Over the past eight years I have seen several Endicott Performing Arts Center productions, and without hesitation Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is the very best. Andrew Lloyd Weber and Tim Rice’s musical is uniquely produced with a cast representing the wide diversity of all those associated with EPAC, including the children’s chorus.
Director Patrick Foti has given the play its Broadway interpretation with the special addition of what only a talented community theatre can do in these economic times – a large cast. Add to this the talent of several of the company’s lead performers, and you have an outstanding production.
Rachel Hucko, the narrator, took command of the stage from her first note and never gave it up. She is both a remarkable actor and talented singer bringing to this role the many variations of emotion demanded by the authors. She tied it all together. Hucko also has learned the special talent of supporting and keeping the focus on the other leads and company. Hers was an outstandingly consistent performance.
Joshua Smith’s Joseph was both arrogant and humble as needed. His physical looks and voice are perfect for this role. In the second act, he brought the vitality and energy required of this role, giving the storyline the twist and turns of its intrigue, mystery and emotions.
There were several unique and attention-drawing performances by cast members. Simon Hucko’s cowboy interpretation of “One More Angel” was noteworthy for its pure entertainment value as well as his delivery and voice. Also deserving special note were Jeff Tagliaferro’s creation of Elvis (a great audience pleaser), Del Caraway’s Italian storytelling and Matt Gaska’s Calypso number. To illustrate the power of a good chorus, Aaron Sargeant sang but two solo lines, but his voice is so perfect that it filled those moments with a much-needed message sung with rare vocal talent. Throughout the play, the children’s chorus was always on stage, providing the vocal support that made this production the success it is.
The set and lighting were original, supportive and well executed. Costumes were special, giving the entire production the glamour and glitz required. The orchestra led by Maureen Helms was excellent.
Joseph opened last weekend (April 13-15) at EPAC’s Robert Eckert Theatre, 102 Washington Ave., Endicott. The run continues this weekend with performances 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday (April 20, 21) and 3 p.m. Sunday (April 22). Call 785-8903 or visit www.EndicottArts.com.