-0.8 C
Monday, November 18, 2019
Connecting Our Communities

Taking liberties, Lloyd Webber musical draws on biblical stories

Breslau Mennonite Church to stage five performances of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat


Restored Victorian home in Elmira the subject of TV competition

Along with the influx of visitors that comes with the holiday season, Elmira will see one new...

End of an era for MP

Two weeks having passed since the federal election, Harold Albrecht has had time to reflect on his...

Meet the candidates

By Veronica Reiner & Aneta Rebiszewski Five candidates are vying for your vote in...

Harold Albrecht back to MP’s duties after suffering a minor stroke

Kitchener-Conestoga MP Harold Albrecht is back to work after recovering from a stroke earlier in the month. Albrecht, 69, was...


overcast clouds
-0.8 ° C
0 °
-1.7 °
86 %
90 %
6 °
4 °
2 °
6 °
10 °

Given that they’re sporting bright and brilliant costumes, boogie-woogie dance moves, hip thrusts and go-go boots, it’s fair to say that this version of the biblical tale of Joseph takes quite a few liberties with the original source material. Your typical Sunday school instruction this is not, but Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat offers a chance to tell the traditional story in a new way, and have some fun while doing it.

The Breslau Mennonite Church will be putting on five performances of Joseph starting next week, with a full house expected at each one.

“We wanted to do something that had a little bit of a faith-based tie in,” explains Chris Steingart, artistic director for the play, who also plays the starring role of Joseph. “And we definitely wanted to do something that was accessible, not only to our audience who kind of are familiar with the songs and the show in general, but also something that would incorporate a wide range of ages.”

With a cast and crew of some 80 people, mostly from the Breslau congregation, Steingart explains that they were keen to showcase the talents of their members young and old alike, making Joseph the ideal show to put on.

“We’ve tried as much as it’s possible to incorporate the kids into the story. So they’re helping Joseph tell the story, they’re comforting Joseph when he’s in prison and kind of down and out. And they’re kind of his hope.”

The electric show, first penned by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyricist Tim Rice in 1965, weaves the ancient tale of Joseph with the modern sensibilities of musical theatre, with infectious pop rock melodies, elaborate dance numbers and quirky humour blended into the mix.

“It’s a retelling of the biblical story of Joseph,” says Steingart. “His father had 12 sons, and liked Joseph the most, so Joseph is given this beautiful Technicolor Dreamcoat. And obviously, jealousy ensues. The 11 brothers plot against Joseph and actually sell him off to be a slave.”

Sold into slavery and carted off to the land of Pharaoh (who in this story is channeling more of the ‘King of Rock and Roll’ than the King of the Nile), Joseph soon finds himself in an even worse situation when he is accused of a crime he didn’t commit and thrown in jail. Meanwhile, his scheming brothers steadily come to realize the errors of their ways in sending Joseph away.

“And it’s told through a whole bunch of different genres of music: there’s some jazz, there’s some calypso, there’s some country western music, there’s some disco music. And a large part of the show is the role of the 11 brothers – they provide a little bit of the comic relief.”

The play touches on a lot of the familiar notes of the original, incorporating elements of forgiveness and redemption, hope and perseverance. But it’s all wrapped in the distinctly camp, yet undeniably charming and colourful trappings of musical theatre.

“I think it’s a familiar story to many,” says Steingart. “We have a lot of outside church groups who purchased tickets in large amounts because they’re bringing a group in. So it’s a way to experience the biblical story through song and dance and theatre, and I think it’s a fun experience. And it’s also, I should say, the music is really what sticks with people.”

This will be Steingart’s fourth production of Joseph since high school, and he says the show has always been immensely popular on each occasion. This time was no exception as the Breslau Mennonite Church will be putting on five performances of their show starting next week, with all five showings already having sold out weeks in advance.

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to The Observer's online community. Pseudonyms are not permitted. By submitting a comment, you accept that The Observer has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner The Observer chooses. Please note that The Observer does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our submission guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.


New watering system is powered by the sun

Many hands may make light work, but automating the process really lessens the load. That’s especially helpful when the work involves relying on volunteers to provide the manual labour.

In Print. Online. In Pictures. In Depth.

You obviously love community journalism. Thanks for visiting today. If you have a great local story, let us know.

Wellesley rec. complex project moves into fundraising mode

Wellesley Township having cleared the way for a potential new $22-million recreation complex, the focus is now on putting together a fundraising campaign...

Sugar Kings turn the screws on Brampton

Another home-and-home winning weekend helped the Elmira Sugar Kings solidify their hold on top spot in the GOJHL’s Midwestern Conference. A pair of...

Virgil Wins the Lottery … but, then again, maybe not

It’s easy to day dream about striking it rich quick by winning the lottery, and all the possibilities that come along with...

Woolwich adopts new landscape guidelines for subdivisions as part of greening initiatives

Talk of trees right now typically involved the adjective Christmas, but Woolwich council is focusing just now on guidelines for planting in new...

New St. Clements fire station officially open for service

The new fire station in St. Clements was officially declared open for service last Saturday. The $1.3-million project...

EDSS looks to make use of new push for skilled-trades training

With measures taken on the provincial level to encourage high school students to enter the skilled trades, EDSS is in the process...
- Advertisement -