Glitz, glitter and tie-dye make its way to Orem with the SCERA’s production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, directed by recent UVU graduate, Jeremy Showgren. While Joseph has always been a modern presentation of the Biblical story, this production takes it a step further by taking a Las Vegas-style approach. This unique take on the story is a fun introduction for those who have never seen the show and a refreshing take for those who already love it.
The show includes plenty of references to cultural elements. Hotels from the Vegas Strip create the backdrop for Egypt, Potiphar is a 1930s gangster and the Ishmaelites, who buy Joseph, are Cirque du Soleil dancers. Ventriloquists, paparazzi, crazed fan girls and even Freud get their respective nods.
While the humor and lightheartedness of the show is played excellently, the more serious and emotional moments fail to come through with sufficient force. It’s hard to feel Joseph’s pain in jail as he sings, “Will I live or die?” when he is surrounded by 30 kids in bright, tie-dye shirts. Perhaps the most relatable struggle is seen in the addition of Leah, Jacob’s first wife, as she fights for some of the attention showered on his preferred wife Rachel.
The strength of the show lies in the ever-changing styles. The music ranges from country to calypso, allowing for a diverse choreography. “I did a lot of research,” choreographer Shawn Mortensen said of his preparations for the show. “It’s been a challenge. I tried to get as much in there as I possibly could.”