My co-worker asks me if I want to go to a play called 'Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Raincoat'.  "Got an extra ticket - It's yours if you want it."

Ooooohh. Great. Wow. Super. Big whoops. Theatre's for old people - I'm going to be totally bored and fall asleep.

I don't think I qualify as a theatre regular... I don't fit your average demographic for the usual Hawaii Theatre attendee.  Let's just say the box office would have an extremely difficult time swallowing my 'I forgot my season pass at home' excuse.

All I know about Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat was that it was a show about Donny Osmond... So what... Big deal.... Who cares.  My Dad keeps a tape of Joseph and his Raincoat and has been playing it wherever he goes for years - That's just exhibit 'A' evidence of how uncool this play will be.

Why couldn't he have invited me to something good, like 'Episode Two - Attack of the Clones' or 'The Scorpion King' - something good like that? All right, I'll go to the stupid play.  Why not?  I've got nothing else to do.

The show begins...

Shannon Nakano opens the show with an amazing voice and powerful narrator performance.  Watching this little lady sing in person is at least thrice as enthralling as catching Natalie Portman or Kelly Hu on the big screen.  And she's got no special effects backing her up on those high notes.  Can a human being actually sing that well?  Is she part bird?  Bet you she's the only one with talent in this show, though.

Matthew Pedersen is Joseph.  Hey, wow!  He can sing too!  And he's funny to boot.  Matthew's part as our hero Joseph is really....cool!  His voice is crisp, clean and emotionally charged.  Love how his voice can perfectly slide from word to word.  That's Surprise #2!  Shocker.  Dad's tape never sounded like this. Of course, Dad's tape was about 20 years old, but nonetheless, Matthew is superb as the lead.  I hear he won a Po'okela award for his role as Joseph in a previous production.  Not hard to see why.

I'm beginning to enjoy myself... What's with that?

In fact,  Throughout the play I am treated to all kinds of wonderful sights, sounds, and surprises...

Surprise #3?  Joseph's brothers and father crack me up with their supremely 'over the top' performances.  It's not often you get to see 11 men, dressed in gaudy 70's pimp clothes (complete with hats) doing 'Rockettes' aerobic floor moves. Or a grown man wailing and crying uncontrollably, stopping only periodically to yell "a Goat!!!????" If you've seen 'Joseph...' before, you'll know what I'm talking about.  If you haven't, you'll wonder what the heck I've been smoking.  I'm beginning to see the beauty of theatre... No matter how much you've heard about the story, theatre always provides you with a 'I guess you had to be there...' experience.

Surprise #4 - Jodi Leong from Channel 8 News fame makes a fantastically entertaining cameo appearance.  Being a News professional, she's probably playing an angel or a straight arrow type, right?  Umm, I'm wrong.  She's decked out in Saloon Girl lingerie as Potiphar's wife and she's trying to give Joseph an exclusive one-on-one interview if you know what I mean...

Surprise #5 - ...Joseph doesn't take her up on the offer. (da crazy buggah!) 

Surprise #6 - Andrew Sakaguchi, Director and Theatre Veteran, steals the show and demonstrates why he is 'the king'.  You haven't seen anything if you haven't seen Andrew's rendition of Pharaoh Elvis.  He's perfect and stays in character the whole time, getting every hair twirl and atomic pelvis thrust down to the finest detail.  Thank yuh very much Andrew (please insert Elvis lip curl here) for the best 'Pharaoh Elvis' impersonation I will ever see.

The cast and crew is to be congratulated on an impeccably  professional job. The only thing about the musical that bothered me was not a reflection of the performance itself.  The sound system left something to be desired, blaring feedback at key scenes and cutting out and in at others.  The reason it irritated me was only because I was so eager to hear everything these performers belted out.  It's a shame when equipment detracts from the awesome performances by these awesome talents.  A testament to the professionalism of the performers in this play is that each member kept his/her composure, despite technical difficulties.  You would've seen the strain on my face I'm sure.  But them?  No hint of even a frown.    

Matthew Pedersen and Jamarama Productions entranced me for the entire performance.  In fact, the time went by so fast I found myself surprised that the play was pau.  Factoid is, I had a great time in spite of all my prejudgments.  Everyone leaving the theatre after the performance had an amazing technicolor smile on their face.  Most of these people had known for years what I had just found out today.  Theatre is a treat, and I had just had a heapin' helping.  I still have the songs running thru my head. Now if you'll excuse me, I think I'll go steal my Dad's tape...

Matthew Pedersen would like to announce that he is bringing the whole show back for another run next year.  Don't miss it.