Song, dance tell Joseph’s colourful story

Xtreme Theatre's production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat will be coming to the ACT in Maple Ridge.

Narrators (from left) Brinn Kennedy

Xtreme Theatre’s upcoming production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat will feature six-part harmonies.

This is the most difficult production that the theatre group has put on since it was established in 2000 because it relies solely on song and dance to tell the story.

Vocal coach Monique Lefevbre and choreographer Linnea Key Nejad have been working with the students since September to prepare for the musical.

“It’s probably our most difficult show in that it is like a mini operetta. So there isn’t any spoken words. Everything is told in song,” said producer Wendy Holm.

“It’s been quite the project for these students, who really had to get into shape to tell this story well,” she continued.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is based on a biblical story in the Book of Genesis. The plot centers around Joseph, who is favoured by his father. Joseph’s brothers become jealous of him when their father gives him a long-sleeved coat, a symbol of affluence at the time. They sell him into slavery in Egypt, where God gives him the ability to interpret dreams. After interpreting the Pharaoh’s dream, Joseph is able to protect Egypt from an impending famine.

The production will feature different genres of music, including country and Calypso. The Pharaoh, who was like a king in Egypt, will be portrayed like Elvis Presley, who was also known as the King of Rock and Roll.

There are 41 cast members aged 14 to 18 years old, plus a 30-member choir made up of the youngest students, ages four to 13.

The show will also feature three narrators performing three-part harmonies.

Audience members will be able to follow along with their programs, which contain the full biblical story.

Holm says she gets goose bumps when she hears the actors sing and that all the hard work shows in the production.

“We thought the story was worth telling, and when it’s worth telling, you tell it well,” said Holm.

Xtreme Theatre is a group for home-schooled children to learn about being a part of a musical theatre production.

No experience is necessary to join.

It is run by volunteers, who build the sets, make the costumes and props, advertise and make the programs.

• Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat runs May 19 to 21 at 7 p.m. with one matinee at 2 p.m. on May 21 at the ACT, 11944 Haney Place, Maple Ridge. Show length is approximately 90 minutes with one intermission. Tickets are $15 each.

• For more information, call 604-476-2787 or go to theactmapleridge.org.

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