Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-12-13
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
by Karen Topham
2018-11-28

This article shared 4005 times since Wed Nov 28, 2018
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Playwright: Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice

At: Citadel Theatre, 300 S. Waukegan Rd, Lake Forest. Tickets: 847-735-8554, ext. 1, or Citadeltheatre.com; $45. Runs through: Dec. 23

You'll never get me to agree that the small stage of Lake Forest's Citadel Theatre is a great space for putting on large cast musicals, but if you're going to do one, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is an excellent choice.

Director Robert Estrin obviously thought so, and he has brought us a Joseph with a top-notch cast that has enough talent to help us to overlook the necessity for repetitive and sometimes a bit stagnant staging that comes with fitting 12 brothers ( and their father ), an eight-person children's choir, a five-member female dance chorus, a five-piece orchestra, two narrators and a partridge in a pear tree ( Kidding! ) on a stage that is nowhere near expansive enough to accommodate them.

Somehow Estrin and choreographer Jake Ganzer even manage to get a couple of raucous dance scenes going but, for the most part, there is a lot of standing on stairs and platforms, though that doesn't detract at all from the quality of the show, for this is one show that is all about the music. And Citadel comes through with shining ( techni )colors. As the titular dreamer, Jacob Barton is thoroughly impressive. His mellifluous singing voice, his everyman appearance, his solid acting, and his congenial attitude serve him well, and he even plays guitar ( one of several cast members to add to the orchestra ). Barton is simply perfect even in such dichotomous songs as the cheerful "Any Dream Will Do" and the plaintive "Close Every Door."

In addition to Parker, Estrin has cast not one but two narrators, and both Carmen Risi and Laura Thoresen are wonderful, whether telling the story to the children's choir, leading us through the various scenes or dancing along with the rest of the cast. Both actresses have remarkable voices, which is a hallmark shared by this entire cast. The brothers and father Jacob ( JP Thomas ) have a lot of fun with such numbers as "One More Angel in Heaven" and "Those Canaan Days," and I honestly couldn't envision composer Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice ever expecting a cast to enjoy these signature songs more.

But when Thomas steps out from behind his ( intentionally ) ridiculous beard to become Pharoah, that's when things really get all shook up. Thomas' Pharoah may not be the best Elvis impersonator ever to shine on a stage, but he's certainly a ton of fun. Speaking of beards, one of the most wonderfully unexpected visual gags in Estrin's repertoire comes when the children's chorus dons fake beards to become the "hairy bunch of Ishmaelites" to whom the brothers sell Joseph. He also does some fabulous things with the "fab five," as the female chorus is dubbed. Go, go, go Estrin!

The whole thing plays out on a nicely designed set by Eric Luchen that takes full advantage of the available space and is flexible enough for varied looks. Diane D. Fairchild's lighting design is stellar, and Bob Boxer's sound design is flawless ( though one mic—unfortunately Joseph's—did get a bit wonky the night I saw the show ). Sarah Lake Rayburn's costume design takes cues from past productions of the play but adds some nice touches. And Ryan Brewster's music direction is top-notch.

This is a Joseph that ought to provide a well-deserved huge holiday hit for Citadel. And when they bring out the dreamcoat one last time, you'll be cheering right along with everyone else for this powerful cast and this delightful production.


This article shared 4005 times since Wed Nov 28, 2018
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Out and Aging
Presented By

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

The importance of becoming Ernest: Out actor Christopher Sieber dishes about the Death Becomes Her musical 2024-04-20
- Out and proud actor Christopher Sieber is part of the team bringing Death Becomes Her to life as a stage musical in the Windy City this spring. Sieber plays Ernest Menville, who was originally portrayed by ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Celine Dion, 'The People's Joker,' Billy Porter, Patti LuPone, 'Strange Way' 2024-04-19
- I Am: Celine Dion will stream on Prime Video starting June 25, according to a press release. The film is described as follows: "Directed by Academy Award nominee Irene Taylor, I Am: Celine Dion gives us ...


