I think I’m still smiling several days after seeing Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre’s dazzling production of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” From the powerful voices, to the impressive dancing and choreography, to the laugh-out-loud humor, to the non-stop energy, this is one of the strongest casts and entertaining shows I’ve seen at Indy’s beloved dinner theatre. Wow!
Headlining the Bible-based Broadway sensation (composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyricist Tim Rice) are the incredible vocal goddess Bridgette Ludlow as the Narrator and the talented TJ Wessel in the title role as Joseph (a role he also played at Beef & Boards in 2017).
In my opinion, the chance to hear Bridgette sing is worth the price of admission. She makes the challenging score sound effortless, and I was on the edge of my seat with my arms covered in goosebumps when she let her powerful voice loose in the Act II opener, “Pharaoh’s Story.” She and TJ sounded gorgeous together as they harmonized in the reprise of “Any Dream Will Do” – more goosebumps! TJ’s rendition of the power ballad “Close Every Door” took its time building up, but then he stepped into the spotlight in the final verse and, wow. The build-up paid off with a strong ending that left the entire theatre ringing with his high, strong vocals. Nicely done!
As the Elvis-inspired Pharaoh, Logan Moore absolutely killed it, just as I expected. He not only mastered the lip-curling, hip-shaking swagger of “The King,” he stopped the show to flirt with a senior patron in the front row, gifting her one of his sweaty silk scarves as a souvenir. (As an Elvis fan, I just want to say – thank you, Logan – thankyouverymuch.) Jeff Stockberger also had me falling out of my seat with his rendition of the eccentric “Potiphar,” and I admired his perfect comedic timing in his other role, as Joseph’s grieving father, Jacob.
I cannot say enough about the rest of the cast: Joseph’s brothers and their wives were a joy to watch and listen to – each one of them had a moment to shine, and numbers such as “Those Canaan Days” and “Benjamin Calypso” gave the ensemble a chance to really show off. I loved seeing what this cast was able to do with director/choreographer Doug King’s fun and fast-paced dance style! Amy Owens really shines the “beautiful but evil” Mrs. Potiphar, a role that came to life with such a gifted and charismatic dancer inhabiting it.
The children’s choir also deserves big kudos – these kids were not only energetic and adorable, they sounded great and were woven into the show in all kinds of creative ways. The Beef & Boards Orchestra, directed by Kristy Templet, was flawless, costumes by Kathy Henry were gorgeous and entertaining, and the set design by Michael Layton worked beautifully, with a rotating pyramid helping move the story along. Wig designer Andrew Elliot gets a special mention for the “wig of many colors” the Narrator wears in the finale “Megamix” – it’s stunning!
My husband had never seen this musical before, and he asked, “Is this show always this good?” The answer is – no. The music and the premise of “Joseph” are always entertaining, but here’s my opinion: It takes a superstar cast of vocalists and talented dancers, plus skilled direction and design, to make a show shine this brightly and colorfully. Congrats to all at Beef & Boards involved with this amazing technicolor dream show! “Go, go, go, Joseph,” and go get your tickets before they sell out!
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is on stage through November 19. Visit beefandboards.com for more information.