Families often have problems. In Joseph’s case, the troubles are of biblical proportions.
And starting tonight, they’ll be on full view at Bethany Christian High School.
Bethany students are set to perform “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” With music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice, “Joseph” offers a creative retelling of the story of Joseph as found in the Book of Genesis.
“It’s the story of a family — a very dysfunctional family — and of one of the sons in that family facing a lot of bad stuff in life and being beaten down a bit, but maintaining a sense of hope and in the end finding his destiny,” said director Talashia Keim Yoder. “And turning what has happened into a way to save a country from famine, and in the end to save his family from the effects of the famine as well.”
The saga ends on a note of family reconciliation, according to Keim Yoder. Plus, it’s got tunes.
“This is a sung-through show,” Keim Yoder said. “It’s actually an operetta. It uses a lot of different styles of music.”
“Joseph” incorporates parodies of French ballads, Elvis-inspired rock and roll, Western hoedown, 1920s Charleston, reggae and disco.
“That was really fun, to teach these students all kinds of styles of music and dance and really pull some different things out of them,” Keim Yoder said.
Musical “Joseph” will follow the account of the biblical Joseph to an extent, Keim Yoder said, but will differ in certain aspects.
“My other job is as a pastor,” she said. “It’s really interesting to look at (‘Joseph’) from both the pastor’s viewpoint and the director’s viewpoint — figure out how to bring the heart of the biblical story into a theatrical rendition.”
The Bethany version of the long-running musical includes a cast of 25 people and a crew of around 15. Keim Yoder said it’s been a challenging production from the start.
“We’re doing it a little differently,” she said. “We’re keeping all 25 actors onstage almost the entire show, which means there’s no down time. It’s kind of a constant challenge to remain engaged in telling the story instead of just sitting. That’s been a good challenge for them, and I think it’s kept it fresh.”
The next step? Showtime.
“I really feel like (the actors) are ready for an audience,” Keim Yoder said Tuesday prior to the final “Joseph” dress rehearsal. “It’s time for it to be the final dress rehearsal. It’s time to get an audience in there.”
If you want to go
What: “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”
Where: Bethany Christian High School, 2904 S. Main St., Goshen
When: Today, Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday matinees at 3 p.m.
Admission: Tickets cost $8 for adults and $6 for students and can be reserved by calling school staff at 534-2567.