Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
by Valley Youth Theatre

A young dreamer named Joseph, who would eventually become a bigwig in Pharaoh’s court and have the last several chapters of the Book of Genesis devoted to his story, encourages everyone to dream in this early Andrew Lloyd Webber/Tim Rice collaboration. Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is by far their most whimsical work – an amusing romp through the Old Testament with a terrific mix of music from county-western to reggae to Elvis and more. And Valley Youth Theatre is pulling out all the stops in their big, flashy production at the Herberger Theatre in downtown Phoenix.

The cast is full of some of the valley’s greatest young talents, and each vocal performance is impressive. Those are led by Katie Wilson, who just starred as Sharpay in their production of Disney’s High School Musical, and who is now the Narrator of our tale – a vocally demanding role that the highly talented performer handles easily and with style as she guides us through Joseph’s tribulations and triumphs. Mike Heslin, headed for the distinguished program at the Boston Conservatory this fall, takes on the title role with an easygoing charm and excellent singing. And a bit of comedy, most notably after his eleven jealous brothers sell him into slavery and he becomes the servant of a rich pyramid builder named Potiphar (a most amusing Shawn L. Hatchcock who plays posh perfectly). Everything might have gone fine for him there, but for Potiphar’s insatiable wife, with Stefani Rae Wood and Mike Hesline combining for a hilarious scene as Potiphar’s wife seduces Joseph, and poor Joseph tries to resist (but doesn’t try very hard). Before it’s done, she’s ripped off his loincloth. Fortunately he happened to be wearing another one underneath!

But hey, the King wouldn’t like us spending so much time on other people. And, well, his scene does rock. No less than Elvis Presley is the Pharaoh, and his Song of the King rules the show. Nate Doonan, a newcomer to theatre who broke into it as basketball star Troy Bolton in VYT’s High School Musical, is fantastic in this role, combining a terrific over-the-top imitation of Elvis with some great expressions as the not-so-bright Pharaoh tries to keep up with the quick-witted Joseph explaining the importance Pharaoh’s dream. That’s all topped off by Nate’s enjoyment of his crazed fan base (he loves to get people to feel his biceps), and his jealousy when his court of crazed female admirers start turning to the new celebrity Joseph.

Other musical highlights include Joseph’s brother Levi (Anthony Jackson) leading the folksy dirge One More Angel in Heaven when he and his brothers humorously break the news to father Jacob of Joseph’s supposed death – “a tragic but inspiring tale” about Joseph bravely saving his brothers from an attack by a crazed goat (they put goat’s blood on Joseph’s multi-colored coat as proof of Joseph’s untimely demise). Paul Leighton leads the way through Those Canaan Days, as Joseph’s family starves and laments about their hunger to a little French-themed music. And Derek Nolan Rushing, Jr. tries to help out little brother Benjamin (Jared Mitchell) by leading the fun Benjamin Calypso and assuring Pharaoh’s court that Benjamin couldn’t have tried to steal a royal cup because “Benjamin is honest as coconuts.”

The deep cast includes nice cameos by Eddie Maldonado (a fortunate butler in jail with Joseph), Brian Wible (an unfortunate baker in jail with Joseph), and Christine Margo as the solo dancer in Those Canaan Days. The ensemble of brothers and their wives and the Pharaoh’s court do a great job with Laurie Trygg’s lively choreography. Director Bobb Cooper’s show is especially big on the visuals and sounds, which are remarkable, and feature the sets used by Fullerton Civic Light Opera, Michael Eddy’s dazzling lighting effects, the always-brilliant Karol Cooper’s terrific array of professional-quality costumes, and Mark Fearey and his orchestra who nail the show’s great and diverse score throughout.

Performs August 10 - 26, 2007.

Rob Hopper
National Youth Theatre

~ Cast ~

Children's Chorus: Jackson Allen
Male Ensemble: Hunter Beetham
Children's Chorus: Mikaella Belsan
Children's Chorus: Madeline Brashear
Wife/Female Ensemble: Cori Brown
Simeon: Gavin Brown
Children's Chorus: Elijah Countryman
Wife/Female Ensemble: Lauren Devine
Children's Chorus: Rachel Dixon
Pharaoh: Nathan Doonan
Children's Chorus: Jaden Douglas
Children's Chorus: Donovan Fiore
Children's Chorus: Samantha Golden
Children's Chorus: Stefan Goodenberger
Potiphar: Shawn Hathcock
Male Ensemble: Adrian Hernandez
Joseph: Mike Heslin
Levi: Anthony Jackson
Wife/Female Ensemble: Kelsey Johnson
Children's Chorus: Kira Kadel
Children's Chorus: Morgan Sarah Karns
Children's Chorus: Kayla Kenzior
Male Ensemble: Ryan Kitkowski
Male Ensemble: Lacour Lavante Lane
Male Ensemble: Quashad Lane
Children's Chorus: Dominic LaRovere
Reuben: Paul Leighton
Judah/Butler: Eddie Maldonado
Children's Chorus: Bridgid Kildave Maloney
Wife/Apache Dancer: Christine Margo
Jacob: William Marquez
Children's Chorus: Michael Martinez
Wife Female Ensemble: Lauren Miller
Benjamin: Jared Mitchell
Children's Chorus: Adam Moffitt
Children's Chorus: Christopher Moffitt
Wife: Jessica Moffitt
Children's Chorus: Madison Ottinger
Children's Chorus: Lexy Pazul
Gad: Brett Ponton
Zebulun: Bryan Ponton
Male Ensemble: Paul Powell
Children's Chorus: Sarah Grace Reilly
Napthali: Derek Rushing
Asher: Brandon Gabriel Saenz
Children's Chorus: Devin Sanders
Children's Chorus: Dorothy Settles
Wife/Female Ensemble: Caitlan Spencer
Wife/Female Ensemble: Caitlin Stegemoller
Wife/Female Ensemble: Ali Stocker
Children's Chorus: Bryan Tanquary
Children's Chorus: Myranda Tanquary
Children's Chorus: Elliott Travis
Wife/Female Ensemble: Payton Travis
Children's Chorus: Taylor Updegraff
Wife/Female Ensemble: Ashley Waggoner
Dan: Yichao Wang
Isaachar/Baker: Brian Wible
Narrator: Katie Wilson
Potiphar's Wife/Narrator Understudy: Stefani Wood

Director: Bobb Cooper
Music Direction: Mark Fearey
Choreographer: Laurie Trygg
Costume Design: Karol Cooper
Set Design: Fullerton CLO
Lighting Design: Michael Eddy
Sound Design: Dave Temby
Production Stage Manager: Paul C. Thorpe II


Home   |   Awards   |   Reviews   |   News   |   Actors   |   Headshots   |   Theatres   |   Calendars   |   Newsletters   |   Membership
Auditions   |   Workshops   |   Drama Instruction   |   Playwrights/Scripts   |   Vendors   |   Links   |   Advertising   |   About Us