It's a good deal of fun for the audience as well.
GWC's "Joseph" is a sprawling production teeming with actors, singers and dancers — more than 30 in all — who fill the Mainstage Theater to overflowing as they spoof various performance styles in a true ensemble delight. Webber and Rice took potshots at everything musical from country-western to French ballads to Elvis, all of which, of course, are far in the future.
As the show's title character, Tony Graham is a robust figure of wide-eyed innocence, spoiled unmercifully by his father (Nick Charles), which leads to near-fratricide at the hands of his 11 brothers, who sell him to Egyptian traders as a slave. This lands him in the clutches of a nobleman (Jonathan Dean) and his predatory wife (Amanda Shay, ravishing on short notice as a cast replacement).
Dean returns as the Pharaoh, and his performance style rocks the house, though it's not so much of a surprise as it once was, due to the show's growing familiarity, while Joseph gains stature and a measure of revenge on his siblings.
Nearly as prominent as Joseph is the show's narrator, a lovely lady in modern dress who acts as a sort of ringmaster for this three-ring circus. Katie Del Vecchio, sweetly impressive on opening night, alternates with Lauren Cicerone in this assignment. She spins the biblical adventure to a group of 11 young girls, who chime in as part of the abundant chorus.
Musical director-conductor Rick Heckman keeps the tempo high, though the instrumentation too often drowns out the singers' lyrics. Susan Thomas Babb's costumes are first-rate, as are Robert Mumm's lighting effects and Dave Mickey's sound design.
"Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" is a tuneful and energetic exercise laced with ensemble excellence and the youthful budding genius of a master composer at Golden West College.
TOM TITUS reviews local theater for the Independent.
If You Go
What: "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat"
Where: Golden West College Mainstage Theater, 15744 Golden West St., Huntington Beach
When: Closing performances at 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday; 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday
Cost: $18 to $20
Information: (714) 895-8150 or http://www.gwctheater.com