Archive => Joseph & Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat 2013 => Topic started by: Marilyn on August 07, 2013, 11:39:15 PM

Post by: Marilyn on August 07, 2013, 11:39:15 PM
REVIEW:Clay Aiken & Keala Settle's Dreamcoat is a DREAM Come True


You Loved Him On American Idol.

Now you can love him in Technicolor as Joseph!

Clay Aiken became a household name while appearing on the second season of American Idol, turning millions of viewers into instant fans. Following American Idol, his debut album Measure of a Manskyrocketed to multi-platinum status. Mr. Aiken has launched ten national concert tours, authored a New York Times best-selling memoir, Learning to Sing: Hearing the Music in Your Life, and released several albums including, Merry Christmas with Love, A Thousand Different Ways and On My Way Here, all of which debuted in the top five on the Billboard chart. Mr. Aiken starred in a televised Christmas special, A Clay Aiken Christmas and a live concert special in 2010 on PBS Tried & True Live! He has appeared on many popular television shows including Lifetime’s Drop Dead Diva, Scrubs, 30 Rock andSaturday Night Live. A frequent talk show guest, particularly on The Tonight Show and Jimmy Kimmel Live!, he recently competed in the fifth season of The Celebrity Apprentice. Mr. Aiken garnered broad critical acclaim for his Broadway debut as Sir Robin in the Tony Award winning production of Spamalot in 2008 and 2009.
Read Jason's Review!

 Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

(Or the Bible goes Disco)
A Review by Jason Pendergast

            As summer in Ogunquit hits high season, so does the camp factor at the Playhouse.  I would have thought cornball productions like “The Rat Pack” or “Young Frankenstein” would have won the title.  Little did I know that the winner (so far) is a play based on--- a Bible story!  “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” opens this week and based on the enthusiasm I saw on Thursday nights, fans of this camp classic (and its American Idol star, Clay Aiken) are ecstatic.
            Now, it is has been many years since this Gayogunquit reviewer has been to Sunday School so my memory of the tale of Joseph is a bit hazy.   Set many, many years before the birth of Christ, this play (narrated by vocal talents of Keala Settle) tells the story of Jacob, a powerful (and apparently polygamous) leader of Israel, who has (at least) 12 sons.  One of them, the studious, sensitive Joseph (Clay Aiken) is his obvious favorite.  This does not sit well with the other 11 and when daddy Jacob gives his #1 son a rather flamboyant, gay pride looking trench coat, they plot a “Cain and Able” on him.   
            Stripped of his beloved coat and sent off as a slave, Joseph uses his psychic (and vocal) abilities to impress person after person he comes in contact with.  His talents are soon noticed by businessmen and royalty alike, and Joseph becomes a high advisor to the Pharaoh after he is able to decipher his highness’s dreams.  (This rock and roll Elvis number is one of the highlights of the show- Matthew Ragas really nails his Vegas-style Presley!)  Thanks to Joseph, Egypt is saved from famine and he is given a royal title….just in time for his brothers to come begging for help...
            As said before, this take on a Bible story can’t be taken seriously (even animal lovers will laugh aloud during the “death” of the goat/sheep prop!).  The cast is clearly enjoying themselves.  Aiken plays the role as a subdued, sensitive soul and comes across as very likable.  The “evil” brothers add enough goof ball charm to want us to see them be acquitted of their crimes.   (Nicholas Ward had the audience whipped up into a frenzy with his Benjamin Calypso number.)  The song and dance numbers also give the show a real feel-good charm that helps us forget the serious nature of the source material.   Also, the costumes look like something Elton John would have designed after an all night LSD bender-  in other words, the laughs are fast and furious.  Think what would have happened if ABBA and Charlton Heston’s Moses had a love child and that should sum up this light, feel good romp!
             “Joseph” is playing now through August 25th.  For tickets and show times, check out or call 207-646-5511

Post by: Marilyn on August 07, 2013, 11:43:19 PM
Review: Aiken leads amazing 'Joseph' cast at Ogunquit Playhouse


Styles often change, but one particular coat has a record of staying fashionable, even in the warmer months. The outerwear in question here is an important prop in an early work by the legendary team of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice.


"Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat"

WHERE: Ogunquit Playhouse, 10 Main St. (Rt. 1)

DATE REVIEWED: Aug. 4; continues through Aug. 25

TICKETS: $39 to $78

CONTACT: 646-5511;
"Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" emerged on the world's stages in the wake of the creative duo's later success with "Jesus Christ Superstar." Expanded and revised along the way, "Joseph" has become a favorite for theater companies and theatergoers at every level.

Over the years, pop idols like David Cassidy and Donny Osmond have signed on to the cast to bring the show home to mass audiences as well as to add another stage appearance to their careers.

Now, the Ogunquit Playhouse has landed former "American Idol" sensation Clay Aiken, who has some Broadway experience, to add star power for its production of the show.

Aiken does fine by his title role, but the show owes its strength equally to a sterling cast that gets to loosen up and fly high in some of the very entertaining set pieces and ensemble numbers. All in all, this "Dreamcoat" fits well without need of major alterations. It's a show that anyone with an ear and an eye for top-quality song and dance will enjoy.

Aiken generally adds a low-key demeanor to his role as the biblical dreamer who believes he is destined for greatness. At Sunday's matinee, his big numbers were delivered in a singing voice with range enough to connect on both those somber moments ("Close Every Door") and the inspiring ones ("Any Dream Will Do"). Even when he was being tough ("Who's the Thief?"), he stayed within his character's gentle strength to get at the show's fundamental message of perseverance and forgiveness.

Broadway powerhouse Keala Settle gained applause for several songs sung in the role of the story's narrator. Easily reaching the back of the hall and perhaps all the way to downtown Ogunquit with her soaring voice, she was a dynamic presence throughout.

Numbers that mixed various genres and eras of music and dance were what will likely be most memorable about this production.

An early "Hoedown" piece was a hoot, with the men playing Joseph's wayward brothers singing and dancing up a strorm. Later, an appearance from the Pharoah (Matthew Ragas) evolved into an Elvis impersonation that had everyone cracking up.

Craig Laurie and Nicholas Ward stood out in hilarious numbers inspired, respectively, by French balladry and Caribbean calypso. These and other numbers were ensemble as well as individual gems for which director and choreographer Jayme McDaniel deserves much credit.

The only negative might be an unnecessary "Megamix" tacked on at the end that briefly reprises most of the show's big numbers as if the next stop was Las Vegas. Notwithstanding this quibble, if you've never seen this show or have only seen community or high school productions in the past, it is well worth it to make a trip down to Ogunquit to see how well the pros do it.

Steve Feeney is a freelance writer who lives in Portland.

Post by: Marilyn on August 07, 2013, 11:44:15 PM
(MagicalMusic @ Aug 5 2013, 06:35 PM)
A nice review on Trip Advisor

“Broadway Quality”

5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 4, 2013 NEW

We go at least once a year and have never been disappointed. It is always fun to peruse the photos in the lobby of all the famous folks who have acted there, and the little gift shop is cute. The staff are welcoming and i noticed on this last trip that there is now a TV w/ film from old productions to entertain you in the lobby while waiting to get in. The theater itself is small and the stage is quite small. We sat quite close this time and I confess there were a few times I worried some of the dancers would fall into the audience. That all said, we saw Joseph there yesterday and I was so impressed! I love the show anyway, and have seen it a few times. This was the best version I have seen. The costumes were great, the music perfect, the actors broadway quality (in fact, I believe Ms. Settle just won a Tony this year). She was excellent, as was the Elvis/Pharoh- some cute interactions with the audience during his bit. Clay Aiken lived up to his excellent reputation. Each number was met with high enthusiasm from the audience. THe brothers were wonderful and their dancing was outstanding. Don't miss it!