Gay News

Kokandy Productions now accepting submissions for Chicago Musical Theater Fest returning Aug. 8-11 2024-04-18
--From a press release - CHICAGO (April 18, 2024) — Kokandy Productions is pleased to open submissions for the 2024 Chicago Musical Theatre Festival, returning this summer following a four-year hiatus. Kokandy is thrilled to ...


Gay News

THEATER Blue in the Right Way's 'Women Beware Women' offers feminist, trans take on a troubling Jacobean tragedy 2024-04-18
- "Problematic" is a great go-to adjective to describe Women Beware Women. This 1621 Jacobean tragedy is by English playwright Thomas Middleton, who is probably best remembered as a collaborator with William Shakespeare on their pessimistic tragedy ...


Gay News

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago announces programs for May 17-19 season finale 2024-04-17
--From a press release - CHICAGO — Hubbard Street Dance Chicago (HSDC) announced program selections for Spring Series: Of Joy, the final installment of Season 46, Abundance. The engagement will include four unique works, once ...


Gay News

LGBTQ+ film fest Queer Expression to feature Alexandra Billings in 'Queen Tut' 2024-04-12
--From a press release - CHICAGO — Pride Film Fest celebrates its second decade with a new name—QUEER EXPRESSION—and has announced its slate of LGBTQ+-themed feature, mid-length and short films for in-person and virtual events in April and May. QUEER EXPRESSI ...


Gay News

Open Space Arts's COCK offers a complex but compelling take on relationships 2024-04-08
By Brian Kirst - Premiering in 2009, Mike Bartlett's COCK was a comic revelation, exploring notions about fluidity and sexual labelling long before they became commonplace discussions. Granted, conversations about these issues will always ...


Gay News

Jeff Awards launches submission period for Impact Awards 2024-04-06
- The Jeff Awards announced the opening period for applications submissions for its 2024 honors to help inspire early career artists of color in the Greater Chicagoland area. Two recipients will be selected for awards of $10,000 ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Outfest, Chita Rivera, figure skaters, letter, playwright dies 2024-04-05
- For more than four decades, Outfest has been telling LGBTQ+ stories through the thousands of films screened during its annual Outfest Los Angeles LGBTQ+ Film Festival—but that event may have a different look this year because ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Dionne Warwick, OUTshine, Ariana DeBose, 'Showgirls,' 'Harlem' 2024-03-29
Video below - Iconic singer Dionne Warwick was honored for her decades-long advocacy work for people living with HIV/AIDS at a star-studded amfAR fundraising gala in Palm Beach, per the Palm Beach Daily News. Warwick received the "Award of ...


Gay News

WORLD Israel court, conversion therapy, death sentences, Georgia bill, fashion items 2024-03-29
- Israel's Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the Population Authority must register female couples as mothers on the birth certificates of their children they have together, The Washington Blade reported. The decision was made following a petition ...


Gay News

City Lit Executive Artistic Director Brian Pastor talks theater, comics, queerness 2024-03-26
- City Lit Theater has announced its programming for the 2024-25 season—which will be the company's 44th. It will also be the first season to be programmed under the leadership of Brian Pastor (they/them), who will assume ...


Gay News

The Jeff Awards announces the 50th anniversary awards for non-equity theater 2024-03-26
--From a press release - A complete list of recipients can also be found online in the Non-Equity and News and Events sections at www.jeffawards.org. (March 25, 2024 - Chicago) — Celebrating its 50th anniversary awarding recognition for Non-Equity theater, the ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Queer musicians, Marvel situation, Elliot Page, Nicole Kidman 2024-03-21
- Queer musician Joy Oladokun released the single "I Wished on the Moon," from Jack Antonoff's official soundtrack for the new Apple TV+ series The New Look, per a press release. The soundtrack, ...


Gay News

THEATER Chicago's City Lit has anxiety on tap with 'Two Hours in a Bar' 2024-03-21
- Two Hours in a Bar Waiting for Tina Meyer by Kristine Thatcher with material by Larry Shue Text Me by Kingsley Day (Book, Music and Lyrics). At: City Lit Theater, 1020 W. Bryn Mawr Ave.. Tickets: ...


 


Copyright © 2024 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.

All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.