The atmosphere was electric in the Capitol Theatre during the opening bars of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and by the end of the show the sparks were flying.
This early musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice
began as a short children’s choral work commissioned by a London school. The simple, catchy tunes were repurposed into a full-blown production and it kicked off one of the most successful musical partnerships in history.
While Joseph doesn’t have the star-maker power-ballads of later Lloyd Webber/Rice collabs, it does have some stand-out tunes and scenes that allow various cast members to shine; and shining like a hot sun is Paulini in the central role of the Narrator. She has charisma, grace, good comic timing, and a voice that permeates the auditorium with vitality and warmth.
Ever youthful-looking Euan Fistrovic Doidge plays the title role of Joseph. He has a Broadway-legend presence about him and can belt out a tune one minute then softly croon the next. Doidge gets the most emotionally wrought song in the show, “Close Every Door To Me” which he delivers with sweet agony. It’s one of the highlight moments.
In what can only be described as sheer casting brilliance, Trevor Ashley puts on the sandals, toga and crown and becomes simply Pharoah-cious. He has one scene in the second half but it’s big and bombastic and loads of fun. No spoilers but let’s just say, Viva Trevor!
One of the great things about this production is that the ensemble gets lots of time in the spotlight with many individuals being able to show their chops. There are a lot of kids in this show and not just playing kid’s roles; it contributes to the self-aware humour. Plus, these saplings are all very impressive actors, singers and dancers and no doubt we’ll be seeing them all again in other shows.
It’s quite a simple if colourful set design and trim on props which actually allows more flourishing space for the personalities and talent on stage. With the variety of genres in the tunes – everything from French Can Can to ‘50s rock’n’roll to sing-a-long – and the broad humour, it almost feels like a Vaudeville revue.
A very fun night out.