Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre’s production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat opens 2017 for the theatre. Under the direction of Doug King, this beloved and widely known show is packed with energy, dynamic performances, and powerhouse vocals.
The musical tells the Bible story of Joseph, his 11 brothers, and his father, Jacob, with a narrator guiding the audience through the story of how Joseph receives a beautiful colored coat from his father, who favors him. His jealous siblings sell Joseph as a slave, setting the scene for a story that is ultimately about forgiveness.
As is often the case at Beef and Boards, the cast was phenomenal from top to bottom. Tim Wessel (Joseph) returns to the Beef and Boards stage after a regional tour of Joseph. Wessel’s top-notch vocals (under the musical direction of Kristy Templet) are just the tip of the iceberg of his performance. Every note is superlative and full of heart. His portrayal of the title character is sincere, and he captures the highs and lows of Joseph’s journey perfectly.
Andrea Flemming’s performance as the narrator is outstanding.
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The power behind her voice blows the audience away as she transitions effortlessly from soft ballads to powerhouse belting numbers. From her first note, Flemming takes command of the stage and holds on until the very end.
Other standout principals include Ryan Neal Green as the Pharaoh and Douglas Stark, who doubles as Jacob and Potiphar, the ruler Joseph serves after being sold into slavery. Green’s hilarious take on the Elvis-inspired pharaoh brings a burst of energy to the top of the second act. Stark is also superb, creating a clear distinction between the sweet, endearing Jacob, and the jealous, spiteful Potiphar — all while keeping the audience in his palm.
Of course, no musical would be complete without an ensemble. This is especially true when it comes to this one. The ensemble features actors portraying a multitude of characters, performing top-notch choreography and vocals. Hats off to standouts Sean Seager (Zebulun/Apache dancer) and Amy Owens (Potiphar’s wife) — but really, the entire cast brings the show together.
The show features a set perfect for the tight space, and the actors handle the scene changes flawlessly. Costumes by Jill Kelly made the show extremely visually appealing — perhaps the best being the 60s-inspired outfits for “Go, Go, Go Joseph!” though the so-sung “coat with golden lining,” as described in the lyrics, flashed a clearly black lining to the audience quite a few times. Light and sound (Ryan Koharchik and Daniel Hesselbrock) are fantastic as well.
Beef and Boards’ production of Joseph is a definite must-see. The fast-paced, high-energy show will leave you smiling, and the talented cast will leave you wanting more. Catch this show while you can, Joseph continues at Beef and Boards through March 26. For ticket prices and show times, see beefandboards.com or call the box office at 317-872-9664.