Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at The Shows Must Go On! Online
As the coronavirus lockdown continues into its fourth month, many families have turned to the arts for respite from the boredom and monotony of daily life. Though in-person events such as plays and screenings are no longer possible, an abundance of online alternatives have helped entertain the masses. One such example is the online theatre-streaming series The Shows Must Go On. Their encore of the well-loved Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat makes for a lively and colourful final show before their brief summer hiatus.
The 1999 film adaptation of the Andrew Lloyd Webber West End classic spins the Biblical story of Joseph into a vibrant musical. Jealous of Joseph’s favour with their father Jacob, Joseph’s 11 brothers sell him into slavery and tell Jacob that Joseph died. Even after a misunderstanding leads to Joseph’s incarceration, his prophesying prowess lands him a job with the Pharaoh while Joseph’s starving family begins a journey to Egypt in search of food. Despite the rather heavy subject matter, Joseph is hilarious and light-hearted. Donny Osmond makes a convincing Joseph, Maria Feldman is a riveting narrator and Robert Torti is comical as the Elvis-impersonating Pharaoh.
This production explores a variety of musical styles, from the emotional ballad Close Every Door to the uplifting Go, Go, Go Joseph and the steel-drummed Benjamin Calypso. Joseph is no Phantom of the Opera or Les Misérables, but it is a wickedly whimsical kaleidoscope of entertaining characters and dance-worthy numbers.
The film – directed by David Mallet – is wholly enjoyable, if not a little dated. Some of the outfits and most of the special effects reveal the age of the production, but the late 90s kitsch only augments the experience. A couple of scenes are a little uncomfortable to watch 20 years on, especially when considering the age of the intended audience. In general, however, this busy and bold movie is undeniably engaging.
While Joseph is by no means a serious musical feat, the songs and characters are enjoyable enough to merit endless encores. Though the live aspect was dearly missed, the ability of thousands of strangers worldwide to chat live as they viewed the film made the experience much more memorable. Joseph is a great, fast-paced escape from reality that is sure to entertain viewers of all ages.
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is at The Shows Must Go On’s YouTube channel from 10th July until 12th July 2020. For further information or to book visit the theatre’s website here.
Watch the teaser for Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat here: