Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber will be presented at The Baptist Church of Beaufort on Friday, September 30 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, Oct. 1 at 3 and 7 p.m.
Based on the “coat of many colors” story of Joseph from the book of Genesis in the Bible, this light-hearted show was first presented as a 15-minute pop cantata at the Colet Court School in London on March 1, 1968. It then morphed from a 15-minute production to a 35-minute production and was referred to as a pop oratorio.
In 1970, Lloyd Webber and Rice used the popularity of their second rock opera, Jesus Christ Superstar, to promote Joseph — which was advertised in America as a “sequel” to Superstar. Its popularity eventually led the show to its first Broadway performance at the Royal Theatre where it ran for 749 performances. The show was restaged in 1991 at the London Palladium in an expanded version which toured off-broadway in America for a decade. This expanded version now runs about two hours and includes the addition of a children’s chorus and prologue, mega-mix dance numbers, and more technical production feats.
In 1995, Northern Kentucky Children’s Ensemble (another community children’s chorus founded by Dr. Melanie Williams) was selected to participate with an off-broadway touring company of Joseph in Cincinnati. The same chorus was later used in a production at her church that year with adults and youths from the church family filling the other roles. In order to afford the same opportunity for LowCountry Children’s Chorus to undergo an exciting musical theater stage experience, to work with other friends and talented colleagues who share the same love of musical theater, and to offer more adults and youths performance opportunities within her church family and the community, the idea to come together was conceived and birthed for the first time in 2007 … and now once again in 2011.
Through collaborative efforts of the music and drama ministries at The Baptist Church of Beaufort and Port Royal Baptist Church, a very talented and capable direction crew as well as a cast and technical crew has emerged with Melanie Williams, musical director, Lynda McLain, stage director, and Casey Chucta, choreographer. The title role of Joseph is played by Gregg McLain and the Narrator’s role will be sung by Dawn Bates. Jim Wooten, Senior Pastor, will be featured in the role of Jacob, and Kiel Seley, Youth Minister at Port Royal Baptist, will play one of the brothers.
Although much rehearsal time is required from everyone in order to produce this musical, some families have committed to work on this project together. Much time is spent encouraging one another in rehearsal as the 33-member cast and LowCountry Children’s Chorus converge.
The Baptist Church of Beaufort has been very supportive in providing a performance venue in the past for such productions as Smoke On the Mountain and Sanders Family Christmas, and looks forward to another celebration of community.
Tickets are $10 for general admission and $5 for seniors and children under 12. They may be purchased in advance at The Baptist Church of Beaufort (600 Charles St.), Antiques and Such (1600 Burnside, #105, Beaufort Town Center), and Lighthouse Deli and Café, 81 Sea Island Parkway. Tickets will also be available at the door. This community production is sponsored by The Baptist Church of Beaufort and LowCountry Children’s Chorus, which is celebrating 10 years.