Created by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber over half a century ago, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat has returned to Oz for the 2022/23 tour. It was this musical that gave Rice and Lloyd Webber the start in their illustrious careers which continued with theatrical collaborations including Jesus Christ Superstar and Evita.
For those of you who are new to Joseph, it is over-the-top, silly, and reminiscent of a Monty Python sketch in the form of musical theatre. Loosely based on passages from the Bible (the book of Genesis), Joseph is the story of a man sold into slavery and finds himself imprisoned in Egypt. During a lengthy time behind bars he discovers an ability to interpret dreams. He then quickly becomes second-in-charge to the Pharaoh and leads the Egyptian people through famine.
The Aussie cast includes Paulini as the Narrator, Euan Fistrovic Doidge as Joseph, and Trevor Ashley as Pharaoh. It is undeniable that Paulini’s voice is exceptional, it has been a well-known fact since the days of Australian Idol, and she leads audiences through the musical with good humour and flair. Euan Fistrovic Doidge lights up the stage as Joseph. A stellar performer who blew everyone away with his vocals throughout the musical but particularly behind bars in ‘Close Every Door’.
And then in the second act, Trevor Ashley stole the show completely with his rendition of ‘Song of the King’ as the Pharaoh. Ashley completely nailed the Elvis vibe and had the audience cheering. You couldn’t wipe the smiles off everyone’s faces if you tried. A great casting choice as he captivated audiences and totally commanded the stage.
As to be expected the set design and staging was grand and lighting added drama on top of drama. It really is that type of performance where there is consistent intensity (may be too much for some?). There’s always a pile of performers on stage, cheering, dancing, and revving up the audience. With that in mind, Joseph has become somewhat of a cult musical, as evidenced in the ‘Joseph Megamix’ epic finale which had everyone on their feet, free to video and photo the epic conclusion of the show.
There is also an absolute tonne of very talented young people that appear in this production. Over thirty kids sing dance and have a hell of a lot of fun on stage, adding to the playful and innocent nature of Joseph. It certainly reinforces the notion this musical appeals to all ages. From the words of Tim Rice, “Many many people have helped us over the years to turn Joseph into a show that will certainly see us out and which I hope will entertain children (and grown-ups) for generations to come.”
THREE AND A HALF STARS (OUT OF FIVE)
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is playing at the Capitol Theatre in Sydney until 16 April 2023. For more information and how to purchase tickets head HERE
Reviewer attended on 16 February 2023