The Biblical saga of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat comes to life this weekend at Saint Viator High School, with nearly 200 students, or 20 percent of the student body, involved with its performances.
From the 80 cast members each night to the 15-piece orchestra and nearly 25 tech crewmembers working behind the scenes, the show bursts with youthful energy and color.
“We’re having loads of fun with it,” senior Jerry Cavanaugh said, who shares the role of the Pharoah with senior Mike Scully. “We’ve all seen it several times growing up. It’s just fun to be able to be in it and bring these characters to life.”
Joseph is the 49th annual musical produced by Saint Viator’s theater department. Kate Costello returns to direct the show. Her veteran production team includes Tony Calzaretta as assistant director, Kristina Sandrock as choral director, Jen Cupani as choreographer, Diane Petrovich and Mary Woods as costumers, and Peter McManus as tech director.
Freshman Laura Kuper is one of eight narrators, four per night, and she’s finding that making the transition from middle school to high school level performing, is a big jump.“It’s scary being up on stage with so many talented people,” Kuper said. “I’m just feeding off of their energy and trying as a narrator to get the audience involved with the story.”
She shares the narrator role with Maria Werba, Michaela O’Neill and Megan Daughtery, Sarah Miklius, Caroline Sevilla, Bailey Wojtowicz and Olivia Dominguez. Senior John McManus and sophomore Zac Jones share the lead role of Joseph. Both are involved with Saint Viator’s choral programs and easily command the stage with his nearly one dozen songs.
But it is their respective brothers that nearly steal the show. Their entertaining ensemble numbers open with “Jacob and Sons,” and build to include such favorites as “Benjamin Calypso” and the western-themed “One More Angel in Heaven.”
Add in the rest of the show’s colorful characters, from the brothers’ wives and the Ishmaelites, to the full choral ensemble, and the compact, 90-minute musical takes audience members away from their troubles, to another time and place. Students in the tech crew had a hand in transforming Saint Viator’s stage into a Biblical Israel by designing a temple inside a pyramid, a jail and slave owner’s plantation.
But the one set design that took the most time to create, creating Joseph’s name in block lettering, promises to deliver the biggest bang for the buck. Crew members used the back side of the pyramid set to create the design. Each letter is 15-feet high, painted in vibrant, different colors, naturally.
“We’re trying to achieve a 3-D look,” sophomore Zach Stawicki, one of the floor managers, said. His classmates added that just marking out the letters took days, let alone creating the 3-D illusion.
“It’s worth it,” junior Matthew Fitzgerald said. “Just to have that wow factor.”
Shows take place at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 30 and 31, Feb. 6 and 7; and at 1:30 p.m. Feb. 1 and 8. All tickets are $12. For ticket information, call the box office, at 847-392-4050, ext. 349. Or, email firstname.lastname@example.org for tickets.