Friday, June 24, through Sunday, July 3
North Scott High School Fine Arts Auditorium, 200 South First Street, Eldridge IA
A beloved biblical musical boasting seven Tony Award nominations and a chart-topping U.K. single in “Any Dream Will Do,” the Broadway smash Joseph & the Amazing Technical Dreamcoat, from June 24 through July 3, serves as the summertime spectacular being presented by Eldridge's Countryside Community Theatre, with this theatrical classic the first-ever publicly staged work by the legendary stage team of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Time Rice.
In their Joseph musical, the title character – the favorite son of Jacob – is blessed with vivid dreams that foretell the future, and that greatly anger his tribe of siblings. Sold into slavery by his jealous brothers, Joseph endures a series of adventures that challenge him to his core. Initially, he finds himself belonging to the tyrant Potiphar, whose wife makes advances toward Joseph that ultimately land him behind bars. However, news of the jailed man’s ability to interpret dreams sparks the interest of the hilariously Elvis-like Pharaoh, and soon thereafter, Joseph is out of jail and well on his way to second-in-command. Eventually, Joseph’s brothers find themselves unknowingly groveling at the feet of the brother they betrayed, and in the truly timeless Old Testament tale of Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, composer Webber and lyricist Rice deliver an exhilarating musical sensation boasting a multitude of musical genres that span from country-Western and calypso to bubble-gum pop and rock and roll.
Directing Countryside's production is the Quad Cities' longtime music director and actor Karl Bodenbender, whose credits include music directing the Richomd Hill Barn Theatre's The Spitfire Grill and appearing as Puck in the Prenzie Players' presentation of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Starring as Joseph's title character is area favorite Tommy Ratkiewicz-Stierwalt, who directed last summer's Countryside production of The Music Man, and whose recent on-stage credits include roles in the Black Box Theatre's Company and Assassins and the Circa '21 Speakeasy's The Rocky Horror Show. The vocally demanding role of Joseph's Narrator is being split between two gifted local performers: Hillary Erb, of Quad City Music Guild's The Little Mermaid and A Chorus Line, and Kirsten Sindelar, from the Black Box's Little Women: The Musical and the Spotlight Theatre's The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical.
Matthew Downey, a veteran of Opera Quad Cities' The Pirate of Penzance and Music Guild's 2007 production of Joseph, plays the show's Presley-like Pharoah, with the title character's many brothers collectively portrayed by Jack Bevans, Sibusiso Diamini, Nathan Gaghagen, Keith Glass, Marcus King, Joseph Lineback, Austin Peckenschneider, Joe Urbaitis, and Joe Wren. And with the villainous Potiphar and his flirtatious wife played by James O'Connor (who doubles as Jacob) and Rochelle Schrader, additional members Countryside's Joseph ensemble include Kate Almquist, Ben Bergthold, Michelle Bibens, Will Emerle, Amy Gaghagen, Maddie Harbour, Janeen Mack, Orion Mack, Tara Poinsett, Cindy Ramos, Liz Sager, and Caleb Schrader.
Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat will be staged in the Fine Arts Auditorium of Eldridge's North Scott High School June 24 through July 3, with performances Fridays and Saturdays at 7 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Admission is $15, and more information and tickets are available by visiting CountrysideTheatre.com.