OFF BEAT

OFFBEAT: Broadway's 'Joseph' back with fun, youthful appeal

Phil Potempa's daily entertainment news column
2014-03-22T00:00:00Z OFFBEAT: Broadway's 'Joseph' back with fun, youthful appealBy Philip Potempa philip.potempa@nwi.com, (219) 852-4327 nwitimes.com

Chicago audiences are being treated to the first glimpses and grandeur of the new national Broadway tour of "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat," starring Ace Young and Diana DeGarmo, both favorites from previous seasons of "American Idol."

Broadway In Chicago and the Independent Presenters Network launched this month's 2014 national tour of "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat," directed and so fresh and creatively choreographed by Tony Award-winner Andy Blankenbuehler, in Cleveland last week. It's now in the Windy City to play the Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 W Randolph, for a two-week run concluding March 30.

The duo of Young and DeGarmo and their matching smiles and entertaining stage enthusiasm are a natural fit for the leading roles of the popular Andrew Lloyd Webber musical. (It also happens to be Webber's birthday today.)

DeGarmo, who is also married to Young, has a few shaky voice moments. "Joseph" is a wonderful musical tale that owes part of its magic to the clever story that is told through the song lyrics, some of which are lost when DeGarmo's stage persona leans too heavily on over-performance rather than a more understated narration.

Young embraces the title role with zest, though, he too is still getting used to walking in the famed sandals of the famous biblical bro that is Joseph.

For this run, the brood of brothers have some unmatched starring moments that shine bright, even though they are minus their brothers contrasting colored coat.

Brian Golub as Reuben is in fine form as brother Reuben leading the musical number "There's One More Angel in Heaven." And Paul Castree nearly steals the second act as brother Simeon for "Those Canaan Days."

William Thomas Evans stars as Jacob/Potiphar and Will Mann is Judah.

I was less impressed with Ryan Williams as the "Elvis-inspired" Pharaoh. Something seemed to be lacking for the character who usually brings down the house for the big opening number of Act II

The signature song, "Any Dream Will Do," as performed by Young, is heartfelt, while his "Close Every Door" wasn't as emotionally charged as expected.

This tour offers a visual feast, featuring scenic design by Beowulf Boritt, costume design by Jennifer Caprio, lighting design by Howell Binkley, sound design by John Shivers and David Patridge, dreamy and highly imaginative projection and video design by Daniel Brodie, music supervision by David Kreppel and music direction by Wayne Green.

Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday (with an additional 2 p.m. performance March 26), 7:30 Friday and 2 and 8 p.m. Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays (with an additional 7:30 p.m. performance March 23). Tickets are $15 to $72 FYI: (800) 775-2000 or BroadwayInChicago.com or josephthemusical.com/ustour

The opinions expressed are solely those of the writer. He can be reached at philip.potempa@nwi.com or (219) 852-4327.

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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