Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2020-06-24
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

'Joseph' a flaming triumph
by Catey Sullivan, review and analysis
2018-01-27

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


The opening night reminder for the Drury Lane's Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat came with a caveat: "( T )his production of 'Joseph' includes adult content." Anyone passingly familiar with the squeaky-clean retelling of the Old Testament tale probably did a double-take. What hath director Alan Souza wrought? How could one of musical theater's most wholesome shows possibly contain "adult content"?

I'll tell you what Souza hath wrought: Something fabulous. His "Joseph" sounds good, looks great, is immensely entertaining and is also—arguably I suppose—the gayest show in all the land. There are performances by Cher on a trapeze, Liza in a pink Cadillac, Britney with a boa constrictor draped over her shiny green bikini, Elton on a bedazzled piano and Bette, suggestively flopping her mermaid tail on a bed of sea-shell pink. There is also Shania, Dolly, Celine, Barbra, Bernadette, Patti, Liberace and Siegfried and Roy.

Joseph spends most of the first act in his underwear and most of the second act in a silver skort. Ryan Park's costumes make the male ensemble members look like they all just placed in the International Mr. Leather Pageant and the women like they're moonlighting from dominatrix duties in an upscale dungeon. Were it any more intentionally flaming, you'd have to call in firefighters.

Word is there have been complaints at the box office. This is not surprising. The Drury Lane is nestled in ultra-conservative DuPage County. Reportedly, some of the residents of this staunch Trumplandia have demanded refunds. To which I say: Get the fuck over yourself. As Liza says in the second act: "Mama would have loved this show." If it's good enough for Judy, it ought to be good enough for you. If the show makes you feel the need to demand a refund I'd advise you to look into medical marijuana.

Souza's re-imagining is set at the Luxor Hotel, in Las Vegas. Joseph unpacks, checks out the room, takes a long leak, gives a subtle chuckle at the Bible stashed in the nightstand and crawls into bed. The next thing he knows, a phalanx of buff, singing, dancing chorus boys are somersaulting out of the mini-bar while a woman with a pyramid on her head flips through the aforementioned Bible. Joseph calls security.

So begins Joseph's epic Vegas vacation. Is he hallucinating? Is he drunk? Is he dreaming? Who gives a shit. By the time Britney shows up, Joseph is having a ball and you will be, too.

Usually, Joseph is anchored by a primly charming narrator who trills sweetly through the key plot points: Doting father Jacob gives Joseph a colored coat. Jacob's brothers get fratricidal and jealous. They sell Joseph into slavery. Joseph gains favor with Pharaoh. Joseph reunites with his repentant siblings. ( Sorry/not sorry if that's a spoiler. The story is over 2,000 years old. )

Souza has cast celebrity impersonation maestro Christina Bianco as the narrator. In shape-shifting Britney to Cher to Dolly, Bianco takes the show's exposition to what Tyra would call "next level fierce." Here's how good Bianco is: I didn't realize the same person was playing Bette/Celine/Shania et al until the last 40 minutes of the two-hour ( including intermission ) show. Which reminds me: Do not leave before the curtain call. Bianco gives a reprise that'll have you smacking your head in wonderment. At one point, she morphs into a dozen different celebrities while singling only the words "la la la." It's a true tour de force.

As Joseph, Evan Alexander Smith is terrific. He's got a belt ( "Close Every Door" ) as mighty as Joshua's trumpet at Jericho and a marvelous sense of comic timing. Under music director Alan Bukowiecki, the show sounds terrific, particularly in the all-male ensemble numbers. "Those Canaan Days" will have you absolutely wallowing, Mooney-eyed, in the luxuriance of its harmonies.

Scenic design Kevin Depinet's set starts out looking like a replica of Pink Floyd's Dark Side of Moon album, and then opens up into a picture-perfect rendition of mid-rate hotel room. Lighting designer Lee Fiskness and projection designer Kevan Loney make the show glitter like the Strip at midnight. With Grady McLeod Bowman's inventive choreography, the whole shebang amounts to a Bible story that's as entertaining as, well, a Vegas headliner.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat continues through March 25 at the Drury Lane, Oakbrook Terrace, 100 Drury Lane, Oakbrook Terrace. Tickets are $47-$62. For more information, call ( 630 ) 530-0111 or go to drurylanetheatre.com .


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Pride Films and Plays announces new leadership (PRESS RELEASE) 2020-07-03 - Chicago, IL - The Board of Directors of Pride Films and Plays has voted to bring new leadership to the company, effective immediately. ...


Gay News

Broadway suspends shows through 2020 2020-06-30 - The Broadway League announced June 29 that Broadway performances in New York City will be suspended through the remainder of 2020 due to ...


Gay News

'Magic Parlour at Home' during July 2020-06-28 - Magician Dennis Watkins is taking his experience The Magic Parlour online for a completely new virtual offering dubbed "The Magic Parlour at Home." ...


Gay News

CHF talk to feature Abby McEnany and Samantha Irby 2020-06-24 - Actor Abby McEnany and writer Samantha Irby will have a conversation in a Chicago Humanities Festival digital program that will take place Thursday, ...


Gay News

THEATER Despite everything, there are shows for Pride Week 2020-06-24 - It's almost impossible to write about the indelible events of 2020 ( which is still not quite half over ) without diminishing them. ...


Gay News

Raven Theatre names new managing director 2020-06-24 - Following a nationwide search, Raven Theatre's board of directors announced Markie Gray as the company's new managing director, effective July 1. Originally from ...


Gay News

47th Non-Equity Jeff Awards announces honorees 2020-06-22 - June 22, 2020 — Chicago — As part of the annual recognition of theater excellence, the 47th Non-Equity Jeff Awards has announced honorees ...


Gay News

'That's Queer, Grandma' June 22-July 6 2020-06-17 - PlayMakers Laboratory ( PML ) celebrates Pride Month virtually with a free presentation of That's Queer, Grandma—a romp through student-written stories that at ...


Gay News

COVID-19 Mercury Theater permanently closing 2020-06-17 - Executive Director L. Walter Stearns and partner, business manager Eugene Dizon, announced the permanent closure of Mercury Theater Chicago after 10 years and ...


Gay News

The Last Sunday in June online live reading June 28 2020-06-16 - Chicago, IL - Jonathan Tolins' look at gay life in the 1990s - THE LAST SUNDAY IN JUNE — will be performed via ...


 



Copyright © 2020 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor


 



About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.