93 of 95 people found the following review helpful
on April 9, 2000
The film approach to this musical was a smart move-- the "we'll tape a performance" approach is kinda cheesy. The sets were great, especially the desert scene, and the costumes were imaginative. The songs were very nice; they go from a catchy jingle-type advertisement for "Jacob and Sons" to a Western theme ("One More Angel in Heaven"), to a somewhat 1920's approach in "Potiphar," to a 1960's Austin Powers-ish "Go Go Joseph", to the bluesy Elvis-themed "Song of the King", and to the Jamaican "Benjamin Calypso."
Donny Osmond shines as Joseph: he can really sing! Richard Attenborough was very good as Jacob, who sang a few lines and was actually pretty good at it! Mrs. Potiphar (Joan Collins) was hilarious, as was Robert Torti as Pharaoh "The King." (He was my dad's favorite character; he's watched the Pharaoh's song about a million times.) The eleven brothers are really funny, too! The only character I have a minor problem with is the Narrator, played by Maria Friedman. She has great facial expressions, but her singing voice is less-than-stupendous. (Listen to some of the cast recordings, particularly the 1993 LA cast; you'll hear the difference.)
PS - As for the supposedly pornographic scenes with Mrs. Potiphar, they happen so quickly and the plot moves to Joseph in jail so fast there hardly isn't any time for questions of any sort. I'm a Christian, and I've seen worse things on network television.
All I can say is, Go, Go, Go, Joseph!
118 of 125 people found the following review helpful
on February 29, 2000
Ever since I saw this show on stage in LA about ten years ago, I've been dying to have a copy I could watch over and over and over... Well, that day has come. I saw the video version on a recent trip to London-- and am sold on it's value. The cast is amazing, lead by Donny Osmond's unflappable vocal ability. Unlike the cats video, no songs have been cut out, and no songs have been shortened, with the possible exception of the Joseph Megamix, which has been revamped to serve as an end credit theme. The sets have been built as immersive environments, not a filmed version of the stage show. Also of note-- a preview before the show of the new production of Jesus Christ Superstar set to come to video this Easter!
62 of 65 people found the following review helpful
on April 12, 2000
After seeing the teaser ad for this production on the Cats video, I was looking forward to the chance to see it. I'd known about Joseph for years, but had never had the chance to see it on stage. I'm pleased to report that the video was worth the wait.
The performers are fantastic. I'd not heard anything of Donny Osmond since his teen idol days, and was pleased to find that he has an even better voice than I'd remembered. Maria Friedman (Narrator) is also a joy to see and hear. In fact, all of the music throughout is so infectious that I've found myself humming Joseph songs during lulls at work - and at home - and in the car, well, you get the picture.
The sets are colorful and imaginative (my daughter especially enjoys the large Egyptian head with the moving eyes used during the Pharoh's song (I did have to explain the heavy references to Elvis Presley, but then she's only 5 -- give her time). And the costumers deserve a round of applause for the title "Technicolor Dreamcoat" (let alone the dozens of other gorgeous outfits).
If I had any gripe at all, it would be about the copious use of flesh colored body-stockings on the female chorus members in the Egyptian sequences. True, the costuming fits the time and place of the action, but some parents might wish to view it before deciding if it's appropriate for their younger children (though I didn't have a problem with my 5-year-old seeing it).
All in all, this video is one that will be (and has already been) viewed again and again at our house.
33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on March 14, 2000
I have to say I'm an Andrew Lloyd Webber's fan. I saw Joseph for the very first time in London five years ago. I think the show is superb; and this video, too. Donny Osmond fits the carachter; but Mary Friedman , as the Narrator, plays her role in an absolutely remarkable way. Excellent the rest of the supporting cast, including Richard Attemborough and Joan Collins as Mrs Potiphar. Without any doubt, the best musical video I ever saw since "Cats"
35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
on March 3, 2000
I work in a video store and enjoy the privilage of seing new releases before the general public, thanks to "screeners" (tapes/DVD's supplied for promotional use by film companies). I had heard of this video through the grapevine, and couldn't wait to check it out when my store got the screener. It is absolutely fantastic. Donny is excellant, but the person that really blew me away was London Broadway star Maria Friedman as the narrator. She is exetremely talented! Together, with the aid of a superb supporting cast and wonderful children's choirs (really adorable kids), Donny and Maria make this video production of Joseph a "must-have."
41 of 43 people found the following review helpful
on March 6, 2000
I saw Joseph for the first time about 4 years ago, and wondered why I waited so long to see it. I took my older children (then aged 8 & 9) to see it two years later--they loved it, too! They insisted I buy the soundtrack CD (also an awesome thing to have), and now my three year old bops around the house singing, "Go, go, go Joseph!" Good music, great lyrics, a great evening for the entire family! A must for Andrew Lloyd Weber fans of all ages.
