TheaterWorks showers itself in bold, glitzy technicolor this April, bringing one of Broadway’s most creative musicals, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, to life.
Based on the Old Testament story of the 12 sons of Jacob and their extreme jealousy of youngest brother Joseph (especially when their father gifts him a special coat of many colors), the play captures the woeful story of Joseph’s angst-ridden life (and eventual triumph) in a way that is playful, bold, somewhat irreverent and ultimately, movingly poignant.
Director Chris Hamby wants to finish TheaterWorks’ 2017-2018 season with a bang, and there’s no better way to do that than by wowing audience members with an over-the-top, high-energy, color-packed extravaganza featuring music from musical theater legends Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber. Even just looking at the show’s logo, you know you’re in for a treat.
“It’s a fun, hip, rock ‘n’ roll retelling of the story of Joseph,” Hamby says. And rock ‘n’ roll is right. Try to think of another time when you’ve seen the Pharaoh of Egypt depicted as a hip-swinging Elvis architype.
An Arizona native, Hamby has been a working theater professional for 20 years, most of the last decade spent at TheaterWorks in different positions, including director of education and artistic director. This is his first time directing Joseph, and he’s excited to be working on a show that allows for personal, creative interpretation.
“Joseph is a show that (can) be done and told in many ways,” Hamby says. “We are working on creating a big musical with all the glitz and pizzazz you would hope to find in a Broadway-style musical. We are fortunate enough to have the resources, space and design team in place to allow for a lot of spectacle.”
One of the ways this production of Joseph will put its own creative stamp on things is by collaborating with the award-winning Phoenix Boys Choir; bringing a unique sound and liveliness to the show. Hamby says that all his creative and directorial choices have been motivated by simply wanting to provide people with an enjoyable night at the theater.
“I think audiences will be amazed by what a cast of young people and a community theater can create” he says. “If you’ve never been to TheaterWorks and seen a production here, I can guarantee it’s not what (you) think.”
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Peoria Center for the Performing Arts, 10580 N. 83rd Drive, Peoria, 623.815.7930, theaterworks.org, various times Friday May 4, to Sunday May 20, $14.