Hale’s JOSEPH: a cut above the rest

Playing thru September 24. Check out our giveaway below!

WEST VALLEY — Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat has been a staple of Utah community theater for decades.  Each year you can be assured of 7-10 productions of the show somewhere in Utah.  And it tends to be one of those shows that is seemingly director-proof: No one seems able to truly ruin a production, no matter how hard they might seem to be trying.  I’ve seen it any number of times with various attempts to spice it up, some very wrong headed, but it still seems to work out in the end.  There are those who seem to despise any production of it, and that might be because of over-saturation.  I tend to like Joseph in small, infrequent doses.  And thankfully the current production of Joseph at Hale Centre Theater falls squarely in the fun category.

I won’t rehash the story of Joseph here.  If you haven’t seen it, or read the Bible, you’ll have more fun your first time without a crib sheet version.  This is a perennial favorite at Hale Centre and they bring it back every few years.  Marilyn Montgomery has been either director, choreographer, or both on this production for over 20 years.  She has a formula that works and entertains audiences consistently.  This is a very lively, colorful show.  The choreography is intense and very visual, especially on the small stage at Hale.  I have to say this was my first time attending Hale Centre Theatre and I have heard much about their stage and many configurations it can achieve.  They do use it with wonderful economy in this production.  All the different movements of the stage fit the action and story well and do help create some wonderful stage moments, such as “Close Every Door to Me.”

Joseph, being a through-sung production with very little spoken dialogue, needs strong singers to really carry it off, and this cast exceeds the challenge.  Music director Kelly DeHaan has created a very cohesive sound from the chorus of brothers and wives.  The principals are also very talented singers.  Angela Jeffries as the narrator has a very clear strong voice and was wonderful in her solo numbers.  Casey Elliot as Joseph is also a strong soloist and certainly looks the part of Joseph, as we’ve come to expect him to look.  On the night I went he did have a few pitch problems early on with some high notes, but that was remedied before intermission and the aforementioned “Close Every Door” was excellent. Also, Potiphar and Pharaoh as played by DRU were almost too over the top, but that’s what makes those roles so much fun.  His facial expressions were very fun to watch.

Costumes by Jolene Ashcraft and Tamara Clayton were stunning, as you would expect, especially for the Potiphar and Pharaoh scenes.  And I have to compliment Hale Centre and their sound designer, Dan Morgan, for achieving the seemingly impossible.  This is the first time I have been to a show that had prerecorded music and miked actors that the sound was not painfully loud or unbalanced between music and singers.  Every word was clear and understandable.

I do need to give a few humble critiques on the show, however.  And most of these are all personal hang-ups and probably won’t affect any other theater-goer.  I was disappointed that there was not a children’s chorus in the show.  I realize that the real estate of the stage at Hale is dear, but I really missed that aspect of the show.  Bringing on a few kids from the audience in the prologue was a poor substitute.  Also, why do we seem to feel the need to put the long wavy wig on Joseph?  Not one other person on that stage had a similar hair style, and it looks like an attempt to copy Donny Osmond. Also, while this production is fun, it seems a bit too familiar, and lacked any real “WOW” factor that would cause me to rave about it.

With those few critiques, I must say that it is a fun show, and a cut above the average Joseph you see in Utah.  Hale knows their product and delivers a solid show with many bright spots.  I do really like this show on its own merits.  I think the message of forgiveness is beautifully told in this show and I always get a little chocked up at the end when Joseph reveals himself to his brothers.  Hale has once again provided a first-class production of Joseph.

Hale Centre Theatre presents Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat through Sept. 24th Monday-Saturday evenings at 7:30 pm with Saturday matinees at 12:30 and 4:00 pm.  Tickets are $15-$26, and are available by calling the box office at 801-984-9000 or at www.halecentretheatre.org.

One More Ticket Giveaway!

This giveaway is restricted to Utah residents only!

To have a clear and complete understanding of this giveaway check out the terms below.

  • The winner will emailed and announced on our Facebook Page and on the UTBA homepage. They will have have exactly 1 week to reply. If we don’t receive the response, the prize will be given to someone else.
  • It is possible to enter your name into the giveaway many times (see below).
  • To have a valid entry, you must follow the entry rules and leave a valid email address
  • The giveaway will end on the Thursday, August 18th2011 at Midnight.
  • To increase your chances of winning, make sure to tell your friends and peers.

How to Enter:

  1. Entering the giveaway is simple and takes only 30 seconds. Register by connecting to our giveaway widget below using Facebook; for each step you complete you’ll earn a giveaway entry:
  2. Like the giveaway by clicking on the Facebook Like button (+1 entry)
  3. Become a Utah Theater Bloggers fan on Facebook (+1 entry)
  4. Leave a comment about anything below. (+1 entry)
  5. Tweet about the giveaway (+1 entry)
  6. Unlimited bonus entries by pasting your invite link everywhere you can: – for every friend that clicks the link you Tweeted in step 4 you’ll earn +1 entries – for every friend that then joins the giveaway you’ll earn +5 entries

Below is the contest box that you will use to enter this contest. Unlike other contest, people try not to tell many of their friends about massive giveaways. However this is totally different. You can do some leg work and increase your chances of winning by sharing this with your friends. The more friends you invite to the giveaway the more entries you’ll earn to win, so start spreading the word!

 

If you’re reading this through Google Reader (or something similar) you’ll actually have to read this post on our site in order to access the Giveaway.

Hale (West Valley) - Joseph - Image 1

 

Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    Am I the only one that is having problems seeing the giveaway box? I have tried opening this article in Firefox, Chrome, and IE to no avail. That being said, this production looks incredible, and I think that that last production photo at the end of the article just ensured that the majority of the female population of Utah will be seeing this production.

  2. I think that you forgot to mention the gorgeous lighting work that was done by a stalwart of Hale, Spencer Brown. The lights were gorgeous! There were lights everywhere, even on Joseph’s coat at the very end. I say very well done to Spencer. It’s the most lights/colors I’ve ever seen in my life in a single show.

  3. williamsdig says:

    Have many family and friends who attend Hale Theater! Even have many locals who perform! Always loved the plays and always loved the theater!

  4. I found out about UTBA through a friend.  I’ve been pretty addicted since.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I really really want to see this! Thanks for doing this contest again! I hope I can win this time! :)

  6. I really want to see this show!! I have heard tickets are sold out :( 

  7. Hale Center Theatre is one of the best places to go to see a show!! I really hope I win these tickets!!!

  8. Thanks UTBA!! I’m so happy that you are doing another giveaway for the show!! I’m crossing my fingers!!!

  9. I have heard that this show is amazing!! Casey Elliot is amazing!!!