Don Denton in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor DreamcoatDriving home from the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse on Friday night, after seeing the opening performance of the musical Joseph & the Technicolor Dreamcoat, I asked my husband, "Can you honestly think of anyone who wouldn't like this show?" We couldn't. And I still can't. With its appealing confluence of technical effects, engaging storytelling, musical styles, memorable characters, and lessons in forgiveness, humility, and hope, even those grudging types who would rather be dressed in bologna and tossed into a shark tank than see a musical can find something in Joseph to laugh at, mull over, be inspired by, or appreciate on a sensory level.

Bryan Tank and Sheri Hess in EvitaIn its opening minutes, Quad City Music Guild's Evita is so thrilling that even though the production begins with a funeral, I found it nearly impossible to stifle my giggles.

Dallas Drummond, Chris Castle, and Nathan Batles in Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat When I learned that Quad City Music Guild's new presentation of Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat would feature a cast of nearly a hundred - 98, to be exact - I was both thrilled and slightly concerned. Thrilled because ... well, come on, what fan of musicals wouldn't want to see and hear an assemblage of that many performers?

But my concern stemmed from wondering what director Harold Truitt was going to do with them all. Even with 56 members of the children's chorus seated on both sides of the stage, apart from the main action, 42 seemed a rather excessive number of participants for this enjoyably featherweight biblical piece. Would Joseph's enormity prove beneficial, or detrimental?

634 Cover - Summer Guide 2007 Ted Neeley portrayed Jesus Christ in the 1973 film version of Andrew Lloyd Webber's and Tim Rice's seminal rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar. He is currently reprising the role in a national tour of the show, which lands at Davenport's Adler Theatre on May 23. And in between these gigs, Neeley has performed the part in numerous other touring productions, benefits, and, once, alongside a cast of grade-school apostles.

It's impossible to ignore the irony: Ted Neeley has now been playing Jesus for longer than Jesus was alive.

"Yeah, I've been doing it now for just over 2,000 years," says Neeley with a laugh.

Tyson Danner, Allyson Peniston, and Angela Cavallo More often than not, our area's musicals are graced by terrific voices. But every once in a while, a performer will come along whose vocal gifts and interpretive skills positively knock you out, causing you to silently mouth one word at your theatergoing companion: "Damn." The Quad City Music Guild's current production of the Disney musical Aida, directed by Bill Marsoun, doesn't have one of those performers. It has two.

When I was in seventh grade, my chorus class took a charter bus up to Chicago to see Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. From a row near the back of the theatre, I watched the vibrant speck that was Donnie Osmond belt out the tunes "Close Every Door" and "Joseph's Coat." On the return trip home, while the chaperone mothers murmured in fascination over the dark-haired leading man, we chorus students amused ourselves with a Joseph sing-along. The music was just that unforgettable and appealing, even to our usually unimpressionable teenage minds.

The years have turned it into a classic of musical theatre, but when it first appeared on stage, Andrew Lloyd Webber's and Tim Rice's Jesus Christ Superstar met with criticism as well as critical acclaim. And even though it's no longer controversial, Jesus Christ Superstar still has all of its power and theatrical brilliance.