TANEYTOWN — A hundred young voices bring to life the Old Testament story about Joseph and his coat of many colors, when Northwest Middle School presents "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" tonight at 7:30 inthe school cafeteria. Admission is free.
The rollicking, 1980s musical by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber is faithful to the biblicalstory, a favorite among children.
"I saw it at Burn Brae Dinner Theater (in Montgomery County) and also remember a college professor said she'd like to see a middle school do it," said Judy Guynn, the show's director and a music teacher at the school. She leads the chorus at Northwest, where she has taught for 15 years and directed the plays for six years.
The musical'scast includes more than 100 sixth-, seventh-, and eighth-graders in singing roles and the large chorus. The whole story is in song, with no speaking parts. Eighteen different tunes over two acts range from calypso to cowboy to French cabaret.
The rock opera portrays the adventures of Joseph and his 11 brothers, all sons of Jacob. The brothers are jealous of Joseph, whom they consider to be their father's favorite. They sell Joseph to traders but tell Jacob the boy waskilled by a wild animal. Joseph, meanwhile, finds himself a slave to the Egyptian guard, Potiphar.
"I love the play," Guynn said. "I like working with kids. Parents are cooperative."
Rehearsals began in February, and students even had a few that
began at 7:30 a.m., she said.
Josh Kimmel, an eighth-grader from Westminster, has the title role, which means two solos and a parts in most of the other songs.
"It's fun and hard work," said Kimmel, who also plays basketball and runs track. Last year, he played the captain in "H.M.S. Pinafore."
Eighth-grader Jason Badiang of Taneytown is Issachar, one of the brothers, who sings "Those Canaan Days." Badiang also plays football, basketball, baseball, and had a part last year in "H.M.S. Pinafore."
The remaining brothers are Pat White as Reuben; Donnie Harver as Simeon; Jordan Chiaruttini as Judah; Troy Wolfe as Asher; Shaun Diehl asDan; Scott Staehle as Zebulun; Robbie Allewalt as Levi; Jeremiah Knox as Gad; Bill Kennedy as Naphtali; and Mike Corsini as Benjamin. Robert Buntin plays the patriarch, Jacob. Alex Curtis and Mary Ellen Seraydian play the Egyptian Potiphar and Mrs. Potiphar.
Tracy Wenzing, an eighth-grader from Westminster, is one of six melodic narrators.
"We do solos and sing as a group," she said. Her part consists offour short solos. Last year, she starred as Josephine in "H.M.S. Pinafore."
"I like singing, so I like being in a show like this," said Wenzing, who plans to join the chorus next year at Francis Scott Key High School.
Other narrators are Shiloh Jeffrey, Jessica Guynn,Zayna Null, Christina Harper and Keri Stromberg.
Pianist Dean Reindollar accompanies the actors. She is a retiredmusic teacher and wife of Taneytown mayor Henry Reindollar. Lee Ann Gilland, art teacher, and six of her students painted the festive scenic backdrops.
"Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" will be presented at 7:30 p.m. tonight in the Northwest Middle School cafeteria in Taneytown. Admission is free. Information: 756-6345.