Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat – For their upcoming stage production, the Cote St. Luc Dramatic Society (CSLDS) is going to the Bible. Not for spiritual guidance, but for the story of Joseph, in particular, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s musical adaptation of his story called “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”.
This hit rock musical, which was first staged 50 years ago, will be playing at the Harold Greenspon Auditorium, 5801 Cavendish Boulevard, from May 30 until June 10.
“This is a really important, large-scale musical production for us, because this dynamic cast promotes inclusion and diversity, from children to seniors, and it’s an amazing array of talent. As well, it’s a nice tie-in to mark Israel’s 70th anniversary, said Anisa Cameron, who once again is serving as the show’s director.
“And everyone knows the story of Joseph, but has never seen this musical. As a result, we have already sold 350 tickets to the show without the benefit of any advanced advertising or publicity,” said Cote St. Luc Mayor Mitchell Brownstein, who is not only one of the show’s producers, but will once again perform onstage, this time as the Egyptian merchant who buys Joseph as a slave, and then later has him thrown into jail.
Boasting the largest cast for a CSLDS production since “Fiddler on the Roof”, “Joseph” will feature for the first time a group of seven child performers between the ages of 7 and 12, who will primarily be part of the chorus. Although it’s another way for the group to give the community at large the chance to appear in the show, Ms. Cameron is amazed by the sense of discipline and professionalism these seven budding young performers are bringing to the production.
“Although they do a lot of sitting and singing throughout rehearsals, they approach their roles in the show with a great deal of maturity,” she said. “They feel that they need to be like the other 33 members of the cast. They are always bringing their scripts with them, and highlighting their lines. It’s quite a testament to their dedication towards the show.”
“Joseph” also marks the return of Nick Burgess as musical director for a CSLDS production (he started out with them in 2014 for their production of “Grease”). “This is the musical that Nick was meant to do with us. He is perfect for the challenge of mounting an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, because it’s a show that does not have a scripted score. The story is sung throughout the show, using 16 different harmonies and every song tackles a different musical genre, whether it be calypso, Elvis, or country & western,” said Ms. Cameron.
CSLDS veteran Sam Boucher will be playing the title role of Joseph, which will be the first time the Concordia University theatre performance student is going to be featured in a lead role for a CSLDS production. “Sam is going to make the lead role of Joseph sound like a nice brother and a good person; this show is going to be a platform for him to shine in the spotlight,” said Ms. Cameron, who added that he was just accepted into the prestigious performance program at Sheridan College in Oakville, Ontario.
And for those who attend the May 30 opening night performance of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”, they will have the option of attending a pre-show Gala that will take place at the Cote St. Luc Council Chamber (located two floors above the auditorium) starting at 6 p.m. For $150 per ticket, guests will enjoy a cocktail dinatoire, along with live performances of musical highlights from four of the CSLDS’ most successful productions: “Fiddler on the Roof”, “Catch Me If You Can”, “Little Shop of Horrors” and “Hairspray”, which will be followed by the premiere performance of “Joseph”.
“Where else can you see two shows in one night – and enjoy some good food – for that price?,” said Mr. Brownstein. “The Cote St. Luc Dramatic Society wants to improve the theatrical experience for its audiences, but it takes money to do more things. By raising some extra funds through this Gala, we would be able to do more and do something special.” Also on tap for the CSLDS this season includes their popular Seniors Summer Works show in August, a major production for the fall, and another theatrical production for younger theatergoers (in the same vein as “Fancy Nancy” last year).
“’Joseph’ lends itself to the real excitement and enthusiasm that people of all ages will be able to relate to and learn from,” he added. “It helps fulfill our mission of giving the opportunity to people of all ages to participate in – and enjoy – this experience.”
Tickets for the Cote St. Luc Dramatic Society’s upcoming production of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” cost $32, or $28 for seniors and students, and can be purchased online at www.csldramaticsociety.com, or in person at the Eleanor London Cote St. Luc Public Library on Cavendish Boulevard, or at the Aquatic and Community Centre on Parkhaven Avenue. To purchase tickets for the May 30 pre-show Gala, contact Ryan Nemeroff at 514-485-6806, ext. 2022 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Feature image: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat cast rehearsal