Stripling

The Biblical story of Joseph and his coat of many colors was brought to life by the Baytown Little Theater. They outdid themselves with the production of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” 

I attended the last show on Sunday and was blown away by the performance of the Old Testament story in Genesis of the most beloved son of Jacob who was betrayed by his jealous brothers and sold into slavery.  

This musical was what they call “sung-through,” meaning that there were very few spoken words. With music by Andrew Lloyd Webber (best known for Phantom of the Opera, Cats, and Evita) and lyrics by Tim Rice, how could it not speak to your heart? 

Jessica Clemmons Peavey did a tremendous job as the narrator who is telling the story of Joseph to a children’s Sunday School class, encouraging them to follow their dreams, as Joseph did. Her gorgeous voice sang the entire narrative.  Having performed for BLT in earlier years, she took time off from touring with a band in Europe to be in the show. 

Brian Minton, in his first appearance on the BLT stage, was phenomenal as Joseph. From elementary school through college, he played the piano, the French horn, and for a while, majored in Vocal Performance at U of H.  His talent was perfectly showcased in the powerful songs of the leading role in this wonderful musical.

I was expecting the dramatic, haunting music of Webber as in “Jesus Christ Superstar,” or “Phantom of the Opera,” but found it to be fun, lighthearted tunes instead. 

I counted at least four different musical genres in the production. There was country music in the beginning, Elvis and rock and roll when king Potiphar was telling his dream, French cabaret when the brothers were missing Joseph, and Calypso when one of the brothers, asking Joseph for help, put on a Carmen Miranda headdress of fruit. Then dancers came out in ruffled Caribbean costumes.

There were about twenty children to whom the narrator was telling the story. Dressed in school uniforms with khaki bottoms and solid colored tops, they fully participated in the entire show.  They all sang, danced, and acted. And they all seemed to be enjoying every minute of it.  A few of the older girls were showcased in some of the dances and songs. Two of them surprised the audience when they came out in banana costumes and danced around during the calypso segment.

What made the production so special was that everyone in the cast seemed to be having the time of their life. There was a camel (two people in a suit), cheerleaders, mummies (as from a tomb), a golden chariot with huge gold wings, and lots of other neat props. 

All those that sang had fantastic voices. Who knew that Baytown had so much talent?  Next summer they are going to do the musical “Mama Mia.” That will be something to look forward to, as well as the other BLT performances during the year.

It was a wonderful way to spend the afternoon. A big round of applause should be given for the directing of Jim Wadzinski, and the work of the other production staff as well.  The show was delightful.  Now that’s what I call Entertainment with a capital “E.”

A former longtime Baytown resident, Ginger Stripling now lives in Mont Belvieu. She can be reached at viewpoints@baytownsun.com,

Attention: Ginger Stripling. 

 

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