Playing thru August 13, 2010

COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS — The Cottonwood Heights Arts Council, which is only about two years old, has chosen Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice, to be its first production. Joseph is a beloved musical, especially to Utah audiences. Thoughts of Donny Osmond and past productions are not far when you hear another group will soon be putting on the show.  Did Cottonwood Heights Arts Council deliver?

For me, they definitely did! With a 30 piece live orchestra behind them, this cast of over 50 people—ranging in age 3 to adult—gave a beautiful representation of the play.

A few highlight performances for me were those of the Casey Matern (Narrator), Craig Clifford (Joseph), Jason Wadsworth (Judah), C. Pehrson (Simeon) and the children’s choir. Watching preschooler Abigail Barlow singing “Go, Go, Go Joseph” was the highlight of my week. The children’s choir was very impressive. I love watching children perform especially when they are so focused, engaged and have such a beautiful sound.

The best thing about the production was the spot-on live orchestra directed by Thomas C. Baggaley. I especially enjoyed the electric bass solo.

Choreographer Stephanie Maag definitely met (and surpassed) expectations as she featured the cast was doing jazz, hip hop, line dancing and…drill(?).

This production and its cast personify what the musical Joseph and community theater is about, dreams and family. Clifford’s performance as Joseph was one such example.  He returns to the stage after a 16 year hiatus with his son, Alex. His natural acting style and beautiful voice makes me hope we will be seeing more of him in the future.

Directed well by Kate Rufener, this is community theater where cast and crew become like a family working toward a common goal. If you are expecting lavish costumes and sets you will be disappointed. If you want to see a solid performance with energetic actors and a fantastic live orchestra you will be delighted to attend this production in Cottonwood Heights.

Congratulations C.H. Arts Council on your first production! Keep on dreaming!

The CHAC is also having a quilt exhibit called “The Amazing Technicolor Quilts of Cottonwood Heights” displayed in the east lobby of the school.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat plays through August 13th at Brighton High School located at 2220 Bengal Blvd in Cottonwood Heights.  Tickets are $6-7 and may be purchased at the door.  More information on the Cottonwood Heights Arts Council can be found on their website.