Ending off the 2018-2019 theatre season, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, took the stage by storm. Saving the best for last certainly applies to this situation. According to the GREAT Theatre’s official website, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is described as “Any dream will do as this irresistible story of Joseph and his coat of many colors comes to vibrant life in this delightful musical parable. The toe-tapping score is full of unforgettable songs, including “Any Dream Will Do,” “Close Every Door,” and “Go, Go, Go, Joseph.” This is the show most requested by audiences to see again.”
The play is a retelling of the classic story, Joseph and the coat of many colors, in the book of Genesis in the Bible. The entertainment is enjoyed by people of all creeds as the play focuses on the dreams that Joseph had, rather than focusing on the religious aspects of the story. Other changes to the traditional story include adding modern influences of music such as go-go dancers, Elvis, and opera. Other non-religious items brought into the play include Hawaiian Leis, cowboy hats, and even a hover board.
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is arguably the best show put on by the GREAT Theatre this year. The cast utilized many parts of the sets and special effects, only holding back the fly system. The singing and choreography were very polished, and the entire cast could clearly be seen having a spectacular time the entire show.
The two main characters, Joseph and the Narrator, were stars of the show. Another star was the Pharaoh. Joseph was played by Jacob Massmann, who according to the program, “is a junior at St. Cloud State University as a vocal music education major. Jacob has appeared in 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, West Side Story, Guys and Dolls, and GREAT’s The Little Mermaid.”
Massmann filled the role of Joseph completely; he was charismatic, honest and emanating power. The transformation of Joseph takes years in the story; however, Massmann was able to show the transformation of Joseph as a young boy who was his father’s favorite to a strong, powerful leader of ancient Egypt in two hours.
The Narrator was played by Kristen Bauer, who according to the program, “is a music specialist at Kennedy Community School and adjunct professor of music at St. Cloud State University. . . Kristen has appeared in Blues in the Night, We Will Beat the Odds, The Mikado, and The Marriage of Figaro.”
Bauer is a singer who carried the audience from scene to scene, explaining what was going to happen next. She had fun joining the numerous dance routines and acting as if she didn’t know how the choreography went as she was technically not a part of the story.
Pharaoh was played by Mark Reber, who according to the program, “is a technician at the Paramount Center for the Arts. Mark has appeared in Lend me a Tenor and Hello Dolly with Great Northern Theatre Company, Frog and Toad with Home Educated Youth, Picnic at St. Paul College, The Passion at Light House Theatre, and 20 GREAT shows including White Christmas, Peter Pan, and Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.”
Reber’s claim to fame in this performance was for his song when Pharaoh is represented by Elvis. The scene would not have been complete without the wiggling, swiveling, and gyrating hips, made famous by the King himself.
Catering to the somewhat elderly audience, he asked the crowd if they would like him to do an encore of the song. Which, in return, the audience hollered, whistled, and cheered in approval.
Other SCSU talent to take the stage include Ashley Hannahs, who plays Reuben’s Wife/Pit Wife and is a sophomore at SCSU. In addition, Tony Hommerding, who plays Reuben/Pit Bro and he is majoring in social work.
Another is Jake Sells, who plays Naphtali/Baker/Pit Bro and is a political science major. Finally, Matt Trombley, who plays Gad/Go-Go Dancer; Matt is associate director at Atwood Center.
One aspect of the show that makes the play, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, unique is that all the lines are sung. The play moves from one musical score to the next. Almost every genre of music was showcased, and relived a little from each era of music, coming close to music styles from the last few decades.
There is still time to buy tickets and catch a performance of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat as it runs until April 20.
Anna is a junior at St. Cloud State University and is double majoring in Math Education and Spanish Education, with a minor in Special Education. She is the Managing Editor for the University Chronicle this year. When she is not at campus attending class, working as a learning assistant or math tutor, or writing for the University Chronicle, she enjoys volunteering, reading, being overly competitive at board games, and telling horribly funny puns.