I would most recommend the Villa’s production of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” to people who have not seen the show before. For them, the show’s inherent charms will shine through; it is certainly a perky and entertaining musical, regardless of who’s performing it.
For “Joseph” veterans, this staging may come up lacking. It doesn’t have as much energy or creativity as some other productions, and the charisma that usually makes the major characters fun to watch is not to be found.
The Villa’s decrepit sound system doesn’t help, either. The synthesized orchestrations are generally OK, but I would swear the show-ending “Megamix” was taped directly from one of the various soundtracks available at your local CD shop.
Joseph — sold into Egypt by jealous brothers, as you’ll recall from the Bible — is played by Forrest Foster, who seems amiable enough but who probably was not yet ready to have a show placed upon his shoulders the way “Joseph” tends to rest on those who star in it. He and Melissa Anderson-Palmer, who plays the Narrator, have fine singing voices, as do the other principals.
Ryan Simmons plays the Pharaoh with flamboyance such as is not commonly seen without the aid of a lot of caffeine. Imagine the genes of Elvis Presley and Pee-Wee Herman being compressed into one human, and you have Simmons’ version of the Pharaoh. His scene has more personality than any other.
The direction is by Villa veteran Kathleen Nutt, with music direction by Joe Manson and choreography by Emily McFadyen. The choreography tends toward the literal: When Joseph’s brothers sing the word “think,” they point at their heads; when they sing “hope,” they put their hands in praying position. Most songs end with someone’s (or everyone’s) hands slowly rising upward, in traditional Community Theater Song-Ending fashion.
Nutt also designed the costumes, which are enjoyable, particularly the eclectic outfits worn during the “Megamix.” It’s also a nice touch that most of the brothers grew beards, adding a bit of authenticity.
Should you go? If you find yourself near Springville, and if you have not seen the show before, it may be worth your time.
My 10th "Joseph" review. Don't I get a prize or something?