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Corbett production cloaked in many colors

Children's theater stages 'Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat'


Josh Johnson completely understands why the brothers of the biblical character Joseph didn’t like him.CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY LISA CADUNGUG - Corbett Children's Theater presents of the most popular Broadway musicals ever produced, 'Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,' which debuts June 16.

“He was given the gift of interpreting dreams and told his older brothers that he had a couple of dreams basically explaining that he would rule over them,” the 23-year-old Corbett resident says. “I myself have five younger brothers, and if I heard one of them say that they were going to be in charge of me, I would be pretty chapped, to say the least.”

Of course, as any reader of the Genesis tale knows, Joseph’s jealous brothers sold him into slavery, but through a series of twists and turns, he eventually became the Egyptian pharaoh’s chief adviser, or vizier, and reunited with his brothers when they sought food in Egypt during a famine.CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY LISA CADUNGUG - Josh Johnson plays Joseph, who was imprisoned on false charges, in the musical 'Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.'

The famous biblical tale is the basis for the Timothy Rice-Andrew Lloyd Webber musical “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” which takes its name from the story of Joseph’s father, Joshua — or Israel — giving him a colorful cloak as a sign of paternal favor.

Johnson plays Joseph in Corbett Children’s Theater’s June 16-25 production, directed by William Crawford, with musical direction by Kathy Johnson, and stage management by Maranda Cadungug and Victoria Reeves.

The show’s narrators are Ardie Golden and Melody Burton, and it also features a children’s choir. Musical styles in the family-friendly play include ballads, country-western, pop, rock and calypso.

As it’s the theater’s summer show, the cast of almost 70 includes not just children, but CCT alumni as well as adults.

Johnson calls the character he plays a dream role, one made famous by pop singers David Cassidy as well as Donny Osmond, with the latter playing Joseph on stage and in a film.

“Ever since I was 7, which was the first time I saw the show, I always wanted to play Joseph,” Johnson says. “I would listen to the Donny Osmond ‘Joseph’ CD almost every day when I was younger.”

Johnson adds that the role has made him reflect on what kind of man Joseph was.

“Even though he did nothing wrong, he was still put through a lot of crap,” he says, noting Joseph’s trials included imprisonment on false charges. “But he remained strong and was then put in charge of Egypt. Wow! Talk about a turn of events.”

Sibling rivalry

Gresham resident Wesley Christopher Dick, 15, plays Simeon, one of Joseph’s brothers in the musical. The second oldest of the 12 brothers, he — along with the others — “want Joseph gone,” Dick says.

“I enjoy the solo I get to sing and also the scene where I swat a fly in the famine,” he says. “The most challenging thing is probably staying in character for all my scenes, but I manage pretty well.”

Both actors urge theater fans to check out CCT’s production.

“This show has everything,” Johnson says. “It’s musical theater at its finest. So many funny, memorable characters, amazing music, fantastic actors and much much more. This is no ordinary musical!”

“We’re all putting ourselves out on the stage to showcase our hard work and determination,” Dick adds. “And that it’ll be a lot of fun for all ages to watch.”

If you go

WHO: Corbett Children’s Theater

PRESENTS: ‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’

WHEN: Thursday to Saturday, June 16-25. 7 p.m. each day; also 1 p.m. Saturdays

WHERE: The Chapel, 27132 S.E. Stark St., Troutdale

COST: $12, $9 students, seniors

INFO: corbettchildrenstheater.com