjamin is set free, Jacob comes to Egypt and everyone lives happily ever after.
MCP’s Joseph was a really fun, upbeat lively production with lots of energy and dancing at the Alden Theatre.
A stellar performance was delivered by Joseph, played by Russell Silber. While perhaps not always the strongest voice, Silber made up for it with his involvement with the action going on around him and the compassion clear on his face during his solo songs. The Narrator, Kate Merryman, started out a bit stiff, but she did thaw somewhat in the second act and her amazing voice could be heard loud and clear. Other than with the school children at the top of the show, she never really interacted with the rest of the cast and seemed to disappear when she was not needed.
And no telling of Joseph‘s story is complete with out a Pharaoh with an Elvis Presley haircut. Paul Caffey as Pharaoh gave a superb performance. Even hamming it up to the audience here and there as he sang and swiveled those hips kept everything light and lively. All of the brothers, while rarely together, still managed to portray a lot of enthusiasm and energy. The Apache dancer duo of Elizabeth Gillespie and Chris Dore performed their dance routine pretty smoothly.
The live orchestra, conducted by John Edwards Niles, helped keep the tempo up and the action moving. The use of lighting by Designer Lynne Glikbarg was smoothly done and was timed to the music well, although there was a missed opportunity during “Joseph’s Coat” when the backdrop didn’t match the colors mentioned in the song.
A great show for the whole family. Be aware that two of three performances opening weekend were sold out, so make your ticket reservations soon so you won’t be disappointed. The Sunday matinée was made even more exciting by the fire alarm going off and the theater being evacuated while the fire department came to investigate. After about half an hour and a second alarm we trooped back into the theatre and continued with the second act as if nothing had happened. Ah, the joy of live theatre!
Photos by Traci J. Brooks
Cast of Characters
- Joseph: Russell Silber
- Narrator: Kate Merryman
- Pharaoh: Paul Caffrey
- Jacob: Todd King
- Joseph’s Brothers (*Also appear as Prisoners, Egyptians, Guards, Pharaoh’s Band)
- Reuben: Jim Lazar
- Simeon: Alex Bhargava
- Levi: Eugene Bates
- Naphtali: George Willis
- Issachar: Gregory Lee
- Asher: Chris Gallegos
- Dan: Neo Libut, Jr.
- Zebulon: Chris Dore
- Gad: Wesley Coleman
- Benjamin: Ben Cherington
- Judah: Andrew Rampy
- Potiphar: Jim Lazar
- Mrs. Potiphar: Joy Gardiner
- Butler: George Willis
- Baker: Chris Gallegos
- Apache Dancers: Elizabeth Gillespie, Chris Dore
- Voice of Snake: Chris Gallegos
- Voice of Camel: Wesley Coleman
- Women’s Chorus: Catherine Callahan, Kerry Finnegan, Joy Gardiner, Elizabeth Gillespie, Betsy Gupta, Cara Hanscom, Kendra Keller, Luci Samp
- Children’s Choir: Chelsea Bhargava, Kelsey Keza, Kourtney Keza, Tyler King, Rachel Lawhead, Adam LeKang, Alyssa Luehring, Maura O’Reilly, Jack Posey, Belle Therriault
- Directors: Kevin and Pam McCormack
- Artistic Director/Conductor: John Edward Niles
- Producer: Mike Scott
- Stage Managers: Annie O’Neill and Shayne Gardner
- Choreographers: Pam and Kathleen McCormack
- Vocal Directors: Lori Roddy and Rosie Dyer
- Technical Director: George Farnsworth
- Set Designer: Bill Glikbarg
- Lighting Designer: Lynne Glikbarg
- Sound Designer: Bob Zeigler
- Scenic Designer: Dinnie Whitson
- Master Electrician: Chris Hardy
- Properties: Linda Stone and Lynne Lawhead
- Media Relations: Brent Stone
- Costumer: Richard Battistelli
- Hair and Make-up: Jean Matich and Terry Yates
- House Manager: Columba Hoban
- Photographer: Traci J. Brooks
- Set Preparation: George Farnsworth, Bill Glikbarg, Bernie Gmiter, Kenneth Kuk, Dick La Porte, Mike Scott, Bob Zeigler
- Lighting Board Operators: Richard Hildebrand, Jean Matich, Terry Yates
- Sound Operators: Jerry Bonnes, Zack Sanders, Bob Zeigler
- Backstage Running Crew: Emily Besuden, Summer Donaldson, Mary Eveleigh, Kenneth Kuk, Jennifer Levy, Kerry Liedquist, Davey Marcus, Kate Miller, Terry Mittleman, Robbie O’Brien, Nancy Pruett, Sherry Singer, Will Thompson
- Follow Spot Operators: Nick Stone and Spencer Sims
- Publicity: Alex and Chelsea Bhargava, Bunny Bonnes, Cathy Farnsworth, Columba Hoban, Jennifer Levy, Tula and Dell Pendergrast, Linda and Brent Stone, Terry Yates
- Percussion: Jim Sylvester
- Piano/Keyboard 1L Lori Roddy
- Piano/Keyboard 2: Matt Jeffrey
- Guitar: Eric Oganeseff
- Bass: Rick Netherton
- Reed 1: Ken Farley and Howard McCullers
- Reed 2: Jane Hughes
- French Horn: Ako Shiffer
- Violin: Kirby Lee
- Viola: Kelley Williams
- Cello: Virginia Gardner
Disclaimer: McLean Community Players provided two complimentary media tickets to ShowBizRadio for this review. MCP also purchased advertising on the ShowBizRadio.net web site, which did not influence this review.
This article can be linked to as: http://washingtondc.showbizradio.com/goto/7038.
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.