Post by: Marilyn on August 08, 2013, 12:03:40 AM
THEATER REVIEW: Masters at play


By Samantha Stephens
August 07, 2013 2:45 PMThe most "amazing" part of Joseph's story just may be the musical's narrator, played by Tony-nominated actress Keala Settle, who introduces the show and offers continuity, often-needed plot descriptors, and brings the audience from Ogunquit to "way, way back, many centuries ago."

Although "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" is set "not long after the Bible began" in Cannan and Egypt, only Joseph, his brothers, and a handful of other characters are dressed in attire to match the story's setting. Members of the ensemble travel through the ages, donning everything from a 1960s psychedelic costumes for the first act's closing number to brightly colored modern clothing worn by the children who appear for many of the songs.

"Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" plays through Aug. 25 at the Ogunquit Playhouse. Showtimes vary, and single ticket prices range from $39 to $78 per show. For tickets, call the box office at 646-5511 or visit
Settle, who wears a sparkling black blazer with a shimmering silver blouse and trousers, falls somewhere between the 1960s and modern times, but her charm, quirky character traits (including on-stage drinking during "Benjamin Calypso") and perfectly matched on-stage chemistry with Clay Aiken, who plays the title role of Joseph, allow the audience to trust her narration of the famous Biblical story.

From the moment Aiken, who started his career after taking second place in season two of "American Idol," walked on stage in a recent performance, the audience was astonished. Many leaned forward, some clapped and others gasped as Aiken sang his first solo in the prologue surrounded by children who joined in with accompanying "oohs" and "ahhs." The true highlight of Aiken's performance was in a quiet number, "Close Every Door," which Joseph sings from his jail cell. The haunting melody and Aiken's strong vocals reflected his famous and celebrated cover of Neil Sedaka's "Solitaire."

"Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" tells the story of Joseph, the most beloved son to Jacob, who receives a "coat of many colors" from his father, much to the dismay of his jealous brothers. In an act of retaliation and jealousy, Joseph's 11 brothers decide to sell him as a slave. To cover their crime, they strip Joseph of his coat and destroy it, bathing it in sheep's blood and creating a lie about Joseph's death.

After a rough time in Egypt, a city modeled in the musical to reflect modern-day Las Vegas with flashy costumes, women dressed as Egyptian showgirls, and the motto "what happens here, stays here," rumor of Joseph's psychic abilities grows and eventually he becomes an advisor to the Pharaoh, an eccentric character modeled after Elvis Presley, and saves Egypt from famine. Joseph's brothers appear at the end of the story — a twist that's predicted but still emotionally satisfying.

For audience members who are unfamiliar with Joseph's Biblical story, the musical was the first collaboration by Broadway and musical legends Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber. Presented as a 15-minute pop cantata, "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" opened in the West End in 1973 and on Broadway in 1982. Since then, the show has played all over the globe, and in 1999 a straight-to-video film starring Donny Osmond was released.

Every musical number in the production has its own flair: reggae, 1950s rock 'n' roll and disco are all featured, but perhaps the best number is "Those Canaan Days," led by Craig Laurie who plays Reuben, one of Joseph's brothers. In his lamentation of missing the good days when food was plentiful and confessing to missing his brother, Laurie performs the parody on French ballads perfectly. His voice is impressive, which is exhibited by holding notes for an excessively long period, and his comedy is right-on as he name-drops "Les Miserables" and asks the question, "Voulez vous coucher avec moi?" while lamenting in French.

The charm of Rice and Webber's "Joseph" is a campy good time that will have audiences crying through Joseph's struggles and laughing with the cheek-in-tongue comedic moments. And with Aiken and Settle leading the strong ensemble cast, it's a must for anyone interested in seeing truly masterful performers at play.

