A common myth in our contemporary ethos is that families and family relations have become very complicated in the last few decades and the relationships between its members are often enmeshed with, and tempered by, emotional states and traits such as envy, emotional scarring and pain, and imbued by the sometimes questionable actions of its members, leading to turbulent circumstances and situations. But to (music) theatrical cornerstones, juggernauts, and indisputable legends Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber, this is really nothing new at all, and one need look no further than the Good Book to absorb all the lessons in family strife, struggle, turmoil and downright treachery that one could ever want to absorb and internalize.
The Bible’s not particularly enigmatic, but no less prophetic story of the powerful dreamer phenotype Joseph and his dramatic, deceitful, sibling-induced exile from his family has enthralled theatergoers for half a century now, and we can thankfully benefit again from lessons offered up in this pivotal tale thanks to the increasingly – and rightfully – venerated Côte Saint-Luc Dramatic Society and their fortuitous decision to put its spirited spin on the luminary, flamboyant Technicolor Dreamcoat soliloquy. They are allowing audiences the privilege to soak up inspiration to follow one’s dreams and simply never give up, all the while humming, or in some cases powerfully projecting, some indelibly uplifting tunes. Director Anisa Cameron leads a star-studded intergenerational cast of dreamers, schemers, musical energy beacons and superlative storytellers in the spectacle not-so-surreptitiously sweeping the Harold Greenspon Auditorium this month.
With eye-catching and flawlessly fluid choreography provided by Alexia Gourd and masterful musical direction offered by Nick Burgess, the CSL Dramatic Society never fails to deliver, this clearly being no exception. Boasting an ensemble troupe of multiple generations and diverse backgrounds, Joseph’s story is brought to the stage with the unrestrained vigor and seemingly effortless pride we’ve come to expect from the Society. One of twelve children and the pride of his family (or at least his father, to be sure) in the Old Testament of the Bible, the man known as Joseph shone bright from the beginning and was ostensibly destined to be a leader among people. He was the standard bearer for his family, much to the chagrin of his jealous siblings, who help engineer a fake death for their beloved (?) brother and ship him off to a life of indentured slavery in Egypt.
As one can imagine, that is not the exclamation point to the story and much strife and turmoil ensue, domestically and abroad as Joseph rises through the slave ranks and ascends to his protagonist’s throne with flair and panache rarely seen. Sam Boucher shines in the role of Joseph, but as with the CSL Dramatic Society’s modus operandi, this is a team effort, and the many thespians come together – virtuous and dastardly, depending upon the character – to sing, dance and emote a timeless story that will move you and remind you what becomes of the dreamer and his or her potential, and also perhaps a timely reminder about how important it is to be mindful of how we treat one another.
A timeless favourite, and multiple Tony Award-nominated production, there isn’t a better visual and auditory way to kick off the summer than heading to 5801 Cavendish Boulevard at the Harold Greenspon Auditorium in Côte Saint-Luc to feast your eyes on the bright multicoloured fashion apparel and the great actors and production team responsible for offering this sizzling stage story up. It is playing until June 27th.
Visit csldramaticsociety.com for more information or call 514-485-6800 ext. 2024.