Villa Playhouse opens popular play

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    By JENI DEERY

    Dynamic costumes and classy choreography make the Villa Playhouse Theater’s production of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” a colorful and entertaining performance.

    Although Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Joseph” has recently been performed in several theaters around the Wasatch Front, the Springville production is worth viewing, even if you have seen other performances.

    Miss Utah 1998 Melissa Anderson, who plays the part of the narrator, and Tim Goodman, who plays Joseph, carry the show with their singing talent and by injecting energy into their roles.

    Lloyd Webber’s play is based on the Old Testament story of Joseph, who has prophetic dreams and is given a coat of many colors by his father. Joseph’s jealous brothers sell him to the Ishmaelites after Joseph tells them that someday they would bow down before him.

    Joseph winds up a hero by interpreting a dream which saves the people of Egypt and his family from a seven-year famine. Soon his 11 brothers bow before him, not recognizing who he is, fulfilling Joseph’s original dream.

    Artistic director Kathleen Nutt, her daughter and choreographer Emily Reed bring professionalism to the amateur production with their theater background from Tennessee. It is evident they are skilled in how to bring a play to life.

    The minimal amount of special effects are not missed because often the entire cast of 65 people is on the stage together singing and dancing. The Villa Youth Chorus, under the direction of Louise Payne, boosts the show, adding cute little faces and voices bringing the total number of performers to 85.

    The brightly colored costumes keep the play exciting and upbeat. One act includes straw hats and red and white checkered bandannas creating a “Hee-Haw”-type scene, and another act includes saddle shoes and poodle skirts, bringing the Elvis scene to life.

    Each wearing overalls that are a different color of the rainbow, Joseph’s brothers lighten the show with their animated facial expressions and vibrant dancing.

    If you are unfamiliar with Lloyd Webber’s play, “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” don’t go expecting to see an accurate historical depiction of a Bible story. The play incorporates different elements of pop culture and modern twists which make the story hilarious.

    There are no talking lines in the entire play — it’s all song — so if you are unfamiliar with the story, it is necessary to be able to listen to the words of the songs.

    The sound system caused the only problems with the performance because it occasionally squeaked, and at times it was difficult to hear the singer. But as a whole, it wasn’t a huge distraction.

    The accompaniment was impressive. With only a bass guitar, drum set and electric piano, I felt like there was a live orchestra performing. This is largely due to the electric piano that can sound like several instruments at once.

    The play is sure entertainment, even if you have seen it performed in other productions. I can promise that you will leave the play singing “Go, Go, Go, Joseph…” and wanting to burst out dancing.

    “Joseph” will be performed at 8 p.m. each Friday, Saturday and Monday until Feb. 6 at the Villa Playhouse Theater, 254 S. Main, Springville. There will also be two matinee performances at 3 p.m. Jan. 16 and Feb. 6.

    Tickets may be purchased at the door or in advance and seats can be reserved by calling 489-3088.

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