ESU Theatre’s 39th Annual Homecoming Musical is ‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’

October 6, 2011

It's time for one the area's greatest fall traditions — Emporia State University’s annual Homecoming Scholarship Musical. This year ESU Theatre presents “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” an internationally acclaimed musical suitable for the entire family.

Originally written as a pop cantata for a school performance over 40 years ago, “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” made its Broadway debut in 1982 and has since become an international phenomenon. With lyrics by Tim Rice and music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, it is the first collaboration between the two. Of course, both went on to phenomenal careers in music, stage, film, television and journalism. Both have been knighted and are correctly addressed today as “Sir.”

Other collaborations include “Jesus Christ Superstar,” “Evita” and “By Jeeves.” Rice has written lyrics with Elton John for “The Lion King” and “Aida,” with Alan Menken for “Beauty and the Beast” and “Aladdin” and with Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus for “Chess.”  In 2005, Webber and Rice reunited for “The Likes of Us” and earlier this year on a new production of “The Wizard of Oz” playing to sellout houses in London.

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s other compositions “Cats,” “Starlight Express,” “The Phantom of the Opera,” “Sunset Boulevard” and “Love Never Dies.” He composed the film scores of “Gumshoe” and “The Odessa File” and a setting of the Latin Mass Requiem.

The story of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” is based on the Old Testament story of Joseph. A narrator (Amanda Devine, senior, Hutchison) tells the story of the dreamer Joseph, his jealous brothers and his coat of many colors. Senior Jeremiah Devine (Hutchinson) plays the title role and is also the show’s musical director. The production is under the direction of Jim and Lindy Bartruff. Nancy Pontius designed the sets. Susan J Mai is the costumer. Senior Josh Taylor (Salina) is the lighting designer. Penny Speedie conducts the Joseph orchestra.

Besides Amanda and Jeremiah Devine, the company boasts 28 student actors and more than 30 student technicians, crew members and backstage workers. All the funds raised from this production support scholarships for students in the performing arts.

“Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” opens in Albert Taylor Hall at Emporia State University on Thursday, Oct. 13 at 7:30 p.m. Evening performances continue on Oct. 14 and 15. The final performance will be Sunday, Oct. 16 at 2 p.m.

To reserve seats, call the University Box Office at (620) 341-6378. Tickets range from $8 for ESU students to $12 and $15 for all other seats. As the annual Homecoming musical is a fundraiser for scholarships, no additional discounts are available.

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