Post by: Marilyn on August 09, 2013, 08:32:26 PM
“You'll Buy the Tickets for Clay Aikens but will Give the Standing O for the Cast!”
 Reviewed August 7, 2013 NEW via mobile Joseph and the Amazing Color Dream Coat is a MUST SEE!
This production is outstanding because of a wonderful energetic cast - including the youngest cast members! Mr. Aiken 's voice is wonderful . A musical , however, is not his most comfortable vehicle for his obvious singing talents. He was very engaged but was rigid in his enjoyable performance. He was very gracious and supportive to his cast /orchestra/ sound/ lighting members. A sign of a true gentleman!
The audience was hooked from the very first number and it just built from there. The best numbers were "Those Canaan Days", "The Song of the Pharaoh" and the "Megamix" ,a pre-curtain call vehicle for those who had solos in the show .All of these were fun and full of energy from the cast . At the end , the woman next to me was so thrilled she was at the edge of her seat to give "Joseph's Eleven Brothers" a standing ovation . I was right with her.

This is our second season at OPH as subscribers and we have never walked out disappointed. All the shows have had us talking afterward but this show has us raving singing all the home ... and we weren't the only ones! Bravo !!!

Visited August 2013

Post by: Marilyn on August 09, 2013, 08:41:32 PM
Clay Aiken Is Vibrant in 'Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat' (Video)

10:32 AM PDT 8/7/2013 by Michele Amabile Angermiller

The season two "American Idol" runner-up and "Celebrity Apprentice" star is playing the lead role in the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical this month in Maine.
.Julia Russell/Ogunquit PlayhouseBehold: Clay Aiken in Technicolor.

The 34-year-old American Idol alum is letting it all hang out in a rainbow of glory in this new photo released by the Ogunquit Playhouse, a theater in Maine where Aiken is currently starring in the lead role in Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

The season two alum, sporting a fabulous red wig and draped in a rainbow of colors rivaling only the Gymboree parachute, has stepped into the role immortalized by former teen Idols David Cassidy and Donny Osmond through Aug. 25 at the playhouse.

"I like this role because it doesn't make me dance," he told the Portland Press Herald last month. "Rehearsals are going quite well. [Other cast members are] learning their difficult dance moves that I don't have to do."

The biblical saga surrounds the adventures of Joseph, who is sold into slavery by his jealous brothers and taken to Egypt.

Aiken has starred in theater in prior productions on Broadway. He played Sir Robin in Spamalot.

On a personal note, he has much to celebrate this week. His son, Parker Foster Aiken, will turn 5 Thursday.

Below is a video gallery of pictures from the show compiled by a fan. The clip includes audio of Aiken singing "This Is the Moment" from Jekyll and Hyde. The lead role in that show was portrayed by season four's Constantine Maroulis on Broadway this spring. Also check out Aiken in action meeting fans outside the stage door after the show

Post by: Marilyn on August 12, 2013, 11:32:39 PM
Note-this is a long review, so I will post in two parts-M

BWW Reviews: JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECNICOLOR DREAMCOAT is More Than 'Amazing' at The Ogunquit Playhouse
Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's names have become synonymous with musical theatre. Even if you've never seen a musical on stage or don't care for the art form it's almost a definite that you have at least heard of their works: Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita, and Phantom of the Opera. JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT is yet another highlight of the pair's resume, and having been performed all over the world for nearly 30 years, it has become a beloved favorite of theatre goers. The Ogunquit Playhouse's new production of JOSEPH... will leave no doubt in your mind as to why this musical is so loved.

JOSEPH'S road to the stage is relatively atypical for most musicals. Originally, Webber and Rice wrote it as a 15 minute piece to be performed at the Colet Court School in London in the late 60's. After a few successful and critically acclaimed productions, the show just kept growing. Soon it became a 35 minute piece, and later in 1969 a concept album was produced. The first full scale production was staged in 1970, but it wasn't until 1973 that the show was presented in its full form in the West End. Nearly a decade later in 1982, JOSEPH premiered on Broadway. Over its storied history it has been performed worldwide in successful national tours, domestic and international companies, and became a straight to DVD sensation starring Donny Osmond in the title role.

