Tag Archives: Wallace Ross

‘Joseph,’ CSTOCK are a perfect match

Here’s a review from the April 18 performance of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” at CSTOCK:


SILVERDALE — With the clock ticking on CSTOCK’s tenure at the Silverdale Community Center, the theater company is actively seeking a new home.

Their current production of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” is Exhibit A for why this really, really needs to happen, and soon.

Perfect theater, it isn’t. But durn-near perfect family community entertainment — and an admirably solid take on the Webber-Rice musical based on the biblical parable of Joseph and the Coat of Many Colors — it certainly is. It’s a prime example of what a family-oriented, roll-up-your-sleeves little company can do with a piece that’s well suited to their talent pool and their venue, filling its niche in the Kitsap theater community and putting on a pretty solid show to boot.

Director Sherry Knox doesn’t shoot for the moon; that’s not what CSTOCK does. She does a won0417_KSFE_Joseph6derful job of using what she has, dressing it up nicely, making sure it’s well-rehearsed, and then letting the multi-generational cast get out and do their thing.

CSTOCK doesn’t always manage to hold to its family-first aesthetic, admirable as it is, and still present a representative version of whatever show they’re doing, one that’s strong enough to satisfy not only Mom, Dad and the other relatives, but the casual viewer who’s there strictly to see a show.

But they do this time. In the hands of Knox, musical director Meredith Ellringer and choreographer Ryan Posey, the show gets a staging that is brisk, joyful and, yes, worthy of the source material. And it does it in CSTOCK style, with a cast heavy on youngsters, an Everyman ensemble and a few dependable veterans sprinkled in.

Those who might be intimidated by the subject matter need not be. Yes, “Joseph” is inspired by a story from the Book of Genesis, but it’s told in a way that’s anything but “churchy.” It’s light as a feather, easily digested even by young children and the most uneasy adults, and takes a few gentle swipes at Joseph, his family and the historical figures he meets on his journeys (Pharoah, played by Wallace Ross, is in full Elvis-impersonator mode, right down to the microphone).

And those who might be intimidated by the number of cute little kids in the cast, including the adorable t-shirts-for-costumes “children’s choir,” well, there’s no hope for you. Go read the Sports.

Knox has two solid leads in local stage familiars Dan Kluth (Joseph) and Missi Patti (the Narrator). Both bring fine, natural singing voices, credible acting and understanding of the show’s subtle opportunities for humor. And both are further evidence of the company’s family values — Kluth’s mother, Margie, is “Joseph’s” producer and chief costumer; Patti’s daughter, Gabrielle, sings in the children’s choir.

The show also gives many of the younger performers a chance to shine briefly. Highlights (yours might vary) included the vocal work of Chloe VanVuren and the twirling dance contribution of Emma Kuralt. A.J. Tower does a funny, country-camp take on “One More Angel in Heaven.” Other solo bits are successful to lesser extremes, and a couple simply overdo themselves.

The ensemble singing sometimes gets a little ragged, almost expected given the size and diversity of Knox’s cast and the constant movement and energy imposed by Posey’s thoughtful and thorough choreography, which keep the “park and bark” moments to a minimum. Ellringer’s four-piece combo — herself on piano, Bruce Chollar on guitar, Nick Holt on violin and Samantha Murphy on flute — don’t always solve the playhouse’s acoustical challenges, but overall they provide some of the nicest accompaniment I’ve heard at CSTOCK in several seasons.

The set, of Knox’s own design with a lovely bright paint job by Laurel Spitzer, is attractive and unobtrusive at the same time. And pats on the hump for whoever stitched up the Pantomime Camel.

It’s a fine, fun night out — part of a night, really, as the April 18 performance I saw didn’t quite fill two hours. It amuses, touches and entertains, and it keeps all those kids off the streets. It’s what community theater is all about.



Who: Central Stage Theatre of County Kitsap (CSTOCK)

What: Musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice

Where: Silverdale Community Center, 9729 Silverdale Way NW

When: Through May 10; 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 4 p.m. Sundays

Tickets: $15-$8

Information: 360-692-9940, cstock.org