Biblical Proportion

If “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” were not already a famous Broadway show, you could have easily convinced me that it was written expressly for the Miracle Theater. The production and the venue are a perfect fit for one another. Melinda Doolittle, who finished behind only Jordin Sparks and Blake Lewis on “American Idol,” stars as the Narrator. Melinda’s strong voice is put to good use, especially in her big solo number at the start of the second act. The rest of the cast is just as good. Justin Meyer plays Joseph.

The music and lyrics by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice was oddly familiar even though it was the first time I had ever seen the show. Several genres of popular music are referenced and parodied. The Pharaoh is an Elvis look-alike and the character of Potiphar had some dance moves just like the Hitler character in “The Producers.” A cowboy dance number sounded like an Aaron Copland opus. A reggae tune sounded like it could have inspired the great Ashman & Menken when they were writing “The Little Mermaid” some twenty years after “Joseph” debuted.

My wife and I thought that some of the music sounded a lot like Webber & Rice’s next rock opera, “Jesus Christ Superstar.” After the show, Jim Hedrick and David Fee said that they hope to bring more stars to Pigeon Forge after Melinda Doolittle ends her run. They also want to bring more Broadway-type shows to the Miracle Theater. My wife immediately said that she would like to see her favorite Idol winner, David Cook, starring in “Jesus Christ Superstar.”

The Fee/Hedrick Family Entertainment Group hosted a performance and VIP reception for local business people tonight. Employees of several media outlets, myself included, were invited as well. I saw people I knew from my previous radio jobs and some people I have interviewed, including Sevier County Mayor Larry Waters.

A former improv brother of mine, Justin Benoit, was there with a professional video camera in hand. He now works for Fee/Hedrick as a videographer. Before the show, he recorded me taking advantage of the free camel rides offered to the invited guests. At intermission, he shot footage of WBIR’s Michele Silva and me saying what we thought of the show so far.

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