First UK Musical Theatre Class Showcases Talents in Technicolor With 'Joseph'
Trailer for UK Theatre's production of "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat." Video by Zachary Norton/UK Theatre. A transcript of this video can be found here.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 17, 2014) — Following a season of offerings on comedic afterlife, holiday classics, breathtaking choreography and the themes of love, life and death, the University of Kentucky Department of Theatre and the UK College of Fine Arts’ first class of musical theatre students will close the season with a musical parable of family and prophetic dreams. "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" will capture audiences with sensational music and a larger-than-life cast April 25 through April 27, at the Lexington Opera House.
In addition to closing out the UK Theatre season, “Joseph” highlights the talent of the first cohort of students completing the UK Musical Theatre Certificate program. Musical theatre student and Singletary Scholar Peter LaPrade will take the title role in the performance.
Music and theatre go hand-in-hand and UK's School of Music and Department of Theatre agree. UK now offers a program to create the best musical theatre experience possible, shaping talented students to utilize both acting and musical skills. Beginning in fall 2013, the Undergraduate Interdisciplinary Certificate in Musical Theatre debuted, offering a range of collaborative coursework and performance experience by drawing on resources from both departments.
The success of the musical theatre program is already evident beyond the UK stage. "The Musical Theatre Certificate has brought a vitality, energy and creativity to our program that is palpable," said Nancy Jones, chair of UK Theatre. "Our first graduate, Michael Sheehy, who plays Pharaoh in "Joseph," will graduate in May and go straight into professional summer stock and a full-time internship at Orlando Shakespeare Festival in the fall."
In addition to the cast of talented UK Theatre and musical theatre students, “Joseph” combines talent from across Lexington to bring every aspect of the tale to life.
Lexington Children’s Theatre Associate Education Director Amie Kisling will direct 20 children from the Lexington community in the performance. Many of the children are already stage veterans in their own right. Cast members J.T. Snow and Alex Simpson, of Lexington, were featured in UK Theatre’s sold-out production of "A Christmas Carol" last December.
Animating the story and songs, UK Director of Dance Susie Thiel will serve as choreographer after directing UK's "(RE)Action Winter Dance Concert" this January.
The production is directed by Russell Henderson, associate professor of theatre acting and voice, and long-time director of the acclaimed outdoor drama "The Stephen Foster Story." The musical powerhouse wouldn't be complete without a live orchestra and a mix of musical styles, from country-western and calypso to bubble-gum pop and rock ‘n’ roll. Brock Terry, pastor of music for the First United Methodist Church in Lexington, conducts the "Joseph" musical repertoire.
UK Theatre, which presents most of its productions at the Guignol Theatre, is excited to bring this production to a larger venue.
"We are thrilled to present this family favorite for our first production at the Lexington Opera House, where we will get to showcase the phenomenal talent of our faculty designers, guest lighting designer Matthew Hallock of Centre College, our wonderful students and many of the area's child actors," Jones said.
The Biblical saga of Joseph and his coat of many colors comes to vibrant life in this production, the first collaboration of Broadway dream team Andrew Lloyd Webber (music) and Tim Rice (lyrics). Joseph, his father’s favorite son, is blessed with prophetic dreams. When he is sold into slavery by his jealous brothers and taken to Egypt, Joseph endures a series of adventures in which his spirit and humanity are challenged. When news of Joseph’s gift reaches the Pharaoh, Joseph is on his way to becoming second in command. His brothers, having suffered greatly, find themselves groveling at the feet of the brother they betrayed. Joseph reveals himself leading to a heartfelt reconciliation of the sons of Israel.
Setting the Old Testament tale to a colorful range of music, dance and acting, the musical emerges both timely and timeless.
Since "Joseph" was written and first performed in 1968, about 40,000 productions of the story have entertained audiences. With a U.S. tour beginning last month, the show is in the midst of a national resurgence.
UK Theatre's performances of "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" will begin at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, April 25-26, and 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, April 26-27. Tickets are $20 for students and $25 for general admission. To purchase tickets, call 859-233-3535 or buy them online through Ticketmaster here.
MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; firstname.lastname@example.org