This holiday season, bright colors, music, songs, and entertainment will be on full display in malls, groceries, offices, and homes. Yet, the most dazzling and dynamic of all holiday spectacles may well take place at Carmel’s Center for the Performing Arts. It is there that the Booth Tarkington Civic Theatre will introduce its production of “Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” the Andrew Lloyd Weber and Tim Rice musical which is based on the Biblical story of Joseph, his family, and, of course, his striking “coat of many colors.”
The musical extravaganza will run now through Jan. 5, 2013, with both evening and afternoon performances. The production has generated a great deal of buzz and excitement throughout the local arts community as this will be the first ever presentation of the musical at the Center for the Performing Arts.
“Joseph” is a high-energy, electrifying feast for the eyes and ears, and a modern family classic. Last Wednesday’s spirited and enthusiastic dress rehearsal itself proved worthy of praise and anticipation. Shortly before the rehearsal, Civic Producing Director Michael Lasley and “Joseph” star Patrick Clements sat down for a conversation regarding the production and their involvement.
“We’re definitely ready for an audience. We have been through eight-and-a-half weeks of rehearsal and it looks good, ready to go,” Lasley said laughing. “We have a cast of 26 performers, three different children’s choirs, plus a 10-piece orchestra. It’s a bit of a monster, but it’s gone very well. There’s been a lot of planning this time around. We have a wonderful choreographer, Nicole Beck, who has choreographed the show.”
Lasley also has high praise for the Arts Center in Carmel, noting the perks of the change in venue.
“This gives us an opportunity to put a fresh spin on it for a new audience,” he said. “We now have a much bigger stage, intelligent lighting. We’re absolutely thrilled to have at our disposal this state of the art facility. It also gives us an opportunity to freshen it up for our repeat audience.”
For Clements, a 2012 graduate of Butler University, “keeping it fresh for the audience” is a crucial element of his work.
“You can find something new in each performance,” he explained. “In this role, I have so many opportunities to react to things in the show, for on the spot reactions. Once the audience sees it, and you can hear them pick up on it that brings an energy. It creates an ebb and flow that keeps it fresh each night. That audience energy is what makes a live performance special.”
When asked what they would like for the audience to take away from each performance, both Clements and Lasley offered their expectations.
“I like for the audience to take away an experience that they would like to repeat, to see more of it,” Clements said.
“When the audience walks out that door,” Lasley explained, gesturing toward the exit, “I want them to be happy! This is a show that has so much energy and that is so upbeat, I want to make sure that when they leave they feel entertained.”
Brent Marty, director of music and education, is confident in the production.
“This is Civic’s 12th production of the show, my seventh time, and it’s as good as it’s ever been. We have maestro Trevor Fanning conducting the orchestra, as well as some new cast members. The show is so appealing to adults and children. It has so many different styles of music, there really is something for everyone.”
Marty also acknowledged the dedication of the cast.
“It takes a lot of hard work to get to this point,” he said. “The music does not stop, so the cast gets a huge workout!”
What: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
Where: Booth Tarkington Civic Theatre, 3 Center Green, Carmel
When: 7 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, now through Jan. 5, 2013
Tickets: $44 ($34 for students under 18 years old)