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Rainbow glow adds the finishing touch to dazzling performances
By Rhoda Koenig, Published: 
18 July 2007

Has Andrew Lloyd Webber managed, once again, to use a TV talent contest to make an unknown a star? Commercially, yes indeed, going by the hyperactive box office and an audience that reaches beyond the usual patrons of the West End - such as the woman who, entering the theatre behind an actress, asked her date, "Is she in the show?"

It seems less likely that Lee Mead will join the immortals. Lacking in character and with a tendency to give out towards the end of a line, his voice is not the world's greatest, or even the greatest in the show. That honour belongs to Dean Collinson, whose Elvis-imitating Pharaoh matches the original with every dirty growl, falsetto flutter, and sudden, heart-stopping intimacy ... ... ...

... ... Mr Mead has a fine musical voice - although some of his phrasing would benefit from some more polish but this will come with experience.

There were, however, problems with the widely varying intonation. Various singers - including Preeya Kalidas as the narrator - often went wildly off key. One could not help but observe that the mechanised singing camel managed to stay in tune, unlike some members of the cast.

But, for me, the show was really stolen by Dean Collinson as Pharaoh - which he did in the memorable form of Elvis Presley.

I was still laughing in the taxi going home at the memory of Mr Collinson, in his white, bejewelled Elvis gear, standing on the edge of the stage and saying: "Uh-Uh-Uh". The theatre just fell apart laughing.

 

 
   Benedict Nightingale
   July 18, 2007
 

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat

... ... Still, last night’s audience seemed enchanted. It remained cheerfully unfazed by a glitch in one of the theatre’s revolves that held up the show for a few minutes, and it responded warmly to everything: from Dean Collinson’s narcissistic Elvis lookalike of a Pharoah, to swirls of dancers in clothes that make even Joseph’s dreamcoat look like High Street curtain material, to Mead’s own bare chest when he sits in prison singing the ultra-tuneful Close Every Door. With spoofs of country music, calypso and even Piaf added to the mix, the show is a reminder of how splendidly versatile Lloyd Webber can be.

 

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
Charles Spencer review:
Last Updated: 12:01am BST 18/07/2007

... ... ... ... ... With a chorus of cute kiddies dressed in all the colours of the rainbow, dance routines that move from the sexily energetic to the physically daring by Anthony Van Laast, and a stunning turn from Dean Collinson as the Elvis-like Pharaoh, Joseph looks like being a sure-fire hit all over again ... ... ... ... ... ...

 

The Stage

 

Together with choreographer Anthony Van Laast and designer Mark Thompson, who worked with Pimlott on that hit nineties production, this team creates an entertaining evening full of colour and high energy dance routines. These ingredients are never more evident than when Egypt meets Las Vegas in Act II, allowing Dean Collinson an opportunity to give his all as a hip-swaying, Presley-inspired Pharaoh.

A heavenly triumph of kitsch and camp
By Nicholas de Jongh, Evening Standard  18.07.07

For those of us, aged 10 and over, who do not take musicals too seriously, this earliest of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's shows, still does the comic-satirical business with amusing gusto ... ... ...
... ... and Dean Collinson's ardent Pharaoh, a spooky premonition of what Elvis Presley would sound like in his plumper, middle-age as he belts out King Of My Heart.
 

Whats On Stage
Michael Coveney,18th July 2007

 ... ...Rice and Lloyd Webber have written a lovely new song, “King of My Heart”, for the Elvis-style Pharaoh (Dean Collinson), which stitches together many fine clichés while inventing some surprise melodic leaps. Preeya Kalidas, the star of Bombay Dreams, makes up in style and beauty as the Narrator what she lacks in vocal texture, while Stephen Tate, the original Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar, is a notable Potiphar. Stunning costumes all round, too, and not just the coloured coat.

 

A dream start for Joseph, the chosen one
by QUENTIN LETTS  18th July 2007

Book of Genesis this ain't. Nor is it classic musical theatre or high art. But the Joseph which opened in the West End last night, with TV find Lee Mead in the lead, is cheery, let-your-hairdown fun ... ... The cameo of the night belongs to Dean Collinson, who gives us an Elvis Presley Pharaoh. Terrific stuff.


The First Night Feature:
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

... ... But this is very much an ensemble cast and Mead must be glad to be among such company – particularly the amusingly entertaining gaggle of brothers led by John Alastair as Reuben, and Dean Collinson, who rises to the occasion as the Elvis-impersonating Pharaoh who steals the show in the second half with his rock ‘n’ roll dreaming. Preeya Kalidas is a glamorous and dainty Narrator, and members of the ensemble are unfailingly energetic in their various guises ... ...

 


BILL HAGERTY, July 18, 2007

... ...Narrator Preeya Kalidas is powerful and Dean Collinson’s Elvis-style Pharaoh rock ‘n’ rolls splendidly. Joseph’s siblings deliver hilarious French send-up Those Canaan Days in sensational style.

 

I went to see this last Friday 13th and LOVED it. It is not like the previous revivals (and I have seen them). The audience were hyped up waiting for Lee to appear and at first just cheered an empty chair! Lee held the stage well, stayed in character despite some very minor technical errors, and gave great show. I agree Preeya is not strong enough vocally - she did an OK job but her range is too limited. The brothers were all fab but Pharaoh/Elvis stole the show and the new number, although an obvious filler to allow for a costume change, is hilarious. And the Potiphar scene was really well staged. Camp, colourful and fun! GO SEE! - Andrea

 ... ...Some of the audience left when the concert version was announced which was poor form. The companys improvisation was brilliant and the comment from the pharaoh of "all the worlds a stage, well not mine tonight" was pure genius!

 

... ... The design by Mark Thompson had been pretty bland and only takes off when we arrive in Egypt at the palace of Elvis Presley - yes honestly! He is also Pharaoh and Dean Collinson wins a lot of fans emulating The King.