For their third production in the 40th Anniversary Season, Cortland Repertory Theatre offers the family musical "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat", with music by Andrew Lloyd Weber and lyrics by Tim Rice. The Biblical saga of Joseph and his coat of many colors comes to vibrant life in this delightful musical parable. Set to an engaging cornucopia of musical styles, from country-western and calypso, to bubble-gum pop and Elvis Presley rock 'n' roll, this Old Testament tale emerges both timely and timeless. This fast, frothy and fun musical will get the whole family singing along to this beautiful story.
Performances of CRT's "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" will run from July 13 - 30 with evening performances at 7:30. Matinees are available on July 15, 17, 20, 24 and 27 at 2:00 PM. Tickets may be purchased by calling 800-427-6160 or in person at the CRT Box Office at 37 Franklin Street in Cortland. Tickets are also available for sale 24 hours a day through the CRT website at www.cortlandrep.org. The show is perfectly suitable for the whole family, and is offered as a wonderful introduction to live theatre for young people.
The story is based on the Biblical story of Joseph, found in the Book of Genesis. It begins with The Narrator encouraging a group of schoolchildren to dream, and we are introduced to Jacob and his 12 sons, including Joseph, the favorite. Joseph's brothers are jealous of him for his beautiful coat, a symbol of their father's preference for him, and it is clear from Joseph's dreams that he is destined to rule over them. To get rid of him, the brothers sell Joseph as a slave to some passing Ishmaelites, who take him to Egypt. The brothers break the news to Jacob in the form of a country-western hoedown.
In Egypt, Joseph becomes the head slave of Egyptian millionaire Potiphar. When Mrs. Potiphar makes unreturned advances toward Joseph, Potiphar jumps to conclusions and throws Joseph in jail. There, Joseph meets two former servants of the Pharaoh who have had bizarre dreams. Joseph interprets them, and his premonitions come true. The Pharaoh is also having strange dreams and Joseph is sent for to interpret. Discovering that his dreams mean a famine is on its way, the astonished Pharaoh puts Joseph in charge of carrying out the preparations needed to endure, and Joseph becomes the most powerful man in Egypt, second only to the Pharaoh.
Back home, the famine has caught up with Joseph's brothers, who decide to go to Egypt and beg for food, not realizing that they will be dealing with Joseph. He gives them sacks of food, but plants a golden cup in the sack of his brother Benjamin. When the brothers try to leave, Joseph stops them, demanding the "stolen cup". Joseph then accuses Benjamin of robbery and the other brothers beg for mercy, imploring that Joseph take them prisoner and set Benjamin free. Seeing their selflessness and penitence, Joseph reveals himself as their brother and the family is reunited for a happy conclusion. The show ends with the "Joseph Megamix", a rock/disco medley of the musical's major numbers.
Directing this energetic production is frequent CRT director Bert Bernardi, whose previous CRT credits include "The Pajama Game", "Johnny Guitar" and "The Great American Trailer Park Musical". Choreography is by Cynthia Halpin, dance instructor at SUNY Cortland and the Cortland Performing Arts Institute, who previously choreographed CRT's "Brigadoon". Music Direction is by Tammy Holder, director of CRT's "Showstoppers and Superstars" Musical Theatre Adventure Camp for Youth.
Leading the cast are Jacqueline Nuzzo as the Narrator and Austin VanDyke Colby as Joseph, both in their CRT debut. Danny Blaylock, previously seen in "Chicago" and Rumors" earlier this summer, will play both father Jacob and the millionaire Potiphar, with his wife played by newcomer Ruth Kennedy. Playing the Elvis-inspired Pharaoh is newcomer Bradford B. Frost. Returning from the "Chicago" cast to play brothers are Corey Desjardins, Kurt Merrill, Dániel Rákász, Alexander Rivera and Performing Interns Joseph DePietro, Evan Montgomery and Shawn Smith. Completing the family are newcomers Gabriel Beck and Ian Callahan, and also Brendon North, who was previously seen in last summer's "Brigadoon". Portraying Jacob's many wives are Marissa Dompe, Katy O'Donnell, and Performing Interns Jennifer Holcombe, Renee Reinecke and Sarah VanFossen, all who were seen in "Chicago".