The Biblical story of a father gifting his favorite son a multi-hued, dynamically colored coat, setting off a chain of malicious actions spurred on by envious siblings, is the theme of one of the longest running musicals on Broadway: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
As the story goes, Joseph is the adored son of Jacob; Joseph's gift of a beautiful coat makes his 11 other brothers so envious that they sell him into slavery and stage his death. However, Joseph prospers despite his brothers’ attempt to banish him by interpreting dreams and goes to work for the Pharaoh. Eventually he is reunited with his brothers.
On the cusp of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical’s 30th anniversary, the afterschool club the Hommocks Players will present their version of this classic tale of perseverance despite adversity.
“The caliber is actually really high,” said Sasha Nahr, the spokesperson for the Hommocks Players, continuing, “It’s very intense—there’s only one spoken word in the whole musical.”
Over 100 kids from sixth-eighth grade will participate in the musical, all of whom auditioned for their roles by singing, reading lines and dancing.
The actors playing the leads will alternate their roles during the show's run. The play is known for its catchy score that incorporates music from genres spanning rock and roll to calypso to Western square dance.
Mamaroneck resident and the play's producer, Dr. Jill Karliner, was enthusiastic about the production as she spoke on a break during dress rehearsal.
"My kids went to Hommocks, and this is the seventh show that I've been involved with here," she said. "The best part of this is working with the kids. We—the director, Tom Jordon, and all of Hommocks' staff members—work as a team."
Karliner took on the task of making almost all of the play's elaborate costumes, and gave a round of applause to the many parents who volunteered their time for the production. "They do so much, including helping put together the sets, selling tickets and generating publicity." Karliner said the plays that are presented at the school are chosen according to broad audience appeal and the opportunity for students to showcase their talents as an ensemble.
"We must read about 35 to 40 scripts," she said.
Two of Joseph's young actors spoke about their upcoming roles. Ben Morris, an eighth grader and Larchmont resident, plays Jacob, Joseph's father.
"I've performed in many plays here, including Honk, Grease and The Lion King," he said. "I also had one of the leads in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. My parents and two siblings are really excited for me with this role, and I'm excited, too."
Ties Jansen, a seventh grader and Mamaroneck resident who plays Joseph, was equally enthusiastic about his part in the play.
"It's really fun to be in it, and fun to watch people fall in love with the show," he said.
"My parents and two brothers think it's very cool that I am in it. I've done many plays before I came to Hommocks, such as A Christmas Carol, where I played Scrooge. I did Charlie and the Chocolate Factory here and enjoyed it."
Tickets can be purchased afterschool at the commons. Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door. Patrons can also visit the website to donate tickets for families in need. Last year, donors made it possible for 60 community members to attend the show for free. Shows will be on Thursday, Feb, 2 and Friday, Feb. 3 at 7 p.m. There will be two shows on Saturday, Feb. 4 at 2 and 7 p.m. in the Hommocks Auditorium.