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‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’ brings high-voltage song and dance to La Mirada


Chris McCarrell (Joseph, center) with ensemble in La Mirada Theatre and McCoy Rigby Entertainment's "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" (Photo by Jason Niedle)

As one of its songs goes, “Strange as it seems, there’s been run of crazy dreams” in Egypt, but also in the City of La Mirada, thanks to a vibrant production of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s musical “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” at La Mirada Theatre, continuing through June 25.


Produced by McCoy Rigby Entertainment, directed and choreographed by Gerry McIntyre and full of spirited talent, this “Joseph” offers fast-paced, tongue-in-cheek fun that will have you grinning from ear to ear the entire time.


Webber and Rice’s 1968 musical—their first performed—tells the Biblical story of young dreamer Joseph through a pastiche of genres, including catchy pop, country-western (“One More Angel in Heaven/Hoedown”), calypso, French ballad (“Those Canaan Days”) and the Elvis-inflected “Song of the King,” performed here with a lively orchestra directed by Jennifer Lin.

Ensemble cast of La Mirada Theatre and McCoy Rigby Entertainment's "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" (Photo by Jason Niedle)

And McIntyre’s creative choreography fits each song perfectly, executed with verve and precision by two dozen performers who make multiple colorful costume changes (designed by Adam Ramirez, with hair and makeup by Kaitlin Yagen and Madison Medrano). These elements come together exceptionally well in the upbeat throwback number, “Go, Go, Go Joseph,” with psychedelic patterns, go-go boots and vivacious 60s-style dance.


The stage itself is kept aglow with fluorescent-colored backdrops and other lighting effects (designed by Jean-Yves Tessier), with sets ranging from a “Jacob & Sons” tent in Canaan to gigantic golden pharaoh statues in Egypt.


Joseph, the favorite of Jacob’s twelve sons, and to whom Jacob bequeaths a coat of many colors, is doomed to a slave’s life in Egypt due to his brothers’ jealousy—save for his uncanny ability to gain favoritism and interpret dreams.

Kelli Rabke (Narrator, center) with children's choir in La Mirada Theatre and McCoy Rigby Entertainment's "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" (Photo by Jason Niedle)

Leading us through Joseph’s story is Kelli Rabke as a stellar Narrator, contributing to many of the songs and even some of the action, munching on a turkey leg during the famine in Canaan and sipping a margarita while leading a line dance during “Benjamin Calypso.” Throughout, Rabke delights with her melodic voice and expressive delivery.


Chris McCarrell similarly charms as a lanky Joseph with a winning smile and resonant voice, capturing the lyrical whimsy of “Any Dream Will Do” as well as the poignant melancholy of “Close Every Door.” All the other dynamic performers—as brothers, wives and others—exude enthusiasm with every move, charging the stage with their energy.

Chris McCarrell (Joseph, center) with children's choir in La Mirada Theatre and McCoy Rigby Entertainment's "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" (Photo by Jason Niedle)

Standouts include Kurt Kemper for his exuberant dancing as the pharaoh’s butler; Ellie Barrett as the statuesque Mrs. Potiphar, smitten with Joseph while he serves her rich husband Potiphar (played by Peter Allen Vogt, using his comic timing well); and Daniel Dawson as the Elvis-esque pharaoh, a bit mumbly, but making even the Narrator blush like a schoolgirl with his hips.

Daniel Dawson (Pharaoh, center left) and Chris McCarrell (Joseph, center right)center) with ensemble in La Mirada Theatre and McCoy Rigby Entertainment's "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" (Photo by Jason Niedle)

In another memorable ensemble number, Josh Grisetti as Joseph’s brother Simeon leads the other brothers in a hilariously Frenchified “Those Canaan Days”—“Those Canaan days we used to know / Where have they gone? / Where did… they go?”— the men sustaining the word “did” for an unusually long time, and enjoying audience applause for an unusually long time as well.


Ensemble cast of La Mirada Theatre and McCoy Rigby Entertainment's "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" (Photo by Jason Niedle)

Billed as a family-friendly production and featuring a lovely children’s choir (directed by Sarah Grandpre), the story is inspiring and funny, but nonetheless includes attempted fratricide, bondage and seduction—stemming as it does from the Bible—though with a playful tone throughout.


The musical is also short enough to allow time for most of the songs to be reprised in a spectacular revue-style “Megamix” at the end, the performers singing and dancing in sparkly modern costume, giving it their all in a final, joyous sendoff.

Kelli Rabke (Narrator, center) with ensemble in La Mirada Theatre and McCoy Rigby Entertainment's "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" (Photo by Jason Niedle)

In these ways and more, this production of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” shines brightly like the high-voltage stage lights that sweep over the audience at times, dimming only enough to allow emotional depth and meaning. In other words, it’s one of the best parties you’ll have been to at a theatre. Go, go, go!


“Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” continues at La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts, 14900 La Mirada Blvd., La Mirada, through June 25, with performances Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., and

Sundays at 1:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Tickets start at $19 and can be purchased by calling the Box Office at (562) 944-9801 or (714) 994-6310, or visiting LaMiradaTheatre.com. Run time is 1 hour and 45 minutes, including intermission.



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