Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is one of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s most famous musicals and Aldersgate Community Church Theater has done it more than justice with their summer production. DC is a town full of connections and Aldersgate called in many favors to secure such a locally talented cast. From the spectacular voices to the dozens of brightly hand-sewn costumes, Director John Waldron has creating the ultimate family friendly performance that shouldn’t be missed.
The quirky Narrator (Marie Wakefield) leads the audience through the story of the biblical figure Jacob (Teddy Gron) and his 12 sons. Wakefield cleverly weaves the story of Jacob’s favorite son, Joseph, and the jealousy that consume his brothers. Joseph (Hunter Bales) takes us through a harrowing journey, the likes of which Joseph’s never seen before. As each emotion flits across Bales face, we connect with him at a deeply emotional level that is only heightened every time he breaks into beautiful song.
Each of Jacob’s eleven other sons, Reuben (Levi Meerovich), Simeon (Joseph Cooney), Levi (Austin Harlow), Naphtali/Baker (Christine Tankersley), Issachar (Michael Page), Asher (Joseph Artabane), Dan (Harry Juricic), Zebulon (James Woods), Gad (Melanie Bales), Benjamin (Caroline Austin), and Judah (Dominic Owusu) created unique quirks to for the audience to easily differentiate them from one another. Each brother has his trials and throughout the show we see them work towards or away from their redemption.
Potiphar (Lee Blount) and Mrs. Potiphar (Shelagh Roberts) humorously capture both the historical and modern day issues married couples can face. Both Blount and Roberts hit the mark and earned some of the biggest laughs of the night. Pharaoh (Michael Page) exploded on stage and presented an image of everything Joseph was not. From his Rock n’ Roll singing, to his cocky demeanor, Page shines as the Pharaoh.
A children’s chorus made up of 17 local minors won over the audience as they were creatively used as both extra characters and live action props and set pieces. All the children performed phenomenally well and it is obvious many of them will be making a career on the stage. From their colorful outfits to the unique quirks and smiles in place, each chorus member made the production a little bit brighter.
Musical Director Jeff Taylor worked tirelessly with his cast, and the results are obvious. An evening of toe tapping tunes and voices shaking the rafters will be entertaining for any theater lover. Both Costume Designer Jennifer Corl and Lighting Designer Michael Page used colors and the lack thereof to represent different emotions throughout the show. Corl also hand-sewed nearly every costume seen on stage! Props Master Judy Keif added the finishing touch to the show with attention to the smallest details and the creation of incredibly unique props.
5 stars for an over-the-top, colorful explosion of great music, spectacular costumes, and so good old fashioned family fun.
Running Time: About 2 hours with one intermission.
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat plays through July 8, 2012 at Aldersgate Church Community Theater at Aldersgate United Methodist Church – 1301 Collingwood Road, in Alexandria, VA. For tickets, buy them online, or call the box office at (703) 660-2611.