Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat by Conestoga High School in Berwyn, PA
March 11, 2020
Review submitted by Patrick McCann of Harriton High School
We all dream a lot. Some are lucky; some are not. But if you don’t care and have an hour or two, Conestoga High School’s production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat will tell you the tale of a dreamer like you!
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is a modern, musical retelling of the classic biblical tale of Joseph’s coat of many colors. When Joseph shows off his snazzy new coat to his rotten brothers, they ship him off to Egypt in a fit of jealousy. But fortunately for Joseph, Egypt has had a recent run of crazy dreams, and Joseph’s skill at interpreting them rocket him into stardom.
Despite having to perform nonstop for the show’s entire runtime, Conestoga’s cast and orchestra maintained infectiously high levels of energy, displaying their jaw-dropping musical skills and dancing prowess.
Will Dusinberre led the cast as the charming Joseph, showing off his gorgeous vocals in songs like “Close Every Door.” Starring opposite him was Emma Krapels as the Narrator, who took on the monumental task of explaining the entire show’s plot. She did so beautifully, acting as a vocalist in a staggering eighteen songs without stumbling over any of the fast-paced lyrics.
JP Infortuna stole the show with his hilarious portrayal of the Elvis-impersonating Pharaoh. Infortuna showed his mastery of improv and situational comedy during a long, unscripted conversation with audience members that left everyone in the auditorium in stitches. The ensemble of eleven brothers had palpable chemistry on stage, and showed incredible acting and vocal range as they performed everything from the Jazzercise inspired “Go, Go, Go Joseph” to the western “One More Angel in Heaven.” Ethan Overton was especially entertaining as Simeon, maintaining a hilariously thick accent throughout the satirical French ballad “Those Canaan Days.” Another standout among the supporting cast was Yunge Xiao who wowed the audience during her several entrancing solo dances.
The Conestoga Pit Orchestra served as the backbone of the production, effortlessly ducking in and out of the different keys and musical styles in the show’s difficult score. Also impressive was the set by the Conestoga Set Build Crew which fused the modern influences of the show’s many musical numbers with the hieroglyphics and limestone columns of ancient Egypt. The psychedelic lighting design by the Conestoga Light Crew helped make every song feel distinct, and combined with the Conestoga Special Effects Team’s fog to create stunning pillars of light.
You could “close every door to me, hide all the world from me, bar all my windows,” but even that couldn’t stop me from coming to see Conestoga’s breathtaking production.
Review submitted by Fiona Moser of Agnes Irwin School
Audience members at Conestoga High School’s production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat didn’t leave the theatre feeling blue (or azure or lemon or russet or gray)! This past weekend, Conestoga’s cast presented a masterful performance which transported audiences to the holy land hundreds of years ago.
Following the tale of Joseph as presented in the Bible’s Book of Genesis, the plot of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is recounted by the aptly named Narrator. She brings the audience along on the story of Joseph’s prophetic ability, his rise to power, and his relatable relationship with his family. In 1982, the original Broadway production opened. It featured music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice and received six Tony nominations.
To pull off this difficult piece is no easy feat, and Conestoga rose to the challenge with an effortlessly stunning performance.
Will Dusinberre led the cast as Joseph, showcasing spectacular vocal skill and rigorous stamina throughout the performance. His charming naivety and heart-wrenching emotion in numbers like “Close Every Door” won the audience’s hearts. Emma Krapels gave a stellar performance as the Narrator. Her powerful and controlled riffs and her focused stage presence lent themselves to an impressive display. Although their material was exceedingly challenging, both Krapels and Dusinberre exuded strong levels of professionalism which set good examples for the rest of the cast.
JP Infortuna as Pharaoh was a suave show-stopper – literally – when he paused his energetic number to wipe sweat off his brow and make his way through the theatre. There, he improvised interactions with audience members to peals of laughter. His ability to stay in character, his excellent vocals, and his unstaggering confidence led to one of the most memorable moments of the musical. Yunge Xiao as Mrs. Potiphar showed off spectacular dance skills and spot-on characterization. Also notable were Joseph’s brothers. The eleven-person ensemble displayed incredible versatility in styles of music, dance, and mood, and transitioned flawlessly between each. Their astonishing vocal agility, admirable dance performances, and strong character choices contributed to many of the production’s most exciting numbers, including the hilarious “Those Canaan Days”. Conestoga’s ensemble elevated the show with their high energy, polished dancing, and blended vocals.
Having an excellent cast to begin with, Conestoga’s technical details brought the musical to a whole new level. The carefully crafted set complemented the production and allowed the audience to see all members of the cast, even in large ensemble numbers. The lighting made every transition appear smooth. It highlighted the production without detracting focus from the action onstage and also included fun colorful cues during some high-energy numbers.
Overall, Conestoga High School’s production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat showcased a professional-level cast and crew who created an impressive and practically flawless performance.