19 April “13
Last night the kids and I attended a preview performance of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat at the Regent on Broadway. That’s Broadway, Palmerston North, New Zealand. And we really enjoyed it. This was a ‘family and friends’ complimentary performance/final rehearsal type deal, Mum’s in the cast. (Thanks for the tickets, Mum!) We are far from a regular theater goers – though each time I see a show I ask myself why we don’t go more often.
I always enjoy any excuse to visit the Regent. I have fond memories of sitting with my school friend and watching movies in the Stalls, with the whole floor to ourselves. Anne’s Dad was a good friend of the theater manager, back when it used to be a movie theater – we had the Stalls to ourselves because all the other patrons sat in the upstairs Circle seating. The manager used to tell us the story of the Lady in the Blue Coat who haunted the theater, a benign figure who had been seen by many people over the years. All very cool for a pair of teenage girls.
Since the theater has been restored it is more beautiful than ever. It surely must rival any theater in the country. From the Foyer and the Grand Staircase to the Auditorium it is olde worlde opulence at its very best. Dear old Palmy has a habit of hiding its light under a bushel, so to speak. The city has a reputation around the country for being provincial and rather backward. In fact we have a thriving and vibrant arts community, if only some of those ‘others’ would bother to come and have a look around. As a child I recall seeing The Sound of Music, Annie and Chess all at the old Opera House. I’ve attended the Royal New Zealand Ballet’s performance of Swan Lake, the fantastic Beauty and the Beast musical, the NZ Comedy Festival came to town and had us in stitches, all at the Regent on Broadway. I’ve even twice taken school excursions to performances by the NZ Symphony Orchestra. Here’s a sample:-
Trish-Trash Polka from Carmen NZSO
“One of the most enduring shows of the theater world returns to the Regent on Broadway in 2013. Sit back and let yourself be entertained by the stunning cast, brilliant costumes and catchy tunes such as Any Dream Will Do and Those Canaan Days. Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat is an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical with lyrics by Tim Rice. The story is based on the “coat of many colors” story of Joseph from the Bible’s Book of Genesis.”
I have never seen “Joseph” before, did not know anything about it expect that it’s based on a Bible story. I get the feeling that maybe a lot of the audience were equally uninitiated – at one point you could almost hear a collective holding of breath as we waited for the next part of the story to unfold.
Beautiful voices and music always affects me emotionally, much to my embarrassment. So when Joseph began to sing Any Dream Will Do I’m afraid I shed a tear. Eh.
Of course I wasn’t allowed to take any photos or video during the performance, so here’s Donny Osmond’s version from the official Lloyd Webber website.
The kids, the Children’s Choir, were great. Full of energy, fun and enthusiasm. The three young singers who performed solos did really well, though it was a pity we couldn’t hear one girl properly as her microphone was not working. Especially as I think she may have had the best voice of the lot (we could hear her a little bit because we were seated very near the front).
Pharaoh stole the show, his Seven Cows number got the biggest applause and the most whistles.
Joseph and the Narrator were wonderful throughout, the Brothers and their Wives along with all the rest of the cast were fantastic. And I have to say very brave considering how brief and revealing some of the costumes are. The whole lot were backed up by the off stage choir, who did a great job of strengthening the sound. A huge “Well done” to you all. Also congrats to all the others involved, set design (love the multi-coloured sheep, Billy wanted to take the talking camel home), costume (Joseph’s coat of many colours is awesome), the many technical people and the director, Pat Snoxell.
Despite a few technical glitches, which I’m sure they’ll have fixed by tonight, the show was fantastic. Go along if you’re in town!
I wonder if the Lady in the Blue Coat still treads the boards, or if the renovation prompted her to move on?