‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’ returns to MurrayJun 10, 2019 11:10AM ● By Shaun Delliskave
Benjamin Stanford as Joseph, center, poses with Patrick Risk and Andrew Schultz as his scheming brothers in “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” (Photo courtesy of Lynn Chatterton)
By Shaun Delliskave | [email protected]
What is purple and white and pink and orange and blue? If you know the rest of the lyrics, then you know it’s the nominal piece of clothing in “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” The musical will open Murray Park Amphitheater’s (495 E. 5300 South) Arts in the Park summer season, running June 20–22, 24–26.
With lyrics by Tim Rice and music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, “Joseph” depicts the biblical tale of Joseph, who is given a magnificent coat of many colors and his journey from favored son to slave to the right-hand man of Pharaoh.
“‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,’ at its core, is a story of a boy who had amazing dreams and the struggles he went through to make them happen. Sometimes people get in our way, sometimes our circumstances. But if we keep our head high, believe in our own worth, and put in the time and effort, dreams can become a reality,” said Assistant Director Mike Romney.
The musical is popular with Murray audiences, having graced the amphitheater’s stage many times before. “‘Joseph’ has indeed been done many times, and countless different themes or concepts have been put on this show. We have decided to bring it back more to how it was originally written. There will be a few unique things; but as a whole, we are taking it back to its roots,” Romney said.
In the namesake role, Benjamin Stanford will play Joseph. As the narrator, two women, Alana Woodbury and Lauren Benjamin Smith, will take on the part. Michael Allen Gray is cast as Joseph’s father, Jacob. As the Elvis-styled Pharoah, Brady Misustin. Rounding out the cast is Tyson Jensen, Potiphar; Melissa Van Dam, Potiphar’s wife; Hailee Christensen, the butler; and Jenika Young as the baker. Veteran director Lynn Chatterton will helm the production.
“To prepare these actors to take on their roles, we make sure they know their music first. During the music rehearsals we talk a little bit about characterization and how they can accomplish that vocally,” Romney said. “Then during blocking and choreography rehearsals we really get into who they are as characters. What is their goal? What do they want in each scene and from each person they interact with? Understanding those things helps develop your role and makes blocking and choreography make more sense to the story.”
“Joseph” requires an unusually large cast, as, of course, Joseph had 11 brothers and their wives. The brothers are played by Scott Urie, Patrick Risk, Tyson Jensen, Peter Hughes, Brady Misustin, Andrew Schultz, Nathan Asay, Brandon Packard, Gavin Lewis, Parker Lewis and Zack Spurlock. Their wives are played by Hailee Christensen, Stephanie Cole, Cassidy Lewis, Ashely Mordwinow, Deborah Naylor, Adelle Remke, Erin Probst, Melissa Van Dam, Chelsea West, Eliza Williams and Jennica Young. The production also has a large children’s chorus composed of Henry Bowles, Bella Brewer, Spencer Brewer, Presley Call, Phillip Hurst, Angel Richardson, Annelise Slater, Amy Weight, Lauren Probst, Jordyn Probst, Katie Ketchoyan, Lily Williams and Adi Pressman.
According to Romney, “The hardest part of staging this production is, honestly, the size of the cast. With a show that requires this many people, it makes every aspect of the show that much more difficult. But we have an amazing cast of performers that will be able to handle the massive nature of this show.”
“Joseph” is a musical that inspires people to become repeat ticket buyers, but Romney pointed out that there are many aspects of the play that even repeat viewers may miss.
“I think ‘Joseph’ is a show that many people love for the fun, upbeat music and crazy characters,” Romney said. “However, what I think some people forget is how we can all relate to every character. I would encourage the audience to search for something that resonates with them among the fun music and crazy characters.”