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Dreamcoat a dream come true for local performers

Reece Hodgson

Two local girls will be taking a journey from Canaan to Egypt, singing in Drayton Entertainment’s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

On stage since 1972, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat has delighted audiences with the story of Joseph, his jealous brothers, his adventures through Egypt and of course, his coat of many colours. The original play was written by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Now, Drayton Entertainment is putting on its own production of the popular musical on stage at the Drayton Festival Theatre, directed by Max Reimer. Elmira’s Reece Hodgson and Ava Schmalz will be singing in the Children’s Chorus from May 17 to June 4 after auditioning back in January. They will be joined by Greta Ofner of St. Clements and Rebecca Perry of St. Jacobs.

“It feels great. I was really excited,” said Schmalz, adding that the audition song is her favourite in the show. “About two weeks before the audition, we had to learn the song Close Every Door To Me, and we had to sing one line from the song. I was nervous.”

Hodgson says rehearsals were quick, only lasting four days.

“My first rehearsal was on Thursday and my last rehearsal was on Sunday and the first show was on Wednesday,” she said.

The show starts in Canaan where Joseph’s brothers are jealous that he is their father Jacob’s favourite, and when Jacob gives Joseph a colourful, well-tailored coat, their jealousy becomes too much. From there, Joseph is sold into slavery and works his way up through society, and it is only an adventure from there.

The Children’s Chorus is featured on nearly all of the 18 songs in the show, singing alongside the main characters and the show’s narrator. 

Ava Schmalz

Schmalz has some theatre experience working with the Elmira Community Theatre in Sleepy Hollow and Wizard of Oz at the River Run Centre in Guelph, but for both girls, this is the first time they have ever done a show of this magnitude.

“It was really exciting because I have never been in a professional play before,” said Hodgson. “I like the song called Benjamin’s Calypso.

“I have been in two plays before,” added Schmalz, “But, this one is professional theatre. The other ones were community theatre.”

They were both looking forward to opening night on May 17, encouraging everyone to come and see the two Elmirans on stage in Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat.

“I am excited to just see everyone with their costumes on and with all the props ready” said Schmalz. “I am excited to see the audience too.”

Hodgson says it is a great show, and audiences are going to love it

“It is a really, really good play. I have watched it through from backstage and stuff. The cast is really close, everyone is like family,” she said. “It really brings the play together and it is just really cool.”

Jamie McKight will be playing the role of Joseph, with Wayne Berwick as Jacob. Danielle Wade will be singing the part of the Narrator.

Tickets are on sale now for shows from May 17 to June 4. The theatre group is putting on both daytime, afternoon and evening shows, and tickets range from $27 to $46. To order, call 1-855-DRAYTON (372-9866) or visit www.draytonentertainment.com.

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