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"Joseph' energetic but noisy

Andrew Lloyd Webber's Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is one of those big Broadway shows that works best in a smaller theater. Maybe it's because the musical started out as a short school play based on the Old Testament tale of Jacob's 11 jealous sons who sell their brother Joseph to passing traders, only to have him become Pharaoh's right hand before whom they must grovel for food.

Or maybe it's because of its charming hokiness.

Whatever, the 450-seat Show Palace Dinner Theatre seems just the right size for the John Leggio-directed musical, and it will be even better once somebody turns down the volume.

Leggio, who danced in the Broadway and national touring company versions and has done countless shows at Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, launches a fusillade of choreography that leaves his dancers and audience breathless by the end of the sparkling two-hour show.

The dancing would overpower the show _ Leggio even has his kid chorus doing the Frug _ were it not for a blockbuster performance by Kissy Simmons, a TBPAC veteran who, as the Narrator, sings the story as it is acted out.

The Floral City native's gospel-style vocal delivery and stage presence could part the waters, never mind dealing with 32 whirling, leaping, singing actors and a too-loud musical accompaniment.

As Benjamin, Blakely Slaybaugh is as cute and talented a kid as has hit the boards. Young Nikki Horn does an awesome French "danger dance" during act two's Those Canaan Days, and ever-dependable Tom Bengston is noteworthy as Pharoah's obsequious Butler.

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