‘Joseph’ Is Fantastic
“Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” is based on the story from the Bible. It is currently on stage at Amish Acre’s Round Barn Theatre.
In Genesis 37:18-33 is the story of Joseph and his 11 brothers, all sons of Jacob. It’s no secret. Joseph was Jacob’s favorite son and his brothers were jealous and they hated him because of his dreams. The musical highlights Joseph’s life from his coat of many colors to his dreams, his days as a slave and his rise to second in command in Egypt.
The spotlight falls on Joseph (Matt Casey) and the coat, a very colorful one indeed, his father, Jacob, (Travis Smith), gave him. Olivia Corbello is the narrator who ties the story together for the audience in this fast moving musical. The production starts in a theatre dressing room with cast members appearing on stage even prior to the opening. As the production opens Corbello and Casey put the finishing touches on their costumes as their voices blend perfectly with the “Prologue.” Casey is very talented and it shows as he works his way through the many scenes from happy youth to prisoner to second in command, Corbello is suited perfectly for the part of the narrator and Smith, who also is the show’s music director, makes Jacob come to life.
The story is told entirely by song and dance. The company was enthusiastic as members of the cast worked their way though a number of fast moving songs and dances.
The 11 other sons of Jacob each add their own specialty to the production. They are: Ruben, Ryan A. Schisler; Simeon, Barry Kramer; Levi, Shelby Tyler Nichols; Napthili, Travis Bird; Issachar, Matilde Bernabei; Asher, Robert Windsor; Dan, James Schoppe; Zebulun, Sarah Philabaum; Gad, Angie Fisher; Juda, Nicole Tompkins; and the youngest, Benjamin, Justin Williams.
The shown is done Commedia deli’arte and the sons appear in various costumes throughout the production, using different headgear and masks as they switch from one type of music to another. The jealous brothers plot to get ride of Joseph. They’ll kill him. But, no, they decide to sell him to traveling nomads who take him to Egypt where he becomes a slave to the wealthy Potiphar. After he is falsely accused of lusting after Mrs. Potiphar, he’s tossed in jail. But, he is saved when he interprets the Pharaoh’s dreams to mean seven good years for crops and seven lean years and famine. As second in charge, Joseph saves the country and is eventually reunited with his brothers and father.
Smith is Potiphar and Fisher is Mrs. Potiphar. Barry Kramer is the Butler and Nichols is the Baker. Schoppe is Pharaoh.
A highlight of the second act is Schoppe’s interpretation of Elvis Presley as he tells his dreams to Joseph. The audience the night I was there loved it.
The cast turns in outstanding performances as songs like “One More Angel in Heaven,” “Close Every Door,” “Poor, Poor Joseph,” “Those Canan Days,” “Song of the King” and “Benjamin Calypso” fill the air.
“Joseph” runs through Oct. 19 Call (574) 773-4188, (800) 800-4942 or online at amishacres.com for additional information and tickets.