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'Joseph' razzle-dazzles

If you've got a bad case of the blues, you might want to head out to Trollwood Park. Judging from last night's opening performance of "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat," it would be pretty impossible to leave the show feeling anything...

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If you've got a bad case of the blues, you might want to head out to Trollwood Park.

Judging from last night's opening performance of "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat," it would be pretty impossible to leave the show feeling anything but good.

There's high-energy dance, up-tempo music, flashy costumes, colorful lighting and a glittery stage. There's a Segway personal transporter on stage, modernized hieroglyphics, metallic palm trees and a pretty dazzling finale. All in all, it's one very shiny show.

It's sort of a shame that dusk comes so late in our part of the world, because it isn't until after intermission, as the sun sinks, that the stage can really show its best stuff, including the stylized Egyptian bird that serves as the set's colorful centerpiece.

The large ensemble numbers offer some of the most notable highlights of the production. On "Jacob and Sons" the vocals were booming and powerful. Actually, the vocals, in general, were quite strong. And Marc Koeck, who plays Joseph, fills the part well with his strong, engaging voice and rock-star hair.

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Vocals by Joseph's brothers, the narrators, Pharaoh and others were really quite good.

The "Go Go Go Joseph" number is a particularly fun burst of energy with its pumped-up music, near spastic dancing and wild costumes. The male dancers in the number sport hair reminiscent of Andy Warhol, while the female dancers' hair and general get-up is delightfully weirder than I have room to fully describe in this review.

Was the show perfect? Well, no. There were some audio feedback problems along the way. And if you're paying attention, you'll note that the dancing could be tighter in places. But what it is, is highly entertaining and very good. Despite the fact that the cast is an ensemble of nonprofessionals, the end result has quite a professional feel.

"Not a dull moment there," I overheard heard one individual say in a thick North Dakota accent as he exited for intermission. I can only assume he was referring to what he'd just seen, and I'd say that's a pretty good analysis of the show in general.

If you go

- What: "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat"

- When: 8:30 p.m. July 18 and 19, 22-27 and July 29 through Aug. 3

- Where: Trollwood Park, on Elm Street, north of 36th Avenue in Fargo

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- Info: Call (701) 241-6041 for more information.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Shane Mercer at (701) 451-5734

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