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Jets to present “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”

MADISON – For several months, 64 on-stage actors and 50-plus ‘techies’ have worked to present “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” at James Clemens High School.

Set in ancient Egypt, this musical tells the story Joseph, favorite son of Jacob. Joseph’s brothers betray him and sell him into slavery. Joseph perseveres with wit and faith and becomes Egypt’s governor, Technical Director M. Clinton Merritt said.

“Today’s teenagers will learn the lessons of perseverance, forgiveness and the power of family,” Merritt said.

Andrew Pharo portrays the lead character, Joseph. “Andrew has an incredible presence onstage,” Merritt said. “His previous years of work have prepared him for this lead role. He has worked hard on improving his vocal work since our last musical, ‘Beauty & the Beast’ and has demonstrated exceptional work ethic.”

Narrators are seniors Lauren Parker and Brittney Quach and sophomore Zoe Sorensen. “Both Lauren and Brittney have been in (theatre) for years and were ready to help carry this show alongside Andrew,” Merritt said. “Their strong voices and ability to throw themselves into any role are why we chose them for these roles.”

“Zoe is new to our stage but had a strong audition and has a beautiful voice. That’s why she also got a leading role as a sophomore,” Merritt said.

Secondary actors are junior Rush Waggoner (Jacob), senior Brandon Petrucka (Reuben), senior Matthew Bao (Simeon), senior Alex Walbom (Judah) and junior Ethan Brown (Pharaoh).

The staff includes Music Directors Harris Gessner and Newt Johnson; Guest Professional Choreographers Missy Stanley and Leigh Ann Bender Guest; Costume Designer Rita Burkholder; Lighting Designer James Seymour; Lighting Advisor Peter West; Student Choreographer Jaylin Martin; Student Stage Manager Emma Rigozzi; and Student Tech Director Dylan Eberly.

The pit orchestra features James Clemens band members and professional musicians.

The show features 20-plus songs. Students have created set elements for numerous scenes, including pyramids, homemade backdrop, circular platform for Potiphar’s song and Pharaoh’s elevated throne with giant stairs.

In mid-March, Director Amy Patel was hospitalized with appendicitis. “We had to bring in other local professionals, especially Mike Chappell, to help us finalize the show. Without help of these incredible local artists, we would’ve never gotten this show in shape for audience members,” Student Directors Matthew Cole and Jayda Russell said.

Show times are April 5-7 at 7 p.m., along with a 2 p.m. matinee on April 7. Tickets are $15 for adults or $10 for students and military members.

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