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Joseph and the
  Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

By Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice

Directed by Gregg W. Brevoort

Fort Salem Theatre

Salem, NY

 

the Eagle
Fort Salem Shines With The Amazing
Technicolors Of Joseph And His Coat
By Elizabeth Dillard

“Be prepared to laugh, clap and be surprised at how quickly this light-hearted tale of sibling rivalry moves along”

Now I know the story is about Joseph, and his ability to interpret dreams and his triumph over adversity. I know his band of eleven brothers are just a part of the story, and are really supposed to be “the bad guys”, but at Fort Salem Theatre, in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, they steal the show – and you can’t help liking them as they do it.

If you venture over to Salem to see this Andrew Lloyd Webber production, be prepared to laugh, clap and be surprised at how quickly this light-hearted tale of sibling rivalry moves along. You may also be surprised at the musical diversity contained in the play as well – from country-western to Parisian café to go-go dancing – as it tells the tale of Joseph, his father’s favorite, who has a gentle soul, the ability to understand dreams and the uncanny knack of getting into trouble.

Narrator Heather Mayes shines, demonstrating once again that Fort Salem Theatre really has the ability to attract some impressive talent to its annual season of summer stock. Stephen Lydic (Joseph) also gives a strong performance and the chorus of local children are quite fun to watch.

However, without the brothers, and their silly antics and folksy dancing, the play would simply not be nearly as entertaining. Outstanding among the collection of young men is Jonathan J. Mills (Reuben) who puts on a splendid French accent for “Those Canaan Days”, Michael Cassara (Naphthali) who leads the Calypso number and Aaron White (Levi) who tells the tale of Joseph’s “demise” with a twang and some boot-scooting.

Scott Matthew Harris, who takes on three roles in this production (brother Zebulun, Potiphar and the Pharaoh) has great presence on stage and does a good Elvis impersonation. He was, however, a little difficult to understand, as were some of the first act songs when the accompaniment was a bit too loud in relation to the actors’ microphones.

I did miss the live band I’ve come to expect at Fort Salem musicals, but when you see this play you realize the musical styles are so varied it would have been a challenge to have kept up. Also, I should note, there are no spoken words in this show – music from start to finish – which is another reason it moves along so quickly.

The play is fun, it’s interesting, it moves quickly and it entertains – everything you should expect from a couple of hours of summertime diversion!

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat continues at Fort Salem for two more weekends, with shows on July 17 – 21 and 24 – 27. Curtain is 8 pm each night. There is a 2 pm matinee each Thursday and the Sunday performance is at 3 pm. For Tickets, call 518-854-9200.