The dreamcoat wasn’t the only thing amazing about Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

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Last Thursday, I found my AP Lang class on a slight detour from the lesson plan we hardly ever deviate from to a particularly exhausting after-school activity: the musical. Bedraggled and fatigued, the involved students engaged in an excited, albeit not too lively, conversation and promotion for Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Casually, Ms. Scobell mentioned that she hadn’t been to one of the musicals in close to twenty years, but she planned to catch a showing of this year’s. Despite the nonchalance of the comment, my ears perked up like an attentive puppy’s.

Naturally, if Ms. Scobell was going to see Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, then I, too, would have to make a point to go see it. FHC Theatre program did not disappoint.

Joseph is the favorite of Jacob’s thirteen sons. He has a knack for dream interpretations, and he dreams often. When Jacob gifts Joseph the dreamcoat, the jealousy and annoyance drive the brothers mad, and they sell him into slavery in Egypt.

Joseph’s coat used in FHC’s production is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. The swirling hues were almost hypnotic. The knee-length coat’s tulle would float through the air, suspended. It was a wonderous, weightless mirage. It’s not hard to believe that the brothers were jealous when the audience was just as captivated by it. In fact, there was an ingenious bit of choreography where the coat was splayed out by the brothers around Joseph to show its colors revolving around him like a windmill.

Furthermore, all the costuming and props for the show were incredible. The wives went from homely women draped in long earth-toned dresses to short, flirty dresses with bob haircuts. Moreover, the wives transitioned so smoothly from one role to the next that had you not known it was them, you would have thought each role to be cast to different people.

One standout performance was by Ashlyn Fitch, the narrator. Her omniscient role added more intrigue to the musical. I especially liked the way she danced and interacted with all the brothers during Joseph’s dreams, despite not playing a part in the storyline other than guiding the audience along.

Additionally, Ashlyn’s vocals were dazzling. Perfectly suited to musical theater, her voice was like the tide– rising and falling, swelling and cresting. Her dynamic vocals kept the audience thoroughly enthralled.

Another salient singer was Grace Hudkins during “One More Angel in Heaven.” Playing one of the wives, she sings around the chorus of brothers and wives. Her pure, unwavering voice added a new layer of complexity to the song. This, paired with the partner work and comical twists in the song, made it one of my favorites from the entire musical.

A youth chorus accompanied the FHC high school students on stage during the performance. Adorably dressed as uniformed students, they gathered around the narrator in the opening. Later, they begin to sing quite beautifully for children their age, and they move to the sides. Besides the moment when they take over their white overshirts and expose their vibrant colored shirts underneath during “Joseph’s Coat,” they blend into the background and create a fuller supporting sound.

The background of the stage itself was impressive. Composed of many pieces, the set was a raised platform overlooking the stage. Two sets of rolling staircases offset the middle arch. Depending on the setting, different additional pieces were brought on stage: a pit for Joseph to be thrown into, jail bars for the infamous “Close Every” scene, and the top of a pyramid for Egypt.

All of these aspects made Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat feel like a dream. I loved seeing faces from around the school heavily makeup-ed under the bright lights. Next year’s musical has a lot to live up to.