by Lorie Lewis Ham
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, presented by Good Company Players, opened at Roger Rocka’s on May 24 and continues through July 15. The show is a very early work of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, which had a very interesting journey on its way to finally opening on Broadway in 1982.
The plot of the show is the familiar Bible story of Joseph (Tim Smith) who is shown favoritism by his father Jacob (Charles Rabb), which includes Jacob giving him a beautiful rainbow colored coat. His 11 brothers sell him into slavery out of jealousy and here is where Joseph’s true adventure begins. The musical follows Joseph on his adventure, and also gives us glimpses into the lives of the brothers since selling Joseph. In the musical, a narrator (Heather Price) guides us along on this journey, which contains very little actual dialogue but is mostly told in song. Most of the music is fun and lighthearted and includes many different styles, including parodies of French ballads, an Elvis inspired rock and roll song, western music, jazz, 1950s rock, etc. Probably the best known songs include “Any Dream Will Do” and “Joseph’s Coat.” You can definitely feel the Andrew Lloyd Weber flare and beauty in one of the few sad songs in the show, Joseph’s song “Close Every Door.” This was also my favorite song of the show.
Tim Smith does a wonderful job of playing Joseph, and possesses an amazing voice-I would go see him in a show for his singing alone! Heather Price as the Narrator has a powerful and lovely soprano voice perfect for this role. The brothers provide most the comedic side of the show and do so very well, with one of my favorite songs of theirs being the French ballad parody “Those Canaan Days,” featuring Steven San Sebastian as Issachar. The song with the Elvis version of Pharaoh played by Bill Johnson, “Song of the King” was also a lot of fun. Johnson also plays one of the brothers, Levi. The rest of the brothers are as follows: Reuben (Steve Souza), Simeon (Daniel Sutherland), Naphtali (Matthew Schwartz), Asher (Jacob Cozzi), Dan (Brady Crenshaw), Zebulun (Anthony TeNyenhuis), Gad (Tony Folmer), Benjamin (Connor Pofahl), and Judah (Ben Applegate). Abigail Nolte was also very good as Joseph’s temptress Mrs. Potiphar. I also loved the little modern twists they added into the show like Starbucks, an Amazon delivery, and taking a selfie.
This musical has everything you could want in a musical-fun music, talented actors and singers, big numbers, an uplifting story, and lovely costumes. If you are looking for a perfect time at the theatre the entire family can enjoy, don’t miss Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat! The show plays at Roger Rocka’s Dinner Theater, 1226 N. Wishon, in Fresno. Tickets can be purchased on their website or by calling the box office at (559) 266-9494.