Posted by: gdevi | April 9, 2011

“Yeah Yeah Yeah!”

I want to congratulate Dale, all of the theatre department, all the folks in the University Players–our wonderful students–for the highly entertaining, excellent production of *Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,* which had its final performance this evening at the Countdown Theatre. I teach Joseph’s story every Spring in my world lit class when we read excerpts from *The Qur’an*–the Sura of Yusuf, the most beautiful Sura, which in the Qur’anic version is not so much about the patriarch of the Hebrews in Egypt, but about the kernal of power that lies dormant in all of us, and which can be awakened by divine grace and the strength of community, however alone you are or your community is. It is an important story. Dale and his players have updated this old musical along these lines for our times. It was sweet and subtle to hear the play open to the Flaming Lips song “Yeah Yeah Yeah” which asks the question:

“If you could blow up the world with the flick of a switch would you do it?
If you could make everybody poor just so you could be rich would you do it?
If you could watch everybody work while you just lay on your back would you do it?
If you could take all the love without giving any back would you do it?
And so we cannot know ourselves or what we’d really do
With all your power . . .”

This production really showcased the creative power of our students, the strength of it and what they can achieve under imaginative guidance. Musicals are challenges anyway, and it was great to see them play this show in a way that was neither straight nor camp, but the stylized theatrical clown/ fool persona complete with the red-noses, who are actually saying important things along with being funny if we listen carefully. These were vivacious performances: all the numbers by the narrator Amanda Eriksen–gorgeous voice!–and the totally wacky One more Angel in Heaven by Jacob’s sons, Benjamin’s calypso, Joseph’s Grovel Grovel and Who’s The Thief?. I must admit to a preference to Caleb’s piece de resistance Those Canaan Days; totally sweet performance!

Very nice work, Dale and all! We completely enjoyed ourselves. The musicians down in the orchestra pit were wonderful as well; overall just a beautiful performance! Thank you!

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