Youth performers from Mesa and across the East Valley will take the Mesa Arts Center stage Aug. 4-14 in “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.”
The musical, which brings the age-old tale of Jacob and his 12 sons to vibrant new life, is produced by Limelight Performing Arts and kicks off the youth theater company’s 2022-23 season.
Leading the show as Joseph is 18-year-old Tre Moore, who, in May, was named “Best Lead Male” in the ASU Gammage High School Musical Theatre Awards and clinched a nomination for the Jimmy Awards, a national competition held annually in New York City.
He and 16-year-old Bennett Smith share the role of Joseph, with Moore heading up the Blue cast and Smith leading the Red.
Moore says it’s a role he can’t wait to play.
“Despite ‘Joseph’ being a classic, I was relatively unfamiliar with the show when it was announced to be the season opener,” he said. “I had to watch several versions and adaptations of the show before auditioning and immediately fell in love with the eccentricity of the storyline.”
The musical, which takes place in biblical-era Canaan and Egypt, tells the story of Jacob’s favorite son, Joseph, through a kaleidoscope of song and dance. When Jacob gives Joseph a magnificent coat of many colors, his 11 brothers become so consumed with jealousy they sell him into slavery in Egypt. But because of Joseph’s prophetic gift for interpreting dreams, he ascends from lowly house slave to Pharaoh’s key advisor – and soon redeems the brothers who betrayed him.
But despite its weighty themes, the production is upbeat and full of comic relief.
“It’s hilarious, inspiring and so colorful,” said Emma England, Limelight’s artistic director who, along with Marie South, is directing the show.
“I believe the audience will like the goofiness of the show,” added 17-year-old Daymon Reidhead, who plays the role of Joseph’s older brother, Levi. “This cast has a great energy and wants to make this show the best it can be.”
Ashton Grantham, 16, is part of the ensemble of “Joseph.” She said, “If the audience is familiar with Joseph’s story from the bible, they will love seeing it come to life. They will also love how fast paced and entertaining it is.”
Indeed, the 90-minute production features nonstop singing and dance. Every word in the musical is sung, and every scene is choreographed from beginning to end.
“The ensemble is central to this production,” said South. “Most productions rely on a couple of leads to carry the show, but ‘Joseph’ isn’t like that. Every person on stage is important to the story, and that means every one of our performers needs to be a true triple threat.”
Of course, no production of “Joseph” would be complete without a children’s choir.
“The children’s choir is on stage the entire show, singing along. It’s all younger kids and it gives us a chance to be part of a big show,” said Sophie Aspinall, 12.
The group of youngsters is critical to the production, as they add new layers to every scene and song.
“I like it because we get to dance a lot instead of sitting on stairs like other productions of ‘Joseph’ have done,” said 11-year-old Suzie Peifer.
She believes the “cute” factor is also important.
“It makes it fun to watch since you see cute little kids,” said Peifer.
Audiences also will enjoy the colorful characters and costumes, modern choreography and a range of music and dance styles – from French ballad and calypso to bubble-gum pop and a Pharaoh who sings Elvis. With lyrics by Tim Rice and music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, the show includes Broadway favorites like “Close Every Door,” “Go Go Go Joseph” and “Any Dream Will Do.”
“At the heart of this show is a powerful message of love and unity that will resonate with children and adults,” said England. “The cast’s hard work and incredible passion will be evident in the top-notch quality of this performance.”
“Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” features a cast of 50 performers ages 6-21. Tickets are $16 plus box office fees and are available at the Mesa Arts Center box office, 1 E. Main St.; at MesaArtsCenter.com keyword “technicolor”; or by visiting ll-pa.org. Group discounts are available.
Learn more at ll-pa.org.
No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here