The show is based on the story of JOSEPH'S "coat of many colors" from the book of Genesis in The Bible. It follows JOSEPH (Clay Aiken), his father Jacob (Bill Nolte), and JOSEPH'S 11 brothers: Reuben (Craig Laurie), Simeon (Casey Garvin), Levi (Alex Puette), Naphtali (Scott Difford), Issachar (Ken Arpino), Asher (Erik Magnus), Dan (Drew King), Zebulun (Nathan Chang), Gad (Andre Jordan), Benjamin (Kory Geller) and Judah (Nicholas Ward). Being Jacob's favorite son, JOSEPH is given a coat of many colors which causes his brothers to be jealous. They cast him into slavery, and well...that's basically the story! Along the way of course, JOSEPH meets a host of various characters including Potiphar (Bill Nolte, who also plays Jacob and the Baker), Mrs. Potiphar (sultry, long-legged dancer Anne Otto), The Butler (Craig Laurie), The Pharaoh (Matthew Ragas) as well Jacob's many wives (Tiana Checcia Jones, Anne Otto, Bridget Noltimier, Lizzy Palmer and Leigh Scheffler). Playing other various roles is the talented ensemble: Colby Kingston, Piper Kingston, Shae Kingston (yes, the three ladies are sisters), and Lauren Lukacek. Last, but my no means least is the Narrator (Keala Settle) who paints the story for us every step of the way.

Part of the brilliance of JOSEPH is Webber and Rice's choice to write several of the songs in very different musical styles. Not only does this add to the kitsch and comedy of the show, but it also allows for little love letters to a host of other shows and artists. From 20's style jazz to country and western to a very distinct tribute to Elvis Presley, the score's constant variance in theme keeps the audience engaged, and tells the story fully as there are very few lines of spoken dialogue.

What makes this production so different from other productions of JOSEPH is a clear, precise vision and it's execution in the hands of director/choreographer Jayme McDaniel. As the audience enters The Playhouse, they are greeted with fresh-faced youngsters on stage, playing with jump ropes, kick balls and storybooks (at the performance I attended the young performers were: Laila Adawadkar, Dylan Cao, Sophia Estes, Mary Grace Gilliland, Breckyn Ginchereau, Livia Ginchereau, Ali Golodner, Caroline Hall, Joseph Hall, Katherine Hall, Analise Marin, Lauren Marin, Haley Moody, Yamilah Saravong, Chloe Schechter, Isabella Schechter, Tristan Sullivan, Rosalie Toupin and Kimberly works. Starting on August 13th until closing the performers will be slightly different). The large ensemble of younger performers is used throughout the show, whether it be singing (beautifully, clearly and cleanly, I might add) or as the occasional passing farm animal (adorable children holding two dimensional sheep...I mean...c'mon....). Some directors would shy away from using such a large ensemble of youngsters, but because they are so well directed it works to Mr. McDaniel's advantage. His choreography is not only brilliant and appropriate to the piece, it changes in style with nearly every song to fit the various musical styles (as I had mentioned before). Whether it be his Sharks and Jets-esque choreography for the brothers in "Joseph Dreams" or his island- inspired dance in the "Benjamin Calypso", his strong work is well showcased by his talented team of dancers. Too often directors try to make the piece too contemporary, or try to do too many things with it. I applaud Mr. McDaniel for deciding to add splashes of contemporary references (the Narrator takes a picture of the cast and herself after the opening number on her iPhone), while keeping the majority of the show in the world of the approximate time period.  
Post by: Marilyn on August 12, 2013, 11:35:04 PM
Mark Thompson's costume design echoes the director's strong choices by leaving the brothers in period garb (magnificently done, with just enough difference in each and every costume to make each brother stand out), and finding other places to dazzle the audience with his vision. Whether it be the blue suede shoe-clad dancers and Pharaoh, the go-go dance inspired closing of the first act, or the giant headdresses in "Song of the King", Mr. Thompson creates a colorful world that could jump off the pages of the bible just as easily as it could a children's storybook. And his many encarnations of JOSEPH'S coat are breathtaking. Richard Latta's lighting design only continues to gel this brilliant collaboration as his lights go from realistic, to contemporary theatrical, to making you feel like you are watching Beyonce in a 100,000 seat outdoor amphitheatre. He uses every color of the rainbow to complete the picture (even the panels on the proscenium light up in various Simon Says style patterns) and to make Robert Andrew Kovach's brilliant and functional set shine like a diamond. His use of curtains on the back wall to frame the giant JOSEPH book as the show begins, the various levels he creates, and the more stunning pieces (like JOSEPH'S golden chariot) all come together to complete the magical array. And under the musical direction of Eric Alsford the Ogunquit pit rocks and rolls its way through the show as amazingly as always. They navigate through the show's many genres effortlessly.

