Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

Who knew that Joseph and his eleven brothers were really just surf dudes with attitude? Well, not really, but the Align Entertainment production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat certainly offers a fresh take on the treasured musical. And indeed a musical this is, as there is practically no spoken dialogue whatsoever. They’re always singing. And I’m always smiling.

Currently playing at the Michael J. Fox Theatre in Burnaby, this version of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat cycles through a multitude of musical styles as we follow the journey of the guy with the particularly vibrant cloak. You get a spot of jazz here and what might be best described as a reflective French ballad. I thought that was wonderfully done with just enough humor for an otherwise sad subject.

I’d never seen Joseph before and I’m not a religious person, so I wasn’t terribly familiar with the narrative. The story goes that the aging Jacob gives a “technicolor dreamcoat” to his son Joseph. This elicits overwhelmingly strong feelings of jealousy among Joseph’s eleven brothers, so they end up selling him into slavery. Joseph winds up in Egypt, wins favor with the Pharaoh, and eventually confronts his now nearly destitute brothers.

There’s nothing quite like watching live entertainment, but theater tickets can easily run $100 or more each. That’s the beauty of Align Entertainment, a production company devoted to providing a Broadway-quality experience at an affordable price. Tickets here are about forty bucks. They also aim to “encourage arts among children.”

That’s why, in addition to the main cast, the show also features a group of children’s performers (I’d guess between the ages of 6 and 12 or so) who participate in several of the musical numbers. And that’s another thing. Many of the musical numbers in Technicolor Dreamcoat feature surprisingly complex choreography. It’s wildly entertaining for the entirety of the two-hour show.

With physical humor, big elaborate set pieces, larger than life personalities, and catchy tunes that vary in tone and style, the family friendly production is decidedly upbeat. You’ll enjoy plenty of laughs.

For my part, Justin Lapena in his Elvis-inspired portrayal of the Pharaoh (yes, you read that correctly) stole the show. Those rockin’ hips. Those facial expressions. That comedic timing. It was all on point. And that’s not to discount the work of the rest of the cast either. The brothers worked great as an ensemble, singing and dancing all the way. I had a thoroughly enjoyable time.

The live production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat runs until Saturday, November 19 at Michael J. Fox Theatre in Burnaby. The venue accommodates around 600 guests, so there really isn’t a bad seat in the house. Visit for tickets and more information.

Disclosure: I was given complimentary tickets to watch the show. I was not compensated in any other way. Opinions are my own.