If there is one thing I’d like to do more of, it’s to partake in more of the fantastic theatrical productions we have access to here in Vancouver. I can’t even remember the last time I went to a play, so I jumped at the chance to take in Theatre Under the Stars (TUTS) at the Malkin Bowl in Stanley Park when the opportunity presented itself.
Beginning back in 1940 (for a total of 64 years as a few years the production ceased for a variety of reasons), TUTS has been providing great entertainment at fantastic prices throughout the summer. This year, alternating productions of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Singin’ in the Rain can be seen for prices as low as $29. Joseph (the particular production I saw) began on July 9th, while Singin’ was seen the following day – July 10th. And if you’re worried about getting the seat you wanted, a new experience this year is “all-reserved” seating.
I should qualify what I’m going to say next with something simple – this will be the first time that I’ve seen Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Futhermore, this edition of Joseph is also a “dynamic and fresh approach to this classic, with plenty of magic and comedy and a few other surprises.” Here’s what James Cronk (TUTS producer) had to say:
“Although Joseph has been done numerous times, this will truly be a unique adaptation. We have a few surprises up our sleeve and are excited to offer people the opportunity to see Joseph like never before. It’s about fun, singing and laughter, and it’s a show that will be enjoyed by everyone in the family, which is exactly what Theatre Under the Stars is all about.”
Suffice to say, I quite enjoyed the “fresh” approach, even though I had nothing to compare it to. And what was really neat to see, was the involvement of one lucky child from the audience to act as the “12th” brother throughout the production. I may be 32, but I was wishing I was at least 20 years younger because something like that would have been right up my alley.
I’ll concede that many purists out there might buckle at what they have just read, but the energy from the stage was awesome. Nearly everyone (I couldn’t see every face, but from the sounds of the audience I’m pretty darn close) was engaged throughout the show and the applause roared like thunder when it concluded, so I’m sure there were a few impressed purists in the crowd. Heck, Marnie who happens to be the enlightened one, and had seen the Donny Osmond version of Joseph when it was last in Vancouver, was impressed – that’s good enough to me.
If my schedule allows, I was so pleased with what I saw that I’m thinking of taking in Singin’ in the Rain. In fact, maybe we all should? Just keep in mind that it’s all over until next year after August 21st!