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WHS thespians try on 'Dreamcoat'

Woodbury High School's production of "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" opens Nov. 4. The play was written by Tim Rice and Andre Lloyd Weber and is a musical about the biblical story of Joseph and his coat of many colors.

Woodbury High School theater directors Karen and John Seashore are looking to charm local theatergoers with their third production of "Joseph and Technicolor Dreamcoat."

"It's a show that the community always loves," Karen Seashore said of the play, which opens at 7 p.m. Nov. 4. "It certainly is one of our favorites."

The show is written by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Weber.

"Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" is a retelling of the biblical story of Joseph, who is the favorite son of Jacob. After receiving a coat of many colors, Joseph is sold into slavery by his 11 brothers out of jealousy because of their father's favoritism and Joseph's ability to explain people's dreams.

When the pharaoh calls on Joseph to break down a dream, he predicts a famine and is made the pharaoh's second-hand man.

When the famine hits, Joseph's brothers come to him for relief and have to pass a test to prove they've changed before he'll forgive them.

Seashore said her favorite aspects of "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" include the variety of music, the actor's ability to be physical and the amount of energy.

A show of singers

The play is unique compared to other musicals since it is an opera, which means there is no spoken dialogue who is playing Joseph, said it was a little intimidating going into the part because of all of the singing, but he said it got easier as rehearsal progressed.

"It kind of threw me off at first, but I kind of got used to it," he said.

Leyva said the fact that he likes the music helped a lot.

He said he has been watching the 1999 movie version of the musical, with Donny Osmond, to help him capture the feel of the show.

"I'm trying to think like Donny Osmond," he said. "That's what I'm trying to bring to the character."

A seamless show

Even though a show that doesn't have any spoken dialogue could be challenging for the audience to follow, Seashore said "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" is actually fairly easy to follow.

The audience does have some help following the show, thanks to the show's three narrators who are on stage the entire show explaining the story.

"It's a lot of fun because you're telling the whole story from an outsider's perspective," said WHS senior Angela Yang who plays one of the narrators. "We're like the teachers."

WHS junior Nathan Christensen, who plays the Pharaoh, said he really likes how smooth the show is.

"It's a story that's told in a different way," he said, "but I like how the scenes just go seamlessly from one to the next."

Since the narrators are on stage the entire show, Yang said it can be a little challenging to stay in character.

However, she said she enjoys being able to watch the show unfold.

"I can see how the story changes and see how the characters evolve and grow," she said.

In conjunction with the play, WHS will also be collecting used coats, scarves, hats and mittens to be donated to Joseph's Coat, a free store in St. Paul. WHS received the Community Spotlight Award, and a $500 check, from WCCO for its service project.

Seashore said she is excited for opening night and is confident that "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" will be a success.

"People who come to this show will be smiling until it's over - it really is that kind of show," she said. "It has something for everyone in it."

Woodbury High School's production of "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" runs Nov. 4-5 and Nov. 9-12 at 7 p.m. and Nov. 6 at 2 p.m. Tickets can be purchased in advance, at the school, Nov. 2 from 3:45 to 6 p.m., Nov. 3 from 11 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. and from 6:30 to 8 p.m., Nov. 4 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:15 a.m. and Nov. 7 from 3:45 to 6 p.m. Advance adult tickets are $9 and student tickets are $7. Tickets can also be purchased one hour prior to performances. At the door adult tickets are $10 and student tickets are $8.

Amber Kispert-Smith

Amber Kispert-Smith has been the schools and Afton reporter at the Woodbury Bulletin since 2008. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota. She previously worked as a reporter for Press Publications in White Bear Lake.

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