First and foremost, I will have to say that I have never watched American Idol. I've never been a big fan of the show's concept, nor am I really a fan of "pop" music. That said, I was BLOWN AWAY by Clay Aiken in the title role. His voice sounds limitless in the role to the point that it almost sounds TOO EASY for his versatile voice. I found myself wondering how many keys had been raised, or how many times he was singing an octave above what was written. His vocal display is truly astounding, and more than that it is always clear as bell and you never struggle to understand what he is singing. It was also refreshing to see a different take on JOSEPH; often times actors choose to make him boastful and almost full of himself. You can see from the very start that Mr. Aiken is a shy, humble JOSEPH who longs to be accepted by his brothers and it's his naïveté that brings upon his misfortune, not ill will. I was more than surprised by his turn in the second act as the Pharaoh's right hand man who attempts to trick his brothers. And his rendition of "Close Every Door" will bring you to your feet.

Perhaps even more impressive is the incomparable Keala Settle as the Narrator. It's little wonder why; Ms. Settle is not far removed from her triumphant portrayal of Norma Valverde in Broadway's Hands On A Hardbody, for which she received Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critic's Circle Award nominations. Her voice is truly something to behold. Powerful, clear and her precise diction leaves no doubt of the story she tells. Her adept riffs and veritable vocal acrobatics are always appropriate, soulful and...well....amazing. Aside from her praise-worthy vocals, Ms. Settle is so emotionally engaged in JOSEPH'S story, she becomes less an omniscient observer (as Narrators in this piece are often resigned to be), and more a faithful friend who facilitates every movement on stage, and offers support to JOSEPH every step of the way. Equally emotional and soul-stirring are the first sung words she sings in the Prologue, and by song's end she has prepared you for the vocal tour de force she is.

The perfectly coiffed pompadour and dashing good looks of Matthew Ragas' Pharaoh only give a glimpse at the Presely-esque performance he gives the audience. Another pleasant surprise, Mr. Ragas vocals are his own (powerful, adept and rock n' roll-tinged) and he merely gives a nod and a wink to the King, rather than do an impression or a "hubba hubba" style take on the role. More than a few women swooned when he was revealed to sing his tune; ladies, be forewarned. Bill Nolte is fatherly, comedic and a breath of fresh air in his various roles (Jacob/Potiphar/The Baker), and his booming baritone is an utter treat and surprise (perhaps it's because I've seen/done the show with actors who weren't singers). Craig Laurie's lead on "Canaan Days" is equally hilarious and pure genius (his Franglais accent will keep you laughing from start to finish) as are the featured dancers in the number, Bridget Noltimier and Casey Garvin. Alex Puettes' twangy "One More Angel in Heaven" will have you saying YEE-HAW before its finish, and Nicholas Ward's fantastic bass vocals in the "Benjamin Calypso" are so rich and soulful you'll be wishing you heard even more of the brilliant places the score lets his seemingly bottomless bass voice come through.

All in all, JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT at The Ogunquit Playhouse is a dazzling theatrical experience from start to finish. JOSEPH may have been done the world over, and you may have seen it a handful of times, but I doubt you have ever seen a production quite like this. Some theatergoers may complain that JOSEPH... is a fluffy piece of music theatre; are you seeing Medea? No. But if you are lucky enough to get tickets to Ogunquit's latest hit, I assure you that your expectations of the show will be met and exceeded. For tickets and more information, please visit

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