You may think you’re familiar with the story of Joseph and his coat of many colors, but you’ve never seen it portrayed quite like it is in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, this year’s spring musical. The sung-through musical comedy features over-the-top characters and a variety of music from country to Calypso and Elvis to French.
“It’s very colorful – pun intended,” said junior Victor Beeler, who portrays Joseph. And as far as the music goes, “it’s just the whole shebang!”
Throughout the show Victor’s character is rather naïve and self-centered, which leads to his brothers’ selling him to the Egyptians. Even though his circumstances are sometimes challenging, Joseph was a fun role for him, he said.
“It’s just me being a kid,” Victor said. “Joseph has no idea what’s going on.”
As he goes from being his father’s favorite to being sold into slavery and then sent to prison, Joseph does have a breakdown when faced with harsh reality, Victor said. But he bounces back and learns from his situation.
Senior Dylan Payne, who is in his first spring musical lead role, plays Joseph’s father, Jacob, who despite his sorrow of losing his son is actually the show’s comedic relief.
“He’s more like ‘out there,’” Dylan said, noting he enjoys portraying him as a caricature, who wails loudly and is the only one who doesn’t know the truth about Joseph’s situation. His favorite scene is when he reunites with his son. “That’s like a special moment for me. I love it.”
Junior Grant Dierking also plays another larger-than-life character, Pharaoh, who has a strong resemblance to Elvis Presley. He said he is enjoying himself in his second spring musical.
“I get to have fun up on stage being as goofy as I want to,” Grant said.
Grant said he likes how each of the characters is an important part in the story, not just the lead characters.
“The brothers (of Joseph) are responsible for as much if not more (of the storyline) as the leads are.” Grant said.
Senior Regan Elias is the narrator and is enjoying the challenging of a new type of role for her. Instead of interacting with other main characters on stage, she interacts with the group of children who make up an on-stage audience. She is the one telling the story of Joseph to the group. And she also interacts some with the actual audience.
“It’s a lot more storytelling” than previous lead roles she has had, she said. “So I have to be ‘on’ the whole show.”
The group of children is portrayed by alternating groups of 30 Deanery students, 60 in all. Those students sit on risers for much of the show, but they also sing along at times and have portions of choreography.
Dylan said audiences will love the music because “there’s something for everyone.” The length is also appealing, since each act only lasts about 45 minutes.
“It keeps you involved,” Victor added.
Director Ellen Holifield agrees.
“I’m really looking forward to opening Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat on Friday,” Mrs. Holifield said. “This has always been one of my favorite shows, and it has been a joy to direct it. The audiences will love the bright, colorful, energized production of a familiar Bible story. They will enjoy the wide variety of musical styles brought together in this fast-paced production.”
Show times are March 6 at 8:00 p.m. for Opening Night ($40), March 7 at 7:00 p.m., March 8 at 2:00 p.m., March 13 at 7:00 p.m., March 14 at 7:00 p.m., and March 15 at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are $15 for all performances except Opening Night and may be purchased online, by calling (812) 945.2538 ext. 301, or at the door.
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Photo credit: Jennifer (Bartley) Dunn ’94