|JC McCann as Joseph|
The national tour of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is being presented by Broadway Philadelphia at Kimmel Center’s Merriam Theater through January 3, 2016. This long-running musical has been popular with audiences for decades and this production is one of the best I’ve seen. Special effects get the audience in the mood for the dream themes as projections are swirled in clouds of smoke above Joseph’s (JC McCann) head while he reclines on a bed as the audience members are filing into their seats. There is so much to enjoy about this show. Laura Helm is a gifted narrator as she sings Joseph’s story from his early days with his brother in Canaan through his life in slavery, prison, and as Pharaoh’s right hand man in Egypt. Lighting Designer Howell Binkley is the architect of phenomenal effects using strobe lights throughout the show. Costume Designer Jennifer Caprio has hit a home run with her multiple costume changes for the ensemble and award winning choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler is responsible for the exciting choreography. Video and projections have come to be almost commonplace in the theatre today but Daniel Brodie, video and projection designer, has made the art fresh and awe-inspiring. The young men portraying Joseph’s brothers are all extremely talented and act with lock-step precision in numbers that have them sitting at a dining table. Their rendition of “Those Canaan Days” is particularly funny. The artistic members of the ensemble not only sing but dance a variety of routines and do acrobatic turns as well. JC McCann is in his first national tour but with a voice as dynamic as his, it certainly won’t be his last. A very engaging ending to the production is almost an overture in reverse; many of the stars return to center stage and do a short remix of the songs they have sung during the show. Tickets for the remaining shows may be purchased by calling (215)893-1999, visiting online at kimmelcenter.org, visiting the Kimmel Center Box Office or the Merriam Theater Box Office (open during performances only).