Capital City Players performing 'Dreamcoat'

The Capital City Players cast of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”

The Capital City Players cast of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” Photo by Shaun Zimmerman.

Capital City Players is bringing to life the story of Joseph and his coat of many colors from the book of Genesis.

“Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” is the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical with lyrics by Tim Rice, first performed on Broadway in 1982.

The show has little spoken dialogue and is completely sung through. It tells the story of Joseph, the dreamer, played by Steve Dawson, and his brothers. The story is told through a narrator played by Sarah Culp. Joseph’s brothers are jealous of him and arrange for him to be kidnapped and taken to Egypt. There he rises from being a slave to interpreting the dreams of Pharaoh, helping the country through a famine. This famine effects his father and brothers, who are starving. They go to Egypt for food and run into Joseph, not knowing who he is. Joseph eventually reveals himself and helps, reuniting with them and his father.

Director Mike Dodson is putting a slightly different spin on this show, since it has been done at least three times in the city.

“In our version, I set a scene where the children come to an Egyptian exhibit in a museum. The narrator takes on the role of museum curator to explain the exhibit and then their imagination brings the story to life with the narrator leading them through,” Dodson said.

This is also the first company in Mid-Missouri to perform the mega-mix version of the ending of the show. This is an eight-minute song that comprises the songs from the show that have moved it along. It takes the audience from one song to the next with no break.

Dodson said he is using a music track for the show provided by MT Pit, a company which makes large Broadway orchestra sound tracks accessible to smaller theaters. This is also a challenge to the cast in that any built in breaks have to follow the track. All set and costume changes must be timed exactly. The music doesn’t wait.

“The cast has adjusted to this very nicely and enjoys the fact that the music is constant,” Dodson said.

The songs in the musical have a variety of styles, including French ballads, Elvis-inspired rock ’n’ roll, western, Charleston-style, Calypso and disco.

According to Dodson, this is challenging for dancers in particular because they have to adapt to each different style. Helping to perfect each style is the choreography of LuAnn Madsen.

The moving set lends itself to the different staging and allows the children to be constantly on stage. This goes along with the concept of the story seen from the children’s imagination.

Dodson said this is one of the largest casts he has directed. There are 25 adults, and the children’s choir is made up of 20 youths.

The musical directors for the children’s choir are Ann Harris and Karel Lowery.

Chris Kennison plays the ever-popular Elvis character complete with the white jump suit, and veteran performer Dick Dalton plays Jacob, the father, and Potiphar.

This is the first time Dodson has directed a community theater production, but he has directed previously for William Woods University, and he wants the audience to take meaning from the show.

“Any dream you have is a good dream and worth shooting for. You can’t reach the stars if you don’t reach,” Dodson said.

At a glance:

What: “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” Capital City Players

When: This weekend and again June 20-23; Thursday through Saturday performances at 6:30 p.m.; Sunday performances at 12:30 p.m.

Where: Shikles Auditorium, Linden Drive, Jefferson City.

Tickets: 573-681-9012 or www.capitalcityplayers.com. $35 includes dinner; special for this show for ages 6-12 at $20; younger than 6 admitted free.

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