28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on March 22, 2000
This is a superb visualisation of the show based on the early 90's London Revival with Jason Donovan and (subsequently) Philip Schofield. The production was then moved to the US where Donny Osmond took the title role for 6 or 7 years. This version owes a lot to the original London Revival production. The Canaan sets and the Pharoah sets are practically identical to those of the stage version, just fleshed out a bit. The jail and Potiphar's offices are a new departure, with a triangular theme in black, white and silver. What impressed me the most, though, was the huge involvement of the chorus in this production. The chorus work also seems to have been augmented, with additional harmony lines and dances. All in all, a reaffirmation of the stage as a medium, even in video form! Enjoy!
34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
on March 15, 2000
This is THE best DVD I own! Donny Osmond is great, but Maria Friedman is SENSATIONAL! I prefered this movie version to Cats because this is a real movie, where as Cats was just a film of the stage show. Do yourself a favour and buy this DVD. You'll love it!
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on July 5, 2000
Since enough reveiws have been written concerning the costumes, sets, and presentation. I thought I'd concentrate on the perfomers first and then add my bit on the others if space permits. Players:
Maria Friedman (Narrator): I thought she did a very good job! I loved her voice and how she sang the words. Her expressions were quite nice and everyone who has seen this video with me agrees that she seems to be having a GREAT time!
Donny Osmond (Joseph): Great voice, great interpretation and great transistion from Dreamer Joseph to Leader of Egypt Joseph. If you pay attention Joseph is so much more mature at the end of the story. Osmond almost seems born to play the role!
Sir Richard Attenborough (Jacob): Brought grace and dignity to the role. This is how I pictured Jacob! When I first heard he was going to be in Joseph I figured maybe they meant somebody else. I'm glad they didn't. The interaction between Attenborough and Osmond is top notched! You can feel the love between Jacob and Joseph at the end of the show.
Ian McNeice (Potiphar): He has the right millionairish look about him. I liked his performace up until 'Joseph I'll see you'll rot in. . .'. I just didn't like his interpretation as much as say, the Canadian Potiphar.
Joan Collins (Mrs. Potiphar): Excellent choice for the role, bringing star power behind it. I love how she reacts to Joseph's refusal. You can tell THIS is a woman who's used to getting who she wants! And her look of indifferentness as Joseph is carried away is just so fitting to the character. It's like 'Take him away if you want. I'll just find me a new toy.'
Robert Torti (Pharaoh): Best 'King' I've heard, and he is absolutely hilarious!
Christopher Biggins (Baker): He was ok. Didn't care much for his vocal presentation. However, his physical presentation was top notch! Love that faint!
Alex Jennings (Butler): Best Butler I've seen! His performance in the role was perfect! Too bad he was only on for such a short time.
Nicolas Colicos (Reuban, One More Angel soloist): I loved his vocal prsentation of OMA better on the London recording, but his physical presentation is a treat. Also his reprise is quite comical as you can see poor Reuban is making it up as he goes along! I should add that his intro in Jacob and Sons is a treat! It's lively, comical and just plain. . . FUN!
Jeff Blumenkrantz (Simeon, Those Canaan Days soloist): I loved his performance! Not just in Canaan days but throughout the entire show. His performance in TCD is memorable and near perfection. Haven't seen a better TCD soloist yet!
Gerry McIntyre (Judah, Benjamin Calypso soloist): Absolutely hilarious job! He had me laughing all throughout BC. The funniest part by far is his 'Benjamin is an INNOCENT MAN!' Never have I heard it that way! I was rolling on the couch! My only gripe with him is I still have no idea what the heck he's doing in Grovel Grovel lol!
Amanda Courtney-Davies (Apache Dancer, [and, I believe Reuban's wife]): I'm fairly certain she was also Reuban's wife. If not, well then take this next reveiw to whoever was. Was so very funny in OMA. Sometime during OMA watch her the whole time (particularly when Reuban says 'To wrestle with. . . a goat!') Another high point in her performance was in TCD when Zebulun drops her (intended). Though minor characters, her performance with them both was worth mentioning.
Michael Small (Zebulun): A great dancer! I felt his number in TCD days was worth a mention. And check out his jumps at the start of the OMA hoedown!
Other mentions: Martin Callaghan(Asher), Patrick Clancy (Issachar), Peter Challis (Gad). Though they didn't receive much camera time, keep an eye on them in the background of most numbers, you'll definately get a laugh! I only wish space allowed me room to comment on all the brothers!
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on March 27, 2000
The DVD of Joesph is as far as I am concerned one of the best transfers of a stage show to film and even better than the video of CATS. Watching Joseph is almost like watching a live action cartoon with all the characters beautifully and humorously defined. Donny Osmond as Jospeh is stunning, he sings well and looks good in the role, however Maria Friedman is a revelation - I have seen her in numerous things on stage in London, and was unsure as to how she would come across on film, but she captures your attention as soon as she appears and doesn't let go until the end. Cameo appearances from Richard Attenborough and Joan Collins are superb, if brief! The supporting cast are also excellent, hamming up there roles to full effect. It is beautifully filmed, in vivid colours and the director keeps the pace throughout the film. The 30 minute documentary on the DVD about various school productions is fun, tho it would have been nice to have 30 mins of The Making of the Film instead. This is a pacy,fun filled,colourful 100 minutes of unchallenging nonsense and if your in 2 minds as to whether or not to get this DVD, BUY IT - you won't be disappointed!