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|Adam Hollick and Ensemble. (c) 5-Star Theatricals.
Adam Hollick‘s Joseph has descended into Thousand Oaks with some of the most heavenly voices this side of the Mississippi, including his own rich baritone and that angelic soprano Laura Dickinson as Narrator for a brief two weekend performance at the T.O. Civic Arts Plaza.
As always, 5-Star Theatricals (formerly Cabrillo Music Theatre) attracts the cream of the crop to their roster and rounds out their cast with very talented regional performers of whom many end up landing national stardom such as former shout-outs Adam Lambert and Stephanie J. Block.
With hip-hop Dave Scott choreographing this autumn production the audience was sure to be expecting some groundbreaking creativity and a higher level of dance talent from the ensemble. Both were true. Not messing with the show’s already unique and groundbreaking musicality (switching from country to Afro-Carribean, etc.) Scott was able to incorporate hip-hop into many of the brothers’ scenes and of course the crowd favorite Mega-Mix finale when the ensemble looked as if dancing on steroids — so much energy! so many great moves!
Patrick Cassidy as the Pharaoh was one of the biggest delights on opening night having the audience in stitches and sometimes clapping along due to his fabulous Second act cameo as an Elvis impersonating Pharaoh complete with blue kneepads, blue Dock Martins, a black wig, great comedic timing, and his famous mesmerizing voice. I especially loved the little moments where he was both demonstrating how to be cool to Joseph and also competing with the Joseph for the ladies’ attention which might remind people of when he was himself Joseph in the late US national tour.
|Patrick Cassidy and Ensemble. (c) 5-Star Theatricals.
As previously mentioned, Adam Hollick was a gorgeous surprise as Joseph. A former Azusa Pacific University graduate, Adam has a gorgeous and sometimes even operatic baritone Voice that makes his rendition of “Close Every Door” one of the best that I have personally ever heard or seen. As I have said before 5-Star Theatricals is known for helping to launch their stars’ careers nationwide and I have no doubt that Hollick is going to be going places far and wide.
Only Disappointment Was…
My only complaint with this production that has continued to be a bone of contention as I write, or rather dictate, this review has got to be the costume and directional choices made for Laura Dickinson‘s Narrator. As you can see in the first photograph, Dickinson is dressed in a light blue gown that strongly resembles the blue fairy from Pinocchio legend. Because of the directional choices made, perhaps to accommodate Dickinson who is better known as a vocal contractor and voice actor (?), she seemed to be but a distant onlooker to the production. Mind you, one distant onlooker with a tremendous voice.
She hardly had any interactions with either Hollick or Cassidy unlike other Narrators who have had a jovial chemistry with their own Pharaoh and Joseph (sometimes providing Joseph with a friend throughout the show) but always interacting with at least the children’s chorus. Another weird thing about the direction of Dickinson was that on several occasions my girlfriend and I noticed it was as if she was magically pulling on invisible strings to manipulate the actors into jumping into song (such as just prior to “Benjamin Calypso”). But that amazing and scrumptious voice thankfully makes up for a lot of those nitpicks. What a voice!
With only 8 performances left, I strongly encourage you to escape from the ugly world we find ourselves living in and find some solace and comfort in 5-Star Theatricals happy and energetic production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat! The singing from the smallest child to the leading trio is very special and the dancing and catchy Andrew Lloyd Webber beats have you wanting to clap along. And thankfully this is a production that the entire family can enjoy. Thank you, 5-Star Theatricals!
Disclaimer: I had my ticket comped for review purposes but all opinions are my own.