Divine Child HS opens ‘Joseph and that Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’ more than a year later
More than a year after it was originally scheduled to open, Divine Child High School is ready to raise the curtain on the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” with select graduate cast members returning to perform in a private Saturday matinee.
The musical follows the Old Testament story of Joseph, son of Jacob, who is sold into slavery in Egypt by his jealous brothers. He subsequently interprets dreams for the Egyptian pharaoh, predicting an upcoming famine and instituting rationing. When his brothers travel from Canaan (modern day Israel) to Egypt for grain, they fail to recognize Joseph, setting the stage for a reunion and forgiveness.
The cast is significantly smaller than the original contingent of 140 planned for the March 2020 show, with the 2021 production featuring 33 high school and 18 elementary school performers.
Three seniors lead the production, with Casper Dickey as Joseph, and Sydney Porada and Maddy Woods as the narrators.
Connor Godin plays Jacob, with Claire Reinhardt as Pharaoh and Marco Thompson as Potiphar.
Robert Bush is the orchestra and technical director, with Paul Abbott as musical director and Elisa Noeske as the director.
The show includes favorite songs, including, “Any Dream Will Do,” “Go, Go, Go, Joseph,” “Jacob and Sons,” “Joseph’s Coat,” “One More Angel in Heaven,” the Elvis-themed “Pharaoh’s Story,” “Potiphar” and “Those Canaan Days.”
Bush said it has been great seeing the theater come alive during rehearsals.
“We have been waiting for this moment for over a year, and cannot wait to perform this show for our students and our community,” he said. “‘Joseph’ is a fun, colorful and interactive show that is sure to bring a smile to our audience’s faces, even under a mask!”
Bush said that while the show feels different with social distancing, with actors singing and dancing while masked, the joy it has brought to the participants has made the endeavor worthwhile.
Dickey, who plays Joseph, said he was happy to be back on the stage.
“It has been very different, but necessary, to take precautions,” he said. “I am overjoyed to be back on the stage with my friends, doing what we love, after such a long time, and I can’t wait to share this show with a live audience.”
Porada said it has been challenging rehearsing with masks on, especially when you can’t see others’ expressions.
“It’s a new experience, but it is a joy to be back onstage,” she said. “My role, as the narrator, has been a blast, and I am looking forward to breaking the fourth wall and interacting with the audience, too.”
Woods said that while rehearsing with masks and social distancing was challenging, it was worthwhile, since it got them back on the stage.
“It was so sad when things were canceled last year,” she said. “I am happy to be back!”
Woods said her role is fun to play, and she enjoys engaging with an audience.
Rachel Rudzinski said she is also looking forward to performing in front of a live audience.
“Rehearsing during a pandemic has been a little chaotic but fun,” she said. “Being able to sing without masks, and interacting with facial expressions are what I miss the most.”
Rudzinski said that even with social distancing, it is great to be back in the theater.
“I have been happier since we started rehearsing,” she said.
COVID-19 safety measures have been instituted, including the implementation of a plasma air filtration system in the auditorium. Admission is limited to 140 people per show, with six feet of separation between seating groups, staggered arrival times and masking requirements enforced.
The show runs 7:30 p.m. May 19, 20, 21 and 22, with a 2:30 p.m. Sunday matinee, at the high school, 1001 N. Silvery Lane in Dearborn. Tickets are $10 for students and $12 for adults. To order, go to dchstheater.ludus.com.