BAR HARBOR — The air will fill with song for two consecutive weekends this month as Acadia Community Theater puts on their spring production of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” The play, told entirely through musical numbers, comprises a cast of nearly 40 men, women and children from the Mount Desert Island community.
“This is one of the most eclectic shows I’ve ever worked with,” director Carlene Hirsch said. “It’s a really vibrant piece. I do love that so much about it.”
“Joseph,” based on the biblical allegory of the Coat of Many Colors, is the story of a young dreamer sold by his jealous brothers as a slave to Egypt. His talents for dream interpretation catch the attention of the Pharaoh and land him an important position in the government. Eventually, Joseph is reunited with his brothers, and in a story of honesty and redemption, forgives them for what they have done.
The musical was written by Andrew Lloyd Webber with lyrics by Tim Rice. It was the pair’s first production to be performed publicly, with stage shows beginning in 1970 and a Broadway opening in 1982.
Hirsch said that the moral of the story of “Joseph” is at times a little tricky to take, “but it does touch upon human kindness, and being honest with each other, and I like that part.” The music, though, is what really attracted Hirsch, a former Bangor High School theater teacher, to the material.
“There’s anywhere from swing jazz to country western. There’s a French café style number, and there’s a very cute calypso number. It’s got a little something for everybody,” she said.
Josh Howie stars in the lead role as Joseph, while Geoff Schuller takes on the role of his father, Jacob. Jacob Sanner is Pharoah.
Soloists include Jonathan Bender Reuben, Mark Carignan Simeon and Finn Jordan. Vivian Hyde is the music director, and Doug VanGorder is the producer.
The play is on stage at Mount Desert Island High School’s Higgins-Demas Theater on Friday, April 10, and Saturday, April 11, at 7 p.m., and on Sunday, April 12, at 2 p.m. Performances continue the next weekend on Friday, April 17, and Saturday, April 18, at 7 p.m. The April 12 performance will be the only matinee show.
The cast of “Joseph” has been rehearsing diligently since January, and despite missing a number of practices because of snow days this winter, is ready to put on a great performance, Hirsch said.
“It’s short, sweet and uplifting,” she said, “and it’s a lot of fun.”