I have a new favorite musical!
It was actually my first favorite musical until I had the misfortune of seeing an awful production of it 11 years ago; after that I still loved the music but thought I hated the musical. Oh, how wrong I was!
Back in September, something possessed me to see if there were any local productions of Joseph going down in the near future, and I was happy to find that the Paramount Theatre in Aurora was putting it on throughout November. My sister loves Joseph too, so I planned to see it when she was going to be in town with my sister-in-law (who doesn’t particularly love musicals but is such a good sport). Tickets were $50 so I had faith that it would be a good show, even if it wasn’t a big brand name nationally touring production, even though I was still a little wary of the quality, because the one I saw in Chicagoland 11 years ago was just awful. I’ve been called a snob when it comes to theatrical productions, but I’m not! I just don’t like to see crap, I mean, who does? And if I see crap I’m not going to pretend like it was good. Just BE good, and I won’t have to be all snobby about it.
Anyway, I was slightly nervous, but my worries were unfounded. A friend of mine once told me that Chicago has the best actors in the country because if you live here and you are acting, you are doing it because you love it, not because of the money. This was exemplified in Joseph, the cast was AMAZEBALLS. All of them were simply. stunning.
The night before the show us gals had a wild time in the city, and some of us (me) stayed up until 7:00 am. Since the show was in Aurora, we had quite the hike to get out there (I think it took about two hours, one of which was just in Chicago, UGH), and then we did some quick outlet mall shopping. We didn’t have as much time there as I was hoping we would, but my main focus was Joseph and not being late for it and not missing “Prologue.” (That “Prologue” has NOTHING on the one we saw)
So, of course, we were running late. The show starts at 4:00 and we roll up at 4:02, and the car isn’t even parked. As you can probably infer from my lack of sleep the night before and my intense desire to not be late/miss anything, I was in a pretty foul mood when I stormed through the theatre doors. This is where some awesome teamwork unfolded. Jac (ever the good sport) graciously parked my car for me, and Todd went with her. Laurie patiently waited in the lobby with their tickets, and Sara and I went in. Sara hadn’t been with us at the outlet malls, but also had been having a tough day. Even though Sara and I were safely seated with moments to spare, my bitch face remained firmly pasted to my face, and I was so worked up that my shoulders were up to my ears. Even during the first few minutes of the overture, I wasn’t feeling any happier. But then I heard the familiar sounds of “Close Every Door” and I felt my bitch face melting away the tiniest bit. My shoulders were relaxing. I turned to Sara and said, “I feel better.”
With each passing minute of the show I felt better and better. My mood did such a sudden shift that it brought tears to my eyes during the first few numbers. I cannot say enough about how phenomenal this cast was. The leads, obviously, were incredible, but every single person in it had a huge role in making it what it was (which was perfection). The proud, adorable children melted my heart. The brothers were hilarious and some of them were quite handsome, and I liked how they wore what appeared to be their own pants, I was definitely able to sort out who was gay and who was a nerdy straight (ahem cargo pants). The girls–the girls! I didn’t even know there was a chorus of beautiful women in this, because in the stupid one I first saw, there were like three girls in it. There were at least ten in this, and they were all so good. That’s really all I can say, it was just so frickin’ good. And hilarious! I had no idea it was so funny. Once the bitch face entirely melted and I stopped crying, I couldn’t stop laughing!
This production was so good, in fact, that Sara and I went again this past Sunday, their final day. It was well worth the suburban trek, even though our poor, poor Joe seemed a bit nervous during the first few songs, he was as cute as anything and still did fine as far as I was concerned, but I could sense he was a little off. I chalked it up to nerves/emotions, what with it being the final day, but whatever it was he shook it off around the time he shook his shirt off in “Close Every Door.” MMHMM is all I’m going to say about Joseph with his shirt off. MMHMM. And everyone hates on Narrator’s sparkly tunics, but I loved each and every one.
So, sorry, “Wicked,” you’re out of my number one spot. I still love you and will see you every chance I get, but I certainly won’t go out of my way, and if there was a choice between seeing you and Joseph, well, let’s just say it’s “Joseph All The Time.” And for the record, I very much prefer the book that inspired you.
I know this post is all over the place but I’ve been itching to post something, and I’ve seen much, much worse, so I’m just gonna do it. Here I am seeing my favorite musical: