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Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

Staging the Bible is a big production

photo courtesy of Woods Memorial Presbyterian

     Straight from the pages of the Bible’s Book of Genesis, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is a natural fit for Woods Memorial Presbyterian Church in Severna Park. The upcoming production follows on the church’s previous success of biblically themed Godspell in 2017 and Children of Eden in 2018. 

         Pulling from local talent and his own congregation, director David Merrill has assembled a large cast and crew to retell the story of the Old Testament’s Joseph, a boy sold into slavery by his jealous brothers. Joseph’s uncanny ability to interpret dreams leads him to a position of power within the pharaoh’s household and to a life-changing encounter with the siblings who sought to destroy him years earlier. 

         Like most Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice collaborations, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is a big production. “The sheer scale of the show is a challenge, but a good challenge,” Merrill says. “The score is an eclectic mix of styles and this is our first production with an adult choir and a children’s choir. Both shine.”

         The large cast called for over 70 costumes. Church member Susan Bohlman headed a team of costumers, including Phyllis Hatcher, a quilter and quilt appraiser, who designed and sewed the coat that shares the title with the protagonist.

         “It’s been an adventure,” says Hatcher of designing the elaborate, multicolored coat. “We used African fabrics. They are beautiful and colorful, but the texture isn’t always consistent.”

         A true labor of love, making the coat took nearly five months.

         Seventeen-year-old Drew Sharpe, an Annapolis High School junior, stars as Joseph. The seasoned performer with 27 school and local theater productions to his credit describes the show as “family-friendly, beautiful and fun. Some of the music is campy, and some of it is beautiful Broadway-style ballads.”

         Theater-goers who struggle with loud noises and bright lights should consider attending the sensory-friendly show on Saturday afternoon. 

Playing ThFSaSu, 7:30pm, plus Sa 2pm sensory friendly, Woods Memorial Presbyterian Church, $10, www.woodstix.org.