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‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’ Prevails
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“Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” is an amazing story of forgiveness. PHOTO: Becky Smith
   
Thursday, June 23, 2022
 

BY KAREN BOSSICK

Better later than never.

That’s the mantra for the cast of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” which is finally taking the stage this week after a year-long rollercoaster ride.

The cast of St. Thomas Playhouse originally started rehearsing the show in August 2021 and was set to stage the show in mid-September when they had to make the difficult decision to postpone the show due to the Delta variant.

 
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Kevin Wade will reprise the role of Joseph after having played the role 17 years ago. PHOTO: Becky Smith
 

“At the time, we knew that doing our part to protect the community was more important than sharing our work and bringing some joy to the valley,” said Brett Moellenberg. “It was a tough call, but it was the right call. Early this year, we started working out how a re-mount could take place and, after consulting with the existing cast in February, we had a good feeling about June. We lost a few of our original cast members, who we remember and appreciate, but we gained several new friends along the way!”

The musical, which features music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice, is based on the story of the biblical Joseph whom God used to save a nation through a series of bizarre circumstances.

It tells the story of a Hebrew lad who is gifted with a multi-colored coat by his father who favors him above his 11 brothers. His jealous brothers sell him as a slave to some passersby and tell their father that Joseph was torn to pieces by a wild animal. But Joseph winds up in Egypt where he finds favor of the wealthy Potiphar—well, at least until Potiphar’s wife tries unsuccessfully to seduce him.

He is thrown in jail but catches the eye of the Pharoah when God gives him the ability to interpret the Pharoah’s troubled dreams. And, so, he is elevated to Pharaoh’s right hand, able to determine the fate of his family when they come before him groveling for food during a famine in the land.

Presented on Broadway, a film version starred Donny Osmond. It provides a variety of catchy musical and dance styles, including country western, rock and roll and even 1920s flapper-type music. Just imagine Elvis retelling the story. Or a calypso-minded dude recounting Pharoah’s dreams.

“The show itself fuses multiple musical genres, which give the audience more accessibility to the piece because the music is constantly changing,” said Moellenberg. “The story itself is interesting because the theme of family dysfunction and jealousy are ever-present in our world today, and it amazes me how timeless the story is.”

Kevin Wade first played the role of Joseph as a Community School senior in 2005, and he returns to reprise his role this week.

The wonderful thing about Joseph, he said then, is his innocence honesty and integrity: “He’s got nothing to hide. He’s not wearing any masks.”

Sara Gorby plays The Narrator, which Moellenberg calls a fascinating part of the piece.

“She is both telling the story and moving the story along, while interacting with many of the characters. That role has long been a unique character in the musical theater canon. It is one of the toughest vocal parts I have ever encountered from a range and stamina perspective, and she does an amazing job of bringing the energy throughout the show.”

The show starts at 7 p.m. through Saturday, June 25, at Sun Valley Community School Theatre. A 3 p.m. matinee will also be held on Saturday, June 25. Tickets are $15 for those under 18 and $25 for adults, available by calling 208-726-5349 or at https://ci.ovationtix.com/35974/production/1127127

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