Spring High School’s Lion Players Theatre Company will present the musical “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” Jan. 20-22 and Jan. 27-29. All performances are at 7 p.m. except on Saturday, Jan. 22, when a matinee performance will be offered at 2 p.m. All performances will take place in the performing arts center at Spring High School, 19428 I-45, Spring, 77373.
“It’s a really fun show,” said Spring High School Director of Theatre Marilyn Ocker. “It’s got so many different genres of music, there’s really something for everybody.”
Written by the famed duo of composer Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyricist Tim Rice, “Joseph” retells – in music, dance and colorful costumes – the biblical story of Joseph and his 11 brothers, whose jealousy over Joseph’s favored status leads them to betray and abandon him, setting in motion a series of extraordinary events impacting both their own family’s future and that of all Ancient Egypt.
From the plaintive ballad “Close Every Door,” to the wistful and optimistic “Any Dream Will Do,” to the toe-tapping Act I finale “Go, Go, Go Joseph,” the show’s musical numbers span multiple genres and promise broad appeal – from calypso, 1970s go-go and French-style chanson, to an Elvis-inspired showstopper and even an old-fashioned country and western tearjerker with a hoedown coda.
The play – about two hours long including intermission – is sung-through, keeping the energy up and the family-friendly story moving at a lively pace.
“I have some really strong singers and actors this year,” said Ocker, who saw “Joseph” – with its large ensemble and need for strong character actors – as a good production to mark the beginning of a new chapter for the department after the limitations placed on theater productions during the pandemic.
“It’s a good show to begin rebuilding after COVID,” Ocker said.
It was also a good opportunity to showcase the acting talents of senior Jordyn Wardsworth, who plays Joseph. A veteran of the Lion Players, he has performed in every mainstage show since he arrived at Spring High School as a freshman.
“This is a bittersweet moment for me,” said Wardsworth, who described Ocker as being “like my second mother” and his fellow students like family. “I don’t think I’m able to fathom the idea that I won’t be doing this in a couple months. Leaving this place, it’s going to be tough.”
Through it all, he said, the school’s theater department has given him a home, a community, and a place to discover himself and fulfill his passion for performing – which he hopes to continue as he pursues a bachelor of fine arts in acting in college after he graduates.
The role of Joseph – who spends much of the play onstage – is known to be physically taxing for performers, but Wardsworth said it’s really a team effort, and sent out his trademark “peace and love” acknowledgement to the show’s cast and crew, without whose support he said the role would be much more difficult to play.
“It may look like I’m running a marathon, but it doesn’t feel that way,” Wardsworth said. “It’s very much a challenge, but it’s a thrill every time you get on stage. And you have this big, amazing group of people that you can just rely on, and that will support you in the whole process. It makes it 10 times better.”
In addition to Ocker in the director’s chair, Spring High School Assistant Choir Director Jessica Melancon provides the musical direction, with Courtney Chilton – a Houston-area performer and Theatre Under the Stars (TUTS) regular – overseeing the choreography.
Tickets for “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” can be purchased at the box office prior to each performance, or online via the link on the troupe’s website, lionplayerstheatrecompany.com. Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for students and seniors.