ACT1: An amazing performance in Alpharetta

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ALPHARETTA, Ga. – Attention rock and roll fans, the starship has landed again mid-summer. This time, I found myself taking flight on Egyptian Airlines from a community theater in Alpharetta. Under the able and creative direction of Melody Cookson, we landed way back in the book of Genesis with Jacob and Sons. What a trip!

“Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” is being staged by ACT1 Theater every weekend through Aug. 10. ACT1 uses the original sanctuary of Alpharetta Presbyterian, which makes for an intimate night in the 150-seat theater.

Elvis was in the house, people! The cast was unbelievably talented and brought energy, color and humor to Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s 1970 classic. Like a good AM station back in the day, the play list was wide – from calypso to country and western, to French ballad and disco and rock. But no matter the style, they brought it. All night, every number.

Bobby Cookson was spectacular as Joseph, and Kim Wacker was just as strong as the narrator who led us through the adventure. In this ancient story of family favoritism, sibling rivalry, grief, theft, seduction, famine, dreaming, deception, prosperity and ultimately, reconciliation there was never a dull moment. Every song, every dance, every costume and set, every line and expression were as delightful as they were convincing. Dude, am I in the ‘burbs of Atlanta or in London?

Starship digs his music – especially the best of what came out of the ‘60s and ‘70s. And topping the charts of this Broadway show were “Close Every Door,” which Joseph belted out defiantly from prison, “Song of the King,” which Pharaoh rocked Elvis-style in blue suede shoes (the girls went wild), and from a little French café with beret’s all crumpled up in fretting hands with tearful eyes, “Those Canaan Days.”

The drag is that the show has already run two weekends. You’ve missed six shows, man! The good news is that six shows remain. Starship has heard from a trusted source that two-thirds of the tickets are already gone. Act quickly or you’ll miss your flight to ancient Egypt. Tickets are at www.act1theater.com or 770-663-8989. Imagine scalpers on Academy Street!

If you think it’s just me digging the old tunes and humorous tale, listen to what I heard from a circle of friends talking post-show: “awesome,” “incredible,” “colorful,” “I thought I was on Broadway,” “outstanding,” “every actor, every song,” and a comment that would surely delight costume designers Suzanne Thornett and Anne Voller, “I want to put on Joseph’s long coat and just twirl all around.”

Congratulations, ACT1 and cast of “Joseph.” You were amazing. Next up, “Jesus Christ Superstar?” Starship, over and out.

RN-7-30