A slick, feel-good production of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” made few demands on spectators Tuesday at Civic Center Music Hall — except to enjoy it as pure razzle-dazzle entertainment, which they did.
The touring version of the Tim Rice-Andrew Lloyd Webber vehicle was given a rousing performance that pieced together a lot of music and performance styles, although not as many as the title coat’s 29 colors.
It all began with projections on what looked like a puff of smoke, after which contemporary young people appeared, giving way to Diana DeGarmo, as the Narrator, to tell us her tall tale of the rise, fall and rise again of Joseph. “American Idol” runner-up DeGarmo brought a fine voice and sure stage presence to the part, emphasizing that everyone needs a dream, not just Joseph, who not only has dreams but can interpret them.
William Thomas Evans was jolly and engaging as the family patriarch in “Jacob & Sons,” explaining why he gave Joseph, his favorite, the coat that causes all the trouble.
Brian Golub as Reuben had a field day leading the jealous brothers and the company in the hilarious number “One More Angel in Heaven,” in which they return Joseph’s coat after selling him into slavery. The acrobatic Golub did a good job of triggering the shift from crocodile tears to a wild, hoedown-style celebration, and back again, whenever Jacob retired temporarily to his tent.
But it was Ace Young — another “American Idol” contestant (married to DeGarmo) — who carried the show, bringing a handsome, frequently bared physique and excellent voice to the rock star-like title character. Young also got across Joseph’s emotions, whether he was being smug enough to incite envy, getting seduced by Mrs. Potiphar, acting woebegone in chains, or lording it over his brothers as Pharaoh’s favorite until he forgives them.
Rivaling Young in the rock star department was Ryan Williams, who projected an Elvis Presley in Las Vegas-like panache, wondering what his dream means, in “Poor, Poor Pharaoh,” and celebrating himself in “Song of the King.”
In other strong second act numbers, the brothers admit they actually miss “Those Canaan Days” before they got rid of Joseph, and take blame, led by Will Mann, as Judah, in the charming “Benjamin Calypso.”
Boasting incredible projections as well as glitzy costumes, portable props, smoke and other special effects, plus a pit band led by Wayne Green, the offering by Celebrity Attractions and the Independent Presenters Network is recommended. Briskly directed and choreographed by Andy Blankenbuehler, and lasting only about two hours including an intermission, it shouldn’t be missed during its run.
— John Brandenburg
‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’
•Where: Civic Center Music Hall, 201 N Walker Ave.
•When: 7:30 p.m. Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday; 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Sunday.
•Tickets: $25 to $60.
•Information: Call 297-2264 or (800) 869-1451 or go to www.celebrityattractions.com.