Todd Appleton, playing a captivating Joseph, led his energetic supporting cast to a standing ovation at the Scarborough Village Theatre on Thursday night for their annual musical production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
A minimal set of a few risers and multicoloured backdrops was brought to life by the charismatic players from the very opening sequence to the final musical number.
The theatre itself, not being a traditional proscenium stage, had the audience on three sides of the performance. It can be a challenge to accommodate all the different viewing angles, but artistic director Mario D’Alimonte did an excellent job of taking this into consideration: during every major musical number, the choreography had the cast playing to all sides of the room simultaneously. No matter where you were seated, there was always something tailored to your personal view. The careful choreography and great stage direction also had the cast making use of every bit of space available to them – from the staircases leading into the audience, to the balcony above the performance area.
Being an Andrew Lloyd Webber piece, a heavy emphasis was put into the music – this is where the performance set itself apart from other community theatre productions. The live orchestra hit all their cues flawlessly, and played with a passion that was only matched by the ardour from the singing of the cast. The impressive harmonies and powerful, yet graceful voices did the production justice. There were a few instances, however, where the live band did seem to overpower some of the actors’ solo numbers – a minor disturbance that could be tweaked for future performances.
D’Alimonte’s decision to have Joseph’s brothers each taking on a different persona, complete with individual costumes and mannerisms, was a risk that paid off greatly. Among the brothers were a cowboy, an artist, a biker, and even a jock-inspired character – all of which stayed true to their individual roles throughout the play.
There was very little dialogue. Each musical number blended in well with the next, keeping the audience on their toes and involved in the action of the play. There was no opportunity for your mind to wander elsewhere – a sign of the production being well-rehearsed and thoroughly directed.
This musical will have you wanting to see more of what Scarborough Musical Theatre, and community theatre in general has to offer – a solid performance from a great cast and crew.