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Players offering ‘Dreamcoat’

July 11, 2012
Jodelle Greiner - Staff Writer , Fairmont Sentinel

BLUE EARTH - This ain't your daddy's Bible story. "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" has singing, dancing, cowboy hats, postcards from Egypt and no dialogue.

"We chose it because it's a lot of fun," said Nancy Steinke, who directs the production staged by the Town and Country Players at Blue Earth Area High School.

The play runs Thursday through Sunday. Shows begin at 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday; and at 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are available at the Blue Earth Area Chamber of Commerce office.

Article Photos

Jacob (Tim Lewis, left) doesn’t know what havoc he will wreak when he gives his favorite son Joseph (Alex Ehrich) a coat of many colors, making Jacob’s other sons jealous in “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” being staged this weekend by the Town and Country Players.

For those who think they've seen the play before, Blue Earth Area High School offered it in 2000.

Andrew Lloyd Webber started the play in the 1960s as a Sunday school pageant in England.

"He wrote a few songs and added to it," Steinke said of the play's progression over the years.

"I think it has an appeal because it takes a familiar story to most people and adds a whimsical and comical twist," Steinke said. "The music is fun and in different genres."

Those genres include French ballads, 1920s and 1950s style music, country with the aforementioned cowboy hats, and that's just for starters.

There needs to be a lot of music because there's no speaking.

"Basically, no script," Steinke said. "We're adding the personality, which you always have to do."

"That song that Kurt (Steinke) sings like Elvis; it's just too cool," said Barb Pearson, cast member and set creator.

"The basic Joseph story is there," Steinke noted.

"Just sung to an Elvis melody," Pearson said.

The music isn't the only elastic thing about the production.

"We're going with tongue-in-cheek and have an eclectic approach to costuming," Steinke said. "We're moving from one song to the next quickly, so most costume changes will be hats."

The calypso number will be accompanied by straw hats, the French number by berets, the 1940s song fedoras, and "One More Angel in Heaven" will be twanged out while the sons are topped with cowboy hats.

Of course, all this music means Steinke needed good singers. She got them.

The narrator is played by Diane Heaney, a vocal teacher at Albert Lea High School.

"Wonderful, wonderful voice," Steinke said.

Joseph is played by Alex Ehrich, no stranger to the stage boards.

"He was secondary lead on 'Children of Eden' two years ago," Steinke said.

Ehrich is on a break from his job as a sustainable food coordinator in Belize and will return as soon as the show wraps. He had volunteered to sing in the chorus, and was shocked when Steinke emailed him with news that she wanted him in the title role.

"So I downloaded the soundtrack and listened a couple of times," he said.

Playing Pharaoh is Steinke's son, Kurt.

"He is reprising that role from high school," Nancy Steinke said.

Others with major roles are Tim Lewis as Jacob, Brian Roverud as Potiphar, and Rachel Kienitz as Mrs. Potiphar.

There is a children's chorus with 11 children, mostly fifth-graders and some younger ones.

Shelley Greimann is helping with choreography.

With all that music, you must have musicians. The pit orchestra of 10 is directed by Mike Ellingsen.

The play lasts about 90 minutes and is appropriate for children. There is an intermission to allow for a set change.

"It's just gonna be a really good time; lots of fun," Steinke said.



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