Monday, May 24, 2004

St. Xavier's 'Joseph' a walking work of art

From a country hoedown to a Caribbean calypso, from the Egyptian pyramids to a French street, St. Xavier High School brought exceptional variety to its performance of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

Rick Coffey played Joseph, ostracized and sold into slavery by his brothers. Coffey brought a great stage presence along with a superior voice to the role. His brothers proved to be an excellent ensemble, with stellar dance numbers and songs, such as "Canaan Days." The brothers Reuben and Levi, played by Matt Borths and Nick Wolterman, stood out with solo songs.

Pharaoh was J.P. Carter, a real entertainer adding an Elvis twist to all of his songs, and humorously interacting with the chorus. The chorus in general was very strong.

The lighting was done well, using a scrim to add a backdrop of color upstage, and setting the mood in a subtle way. The use of outlandish colors at times added to the theme of the show. The sound had problems throughout the performance. At times, actors sounded a bit muffled or as if the microphones were breaking up, but the actors compensated for this. Along with the set came colorful, attractive costumes.

This is obviously a cast and crew with much training and experience, and the large, extravagant Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat was an all-out success.

- Michael Newland,

William Mason High School

The tie-dyed costumes complemented the bright set. The most commendable costume was Joseph's colorful coat, designed and created by Vesper Williams. The final pose of the play, with Joseph's back to the audience, his coat fanned out behind him, left a powerful image.

- Stacy Goldston,

William Mason High School

The interaction between Joseph's brothers was hilarious. From song to song, they livened up the stage with their antics and trickery. From Matt Borths' amusing rendition of "Canaan Days" to the tropical dancing of Joe Moeller as Naphtali in "Benjamin's Calypso," every one of the brothers was creative and unique.

- Rebecca Griffiths,

Taylor High School

The show was narrated by sassy spinners Betsy Holt, Rebecca Dorff, Elise Turner, and Katlyn Mukuda. Candid and playful, the four talented vocalists led the audience and ensemble through an evening of farcical escapades.

- Veronica Siverd,

Cincinnati Country Day

As Joseph, Rick Coffey was believable as the na´ve brother as well as the regal officer. His polished vocals were best showcased in "Any Dream Will Do."

- Melissa Smith-Mallery,

Beechwood High School

The strenuous choreography was showcased throughout the chorus numbers, especially in "Joseph's Coat" and "Go, Go, Go Joe." The entire company demonstrated outstanding vocal ability and blended with the orchestra. "Jacob and Sons" and "Poor Poor Joseph" showcased the vocal talent.

- Nicholas Helton,

Taylor High School

The Greater Cincinnati chapter of Cappies, or Critics and Awards Program, is in its third season, with students writing reviews of other high schools' productions. Today, St. Xavier's "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat." For information on the Cappies' May 25 awards show at the Aronoff Center and the nominees, see

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