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December 07, 2016
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arts & leisure

A Night at the Theatre: Forestburgh’s “Joseph” is a dream of biblical proportions

Michael Starr (as Joseph) holds the fate of his conniving brothers in his hands in the creative musical interpretation of the biblical story at the Forestburgh Playhouse.

Not missing a beat, Michael Starr (Joseph) keeps up with Wagner note for note, as the beleaguered brother thrown to the wolves (in this case, a goat) and left to his own devices, first wallowing in prison and then feted for his ability to interpret dreams for the Pharaoh in Egypt. Starr has a winning stage presence and delivers a layered performance, singing and dancing a fine line between humor and pathos as the story unfolds. Both Wagner and Starr lead the way through the desert, but “Joseph” is an ensemble show and the entire cast must be (and is) up to the task in order for the production to work. With 11 brothers and a dad (Steve Davis), Joseph's story is testosterone-driven and the men shine a bit more brightly than the women, but not by much. Both John Jeffords (Reuben) and Russel Mernagh (Naphtali) had standout moments on stage and raised the roof with their respective numbers, supported by the strong choral work of the company. “Joseph” has just the right combination with the sum of its parts being equal to the whole, and its bright pacing creates an evening at the theatre that is sure to please. For reservations visit www.fbplayhouse.org, or call 845/794-1194.