FOSTORIA - Bible scholars know the Old Testament story of Joseph and his 12 brothers. It is a tale of faith, endurance, tragedy, triumph and the unfathomable actions of God upon human endeavors. A variety of musical styles, colorful characters and a children's chorus combine to dramatize the pivotal role of Joseph in the history of Israel.
"Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" opens tonight with a sold-out dinner theater at St. Wendelin School in Fostoria. Additional performances are set for 7 p.m. Friday and shows at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday. The music is by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber.
Edy Mowery, Victoria Volpe and Liz Weaver serve as the narrators, guiding the action and giving background on the characters. There is no spoken dialogue only singing, dancing and body language. The narrators begin as storytellers for a group of children who provide a chorus of sweet voices to accompany Joseph for "Any Dream Will Do."
PHOTO BY STEVE WILLIAMS
Dalton Murray, as Joseph, is shown with narrators (from left) Edy Mowery, Victoria Volpe and Liz Weaver in “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.”
In the lead role of Joseph is Dalton Murray. Justin Walter plays the elderly Jacob, father of Joseph. Favoring Joseph above his other 11 sons, Jacob gives Joseph a multi-colored coat to wear. Joseph makes the mistake of telling his brothers about his dream: God has given him a special purpose.
With an extreme case of sibling rivalry, the brothers conspire to get rid of their brother and his big ego.
Portraying the brothers are Cole Williams, Joey DeHaven, Donovan Scudder, Devin Frankart, Maco Gonzalez, Caleb Colburn, Quinton Taylor, Patrick Castillo, David Stosio, Sam Digby and Auggie Frohnen.
Portraying the brothers' wives are Becca Starn, Morgan Hay, Casey Rife, Olivia Hill, Emily Weaver, Sophia Volpe, Sarah Cockie, Alexa Hallman, Emma Prince, Kayla Hunter, Ashton Wolfe and Anna Mischkulnig.
These students also fill minor roles as the tale unfolds.
After "Jacob and Sons/Joseph's Coat," the brothers subdue Joseph but can't bring themselves to kill him. Instead, they sell him as a slave to a group of Ishmaelites. They take Joseph's bloody coat to Jacob and tell their father Joseph is dead with the Western-style ballad, "One More Angel in Heaven." The song alternates between sad and joyful because the brothers are relieved to be rid of the favored son.
Meanwhile, Joseph is carried off to Egypt and placed in the service of Potiphar, an official to the Pharaoh. All is going well until Mrs. Potiphar tries unsuccessfully to seduce Joseph. The young man is cast into the dungeon where he sinks into despair and sings "Close Every Door" as a prayer to God for deliverance. The narrators and chorus sing words of encouragement.
Word spreads of Joseph's ability to interpret accurately the dreams of others. The Pharaoh summons Joseph to explain the unusual dreams the ruler of Egypt is having. Joseph does so and is rewarded with a position of power. The predictions foretell a time of famine that is coming, and the Pharaoh is able to amass a store of grain to get his people through the crisis.
Irony abounds when Joseph's brothers arrive in the Egyptian court pleading for food to take back to Israel. They do not recognize him, but Joseph knows them. The same men who sold him into slavery are now in need of his help. After some negotiations, Joseph reveals himself, sends food home with his brothers and is reunited with his father.
Directors Anthony and Katherine Gallina have added some creative costuming and choreography to the production. The children's chorus showcases the vocal talents of elementary students along with the teens.
The children include Sarah McCarty, Erika Gonzalez, Hannah Myers, Aaron Frederick, Hannah Smith, Joseph Schmenk, Jacob Schmenk, Aliya Douglas, Jacob Preble, Kaylee Shaw, Baleigh Robinson, Alivia Weisenauer, Ava Schlachter, Caroline Lanicek, Morgan Amlin, Taryn Hampton and Sydney Johnson.
Kudos also go to the ensemble of musicians who work non-stop throughout the program and set the tone for each scene.
Tickets for Friday and Saturday are $8 for adults and $6 for seniors and children. For reservations or information, contact Anthony Gallina at (419) 435-8144 or firstname.lastname@example.org.