Talent Machine offers `Joseph'

Cast of 23 youngsters will sing and dance story from Old Testament

Preview

Howard Live

July 20, 2000|By Mary Johnson | Mary Johnson,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

The Talent Machine Company with a cast of 23 young performers age 12 to 19 will open "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" tomorrow to run weekends through Aug. 12.

Last produced by Talent Machine in 1995, "Joseph" received high praise at that time from critics and audiences.

Beginning in March 1968 at a London school as a 15-minute-long musical, "Joseph" marks the first collaboration of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice.

Expanded to 90 minutes, "Joseph" had its first New York showing at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in 1976, and a later version at the East Village Theatre ran for 77 performances in 1981.

It opened in January 1982 at the Royale, where it remained for 747 performances.

"Joseph" opened at London's Palladium in June 1991 with a cast headed by Jason Donovan and was seen by more than 2 million during its two-year run there.

A version starring Donny Osmond was filmed in 1999 for video release with a cast that included Richard Attenborough, Maria Friedman and Joan Collins.

Webber and Rice tell the Old Testament tale of Jacob's favorite son Joseph and his 11 jealous brothers entirely in song.

The score is a blend of ballad, rock, calypso and country. Through music and exciting choreography we follow young dreamer Joseph in his travels from Canaan to Egypt.

He is sold into slavery by his brothers and is taken to Egypt. There he predicts the future to the Pharaoh and becomes an important man who ultimately saves the whole country.

In the 32 years since its 1968 debut, "Joseph" has retained its brightness and remains great family entertainment. It's known for its energetic cast, athletic dancing and Day-Glo costumes.

TMC's 23-member cast is headed by Justin Merrick, 15, of Annapolis as Joseph and features Dan Sonntag, 18, of Annapolis as Joseph's brother Napthall.

Kathleen Scott, 17, of Severna Park sings the vocally challenging role of the Narrator, and James Flanagan, 19, of Bowie plays Joseph's brother Ruben. Chris Pastin, 18, of Broadneck is Joseph's brother Levi, and Jake Thornhill, 18, of Bowie plays Joseph's brother Dan and the Pharaoh. Brae Keller, 15, of Crofton plays the vampy wife of Potiphar, and Detta Flippo, 15, of Crofton appears in the ensemble.

Other cast members include TMC regulars Darren Biggart, 13, of Crownsville; Allison Durgin, 15, of Arnold; Amy Sonntag, 16, and her brother Andrew, 14, of Annapolis; Karley Willocks, 13, of West River; Steve Love, 14, of Bowie; Danae Saklas, 14, of Davidsonville; Erica Paulsen, 15, of Annapolis; Billy Dixon, 18, of Severna Park; Greg Arbogast, 14, of Crofton; and Devin Arbogast, 12, of Crofton.

New to TMC with this production are Kerry Deitrick, 15, of Severna Park; Buddy Pease, 13, of Severna Park, who plays Potiphar and Jacob; Michael Heer, 17, of Gambrills; and Matt Keffer, 12, of Crofton.

TMC founder Bobbi Smith serves as director and choreographer, assisted by her daughter, Lea Capps.

Performances will be at Key Auditorium on the campus of St. John's College, 60 College Ave. in Annapolis. Friday and Saturday performances will be at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday performances will be at 2 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

Tickets are $10 and can be reserved by calling 410-956-0512.

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