The Epiphany Players Drama Ministry of Epiphany Lutheran Church offers Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s 1968 biblical musical “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” as its annual summer musical beginning Thursday.
A flavorfully sung-through account breezily adapted from the Book of Genesis, “Joseph” follows the vibrant highs and heartbreaking lows of Jacob’s titular favorite son, who seriously ruffled the feathers of his 11 brothers because of his dazzling multicolored garb. Joseph’s journey, humorously accented by the appearance of an Elvis-esque Pharaoh, evolves as a charming lesson in faith, obedience, perseverance and forgiveness.
The production will be directed and choreographed by Wright State University alumna Megan Wean, who has numerous regional credits and particularly appeared in the national tour of “A Chorus Line.” The daughter of longtime, illustrious Epiphany summer musical director Kay Frances Wean, who passed away two years ago after battling cancer, Megan is approaching “Joseph” from a fresh, community-themed perspective. In fact, for full effect and with assistance from scenic designer Bruce Brown, she is staging the show in-the-round, a first for Epiphany.
“My vision of the show mirrors my mom’s outlook which was to make everyone feel like they belong, to instill a sense of community,” said Wean. “So, I’m staging the show in-the-round. I wanted something new, to create a new spark. The cast is constantly on stage and will be seen from every single angle contributing to the material, which still resonates. For instance, Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery because they were extremely jealous of him. Right now I think people choose to ‘one-up’ the next person instead of being supportive as a community.”
Epiphany’s double-cast company of nearly 50 members will be led by Desmond Thomas and Jeffrey Mack in the title role along with Kandis Wean (Megan’s sister) and Erin Ulman as the Narrators, Brandon Crichfield as Pharaoh, Bran Hoff as Jacob, and Charlie Arthur, Chase Beard, Andrew Beers, Connor Betts, Ralph Bordner, Brian Burckle, Justin Crichfield, Brett Greenwood, Joshua Hughes, Justin Mathews and Timothy Seiler as the brothers.
“I hope to convey the sincerity and depth of Joseph through each movement, expression and annunciation,” said Thomas, a standout last season as Seymour in Playhouse South’s production of “Little Shop of Horrors.” “I’m actually sharing the role with one of my good friends. We have really been relying on each other for (decisions) on character choices. I can’t wait for the public to see what (the cast) has spent countless hours of work on.”
The tuneful score includes “Any Dream Will Do,” “Jacob and Sons/Joseph’s Coat,” “One More Angel in Heaven,” “Close Every Door,” “Go, Go, Go, Joseph” and “Those Canaan Days.” David Brush serves as music director.
Having recently moved to Dayton after living in New York City for several years, Wean looks forward to her new role this fall as the drama teacher at Alter High School. But for now, “Joseph” takes precedence with the memory of her mother, who will be inducted into the Dayton Theatre Hall of Fame next month, lingering deeply and reverently.
“It was always special for me to come back to a place that I called home and collaborate with my mother on the summer musicals,” she said. “Directing ‘Joseph’ is the perfect way for me to honor my mother and my church that has done so much for my family. It’s been difficult being in my mother’s shoes for she should be here directing this show, but I could not be happier with what the church and the entire ‘Joseph’ team has done. I feel very blessed.”
How to Go
What: “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”
Where: Epiphany Lutheran Church, 6430 Far Hills Ave., Centerville
When: July 11-21; Thursdays-Saturdays at 7:30 p.m.; Sundays at 2:30 p.m.
Cost: $15 for adults; $10 for seniors and children
Tickets: Call (937) 433-1449 ext. 105or visit www.epiphanydayton.org
More info: E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.epiphanydayton.org