This is the perfect show to watch after being stuck in traffic for two and a half hours from Roxas Boulevard to Ortigas. Cursing my way through pothole-filled streets, stressed out and hungry, I heave a sigh of relief as I barely make it. It's 7:50 p.m. (the show promptly started at 8pm) and I am finally seated beside my hubby clutching a box of Honey Stars (free plugging for Nestle) which hopefully will keep my tummy from disturbing the show for the next two hours. Two kids beside me naughtily eye my Honey Stars and I begin to worry about whether they're going to ask me for some or if they're going to blow the whistle on me. Anyway, on to the show.
Trumpets went with the "veteran" on opening night last August 6, as Audie Gemora played Joseph. This, though, was definitely one show where the audience would not be disappointed or feel shortchanged whether it was Audie or Gary V. who played the lead on any given night. Audie, of course, was his usual "talented" self. His song about praising God (while he was in jail) is touching and inspiring but his dance sequence while the Jail Warden's Mother sings would probably be the best number of the show. Is there something this guy can't do?
The best and most memorable songs of the show, though, belong not to Joseph but to some other characters in the show. Joseph's eldest brother's "Carry the Weight of the World Upon His Shoulders;" the Jail Warden's Mother's "When God Closes a Door, He Opens a Window;" and Carlo Orosa's (as Benjamin) "It's Incredible, Unbelievable" stand out in particular. Would anyone out there know who played the eldest brother and the jail warden's mother? There were no programs for sale so I could not find out who they were. These people who sang so beautifully deserve to be known and acknowledged! As for two performers who tried so hard to "shine" and in the end, stuck out like sore thumbs by overshadowing (unnecessarily and unwantedly) the rest who were onstage with them, better luck next time.
This is one show which could not turn out bad even if it wanted to or tried. The main messages imparted are so basic and needed these days that if only for having these reinforced and repeated for two hours, spending time watching "Joseph the Dreamer" would already be worthwhile. "Praise and trust in God, no matter what." "Whatever happens, don't look down." With the colorful costumes, interesting sets (particularly for the Pharaoh's dreams), outstanding performances and memorable numbers, "one song is not enough." Catch "Joseph the Dreamer" at the Meralco Theater this month of August and be touched and healed. Now, if another Joseph the Dreamer can only be half as good or inspiring, and I don't mean Gary V.
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Joseph the Dreamer(s)
Written August 11, 1999
Copyright © 1999-2001 by Angelica Bautista Viloria of http://www.viloria.com