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Large Weyburn cast prepares for performances of ‘Joseph’ musical

A cast of 50 is busily preparing to stage the musical, “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” at Grace United Church in Weyburn.

WEYBURN – A cast of 50, with children ranging from three years old and up, along with a handful of adults, are busily preparing to stage the musical, “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” at Grace United Church over four days.

Co-directed by the mother-daughter team of Colleen Weimer and Kendra Gonczy, the cast includes the Spirit Singers, Spirits of Grace and Small Voices of Grace.

They tell the Biblical story completely in song about Joseph and his brothers who sell him off in slavery out of jealousy only to find him in charge when they flee to Egypt to escape an extreme drought.

The lead role of Joseph is handled by Emerson Jack, and the Narrator is split between Brittany Barber and Natalie Butz, each doing it for two performances. They are part of the chorus when they are not being the narrator.

An aspect that the co-directors added for this version of the production is to open with the narrator telling the story to a large group of children, all dressed in bright colours, and during the unfolding of the story, the narrator and the children join in some of the scenes.

Butz pointed out the large group of around 30 young children add a lot of energy and spark to the cast.

Emerson pointed out the story is told completely in song, so there are very few lines to have to learn and speak, but there is lots of music to learn for the words and notes.

His brother Tauren plays one of the 12 jealous brothers of Joseph, and said, “There’s lots of reacting when we’re not singing. We sing it loud and proud. We have lots of confidence cause there’s so many others to do it with.”

Barber said it’s fun with the large number of kids also. “They’re super uplifting and so energetic, it’s lots of fun.”

The music is provided by a live band, led by Weimer on piano, Brayden Jensen on saxophone and clarinet, and Tori Mahnke plays drums and percussion.

Gonczy directs the singing for each of the scenes, plus she designed a lot of the costumes and colour design, and Donna Klein helped with the design of the set background.

Weimer noted when she and Kendra were talking with members of the Spirit Singers, they wanted the opportunity for all of the members to have a major or leading role, and with this musical, by having the two narrators, and Emerson as Joseph, now all of the singing group has had that opportunity.

“It’s a unique musical in that it’s all songs, there are very few spoken parts,” she said, and pointed that adding in the children in colourful clothing, matching Joseph’s colourful coat, was part of Kendra’s vision for this production.

Tickets for the dinner on Thursday evening will be $30 each, and on Friday night, the family-friendly dinner will be $15. For the musical, tickets are $20 for adults, $10 for youth and children five and under are free.

“It’s a family show, and is great family entertainment,” said Weimer of the production.