Actress Adrien Swenson (center) as the Narrator appears opposite Timothy Stewart (center) in the title role of the Utah Festival Opera & Musical Theatre’s ongoing production of ‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’ at the Ellen Eccles Theatre in downtown Logan.

LOGAN — Going into Thursday’s debut of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat by the Utah Festival Opera & Musical Theatre, I was absolutely convinced that guest director Valerie Rachelle was not going to be able to top her 2013 production of the same show.

Guess who was wrong?

Ms. Rachelle reached into her bag of tricks to come up with new choreography and a fresh perspective to reenergize this light-hearted, fast-paced show.

The near-capacity opening-night audience at the Ellen Eccles Theatre responded with a well-deserved standing ovation.

Joseph … is a campy retelling of the Biblical story of Joseph from the Book of Genesis set to varied popular music by composer Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyricist Tim Rice. It was their first collaboration in 1968.

This musical never enjoyed the phenomenal success of that composing team’s later collaborations on Jesus Christ Superstar and Evita – except in Utah, where Joseph … is wildly popular largely due to Donny Osmond’s association with the 1999 film version of this show.

Nearly every performing arts company in Utah has done Joseph … , but none better than this reprise by the UFOMT

Where Ms. Rachelle strikes gold in this new version of Joseph … is by shifting a little of the spotlight from the name characters – Joseph, the Narrator and Pharaoh – to the show’s male and female ensembles.

Ms. Rachelle and conductor James M. Bankhead have got a powerhouse male ensemble in the form of Joseph’s 11 brothers and they take full advantage of them.

The talents of those actors are on wonderful display in two productions numbers.

The first is a spirited country western hoe-down to celebrate Joseph’s “death” and the second is a comic lament to better days delivered with ridiculously exaggerated French accents.

Kudos to John Tibbetts, Nathaniel Voth, Christian Harward, Kareem A. Mack, Timothy McGowan, Ben Jessop, Alexander Spence, Hunter Yocum, Jared Rounds, Jimmy Henderson and Levi Hopkins.

This production is also blessed with an equally-talented corps of female dancers and singers who give the show’s production numbers a certain appeal that really doesn’t belong in a Biblical story, if you know what I mean.

The young members of the Cache Children’s Choir even put in an appearance.

Which is not to say that the show’s principal characters aren’t in the game.

As the Narrator, UFOMT newcomer Adrien Swenson shines, especially in her heart-warming scenes with members of the Cache Children’s Choir.

Timothy Stewart has big shoes to fill in the title role, since the image of Donny Osmond in that part is so indelibly imprinted in the minds of Utahns. Fortunately, Stewart is sufficiently talented to more than meet that challenge.

Another cast stand-out is Michael Colman, who channels the legendary Elvis Presley to make Ramses the most rollicking Pharaoh in Egyptian history.

And who can forget our own Lee Daily, who plays a small but crucial part in Joseph … ?

The technical aspects of the show were flawless, especially the complex lighting design by Chris Wood.

Finally, the show closed with a high-energy curtain call that left the audience begging for more.

Evening performances of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat are slated for July 11, 16, 18 and 29, plus Aug. 6 at the Ellen Eccles Theatre in downtown Logan.

Matinee performances at 1 p.m. are scheduled for July 14 and 21, plus Aug. 4.

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