Phenomenal Pharaoh at Centre Theatre

Mariam Grigoryan

As the lights dimmed, the Glendale Centre Theatre (GCT) in the round, became silent. Blackout. A woman wearing all black, introduced as the narrator, began singing the story of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.”

In the prologue, narrator Jessica Dynice sang of the power that dreams can have and the story of Jacob (James Warnock), his favorite son Joseph (Chanlon Jay Kaufman) and the 11 envious sons. Then the sons were introduced (“Jacob and Sons”).

The audience becomes aware of Jacob’s favoritism of Joseph when he gives him a colorful coat (“Joseph’s coat”).?Tired of being?second in the eyes of Jacob, the 11 sons plot to sell Joseph as a slave (“Poor, Poor Joseph”) and tell their father that he died (“One More Angel in Heaven”).

While his father is mourning his death and his brothers are celebrating his absence, Joseph falls in the hands of Potiphar, also played by James Warnock, an Egyptian millionaire. After a misunderstanding with his wife, the angered Potiphar sends Joseph to prison (“Close Every Door”) where he aids two cellmates, a baker and a butler, to tell the meaning of their dreams.

After a 15-minute intermission the scene begins with the Pharaoh, performed by Lance Zitron dressed as Elvis Presley, and sings of his confusing dreams of seven fat cows, seven skinny cows, seven healthy ears of corn, and seven dead ears of corn (“Poor, Poor Pharaoh/Song of the King”). He hears that Joseph would be the man to help him.
Joseph foresees seven years of famine. By helping the king, he gains favor, and becomes the second most powerful man in Egypt.

The famine sends his brothers home to Egypt in hopes of salvation not realizing that they were begging their own brother for help they?were reunied. Joseph sends for his father receives his colorful coat back and the musical ends with a happy note (“Any Dream Will Do”).

“Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” directed and choreographed by Mark Knowles, is a biblical story from the Old Testament book of Genesis. The story was adapted by the collaboration of Andrew Lloyd Webber, music and Tim Rice, lyrics. Musical director Steven Applegate. Costumes were provided by Glendale Costumes and Angela Manke.

Director/choreographer Knowles has done more than 300 productions, including “Beauty and the Beast”, “Camelot” and “Hello Dolly.”
Kaufman (Joseph) has graced the GCT stage as Freddy in “My Fair Lady” and Frederic in “Pirates of Penzance.” The cast included an aspiring 19-year-old Drew Foronda (Asher). His first role after graduating the American Musical and Dramatic Academy.?
Zintron (Pharaoh) gave a spectacular performance, making his role memorable among the other performances. He connected well with the audience, even included one of them in his song. The golden costume and energetic song made it seem as though we were at an Elvis concert.

Dynice integrated her role as a narrator as a part of the cast, interacting with them. Swiftly moving from one end of the theater to the other, she kept the attention of the audience at all times. Her vocals were great, as were her monologues at the beginning and toward the end. Children in the audiance adored her.

The cast carried the props on and off stage quickly, leaving the viewers shocked after the brief blackouts. The theater in the round setting made it a more personalized environment.

Overall a great and enthusiastic cast was put together to bring this intriguing story to life. It takes a lighter look at the biblical story. A few comical lines and a lively performance kept the audience yearning for more.

This musical features ballet, tap dance and folk dance. It is somewhat of a comedy, with the lesson that we must dream big. It runs until April 12, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. at the Glendale Centre Theatre 324 N. Orange St.
For more information call (818) 244-8481. Or visit
My: rating 3 out of 4 stars