Bravo!! The Barrington High School cast and crew did Andrew Lloyd Webber proud last weekend with their production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. I was there on Saturday night and thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it.
Liam Boyle in the role of Joseph stunned the crowd with his captivating vocals. I’ve never heard a high school boy sing that well…ever. He never missed an opportunity to let his voice soar out over the crowd. Kudos to his voice teacher, Ron Arden! The boy knows how to sing. Every line was pure spun gold.
Every brother stepped up. Each guy got lost in his character, sang well (especially in “Those Canon Days”), moved remarkably well, and had way too much fun!! Dillon Davey was exceptional as Judah. He understood every style nuance, had great comedic timing, and his spread eagles were to die for! Another stand-out was Greg Myren as Rueben – dependable vocals and comfortable stage presence.
There were several other lesser roles where students performed well. The narrator role was shared by three girls. Sydney Bakal had a nice chest belt and beautiful tone, Sierra Fermin a passionate command of her head belt, and Mary Furlong a very pleasant classical sound. Graeme Mahon as Pharoah filled the bill as a believable Elvis impersonator, even though the role seemed a bit low for him.
Costumes were positively gorgeous. There was one great outfit after another – the peasantry of Joseph’s family to the glitz and bling of Pharoah’s court. Loved the gold wigs. They really popped on stage. Make-up was extreme for Pharoah’s court. The bright colors and glittered shadows really made the already glamorous costumes even more convincing. Nicely done!
The set was nothing short of amazing. All of the many levels were lined with lights that masterfully alternated off and on, catching everyone by surprise. Because there were so many levels to the set, the stage looked fuller than usual. Props were minimal, but fun. Sheep and a camel on wheels got a surprised chuckle from the audience.
The show’s choreography was particularly engaging, some of the best I’ve seen in a while. The cast seemed to thoroughly enjoy how easily it fit into the many musical styles that Webber chose to incorporate. I kept waiting for the ensemble to use the aisles on some of the bigger numbers. Pit was weak on the overture, but supported the cast well once they got into it.
As in every show, new friendships are formed and existing friendships strengthened. It’s inevitable when you spend that much time working together. I’m sure the cast will have to work through a bit of melancholy now that the show is over. Special shout out to Bel Canto students who participated: Jessica Shimp (ensemble), Milana Carse (girl with the Narrator), Ellison Matta (children’s chorus), and Isabelle Millan (props). Several alums were also part of the show: Cali Larkin (assistant director), Lizzie Kaboski (Potiphar’s wife), Shivani Bhogaraju (Napthali’s wife), Ashley Migliore (baker), Grace Guthrie (ensemble), Lexi Schmid (ensemble), and Abby Baer (set crew).
~ Respectfully submitted, Jeanie Carter