By Sheena Barnett/NEMS Daily Journal
Tupelo Community Theatre’s production of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” is a first for many of the folks involved.
Chris Hussey is in his first lead role at TCT as the title character. It’s the first musical Craig Helmuth has directed. It’s the first production ever for Brent Roberson, who stars as Jacob.
With all of those firsts, it’s an exciting production for the cast and crew.
“Everyone expects it to be the pinnacle of the year, and I think that makes it more exciting. But a little pressure’s always a good thing,” Helmuth said. “It keeps you on your toes.”
Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” is the musical version of the Biblical story. Joseph receives a coat of many colors from his father, Jacob. His brothers, jealous of his coat and in fear of his dream to rule them all, sell Joseph as a slave. But Joseph overcomes his bad luck, rises to power in Egypt and is later reunited with his father. It’s a story many are familiar with, and the musical is one of Broadway’s classics with songs like “Any Dream Will Do,” “Close Every Door” and “Go, Go, Go Joseph.”
Hussey said he’s ready to sing in front of an audience.
“I’m better in front of people,” he said. “The bigger the crowd, the better I am.”
For Roberson, “Joseph” is an entirely new experience. He’s used to the stage, as a former member of the gospel group The Foyer Boyz, but he’s never acted and sang on stage.
“It’s a lot different, and I’m out of my element, but I’m having a blast,” he said. “I can see how this could get in your blood real easy.”
Will he be back for more TCT productions?
“I think I’ll have to,” he said. “I think it’s gonna get in my blood.”
It’s also a change for TCT veteran Suzanne Oakley. She’s used to big wigs and running on and off the stage for multiple costume changes, but as the narrator in “Joseph,” she’s on stage the whole time, busy singing songs and explaining what’s going on.
“I have a lot of words, and very few of them repeat,” she said. “I’m telling a story, so that helps me get from point A to point B.”
Oakley loves that she gets to sing so much, and so many different genres of music, in “Joseph.”
“It’s a really well written show, and it runs the gamut of musical styles,” she said. “It really has something for everyone.”