The daunting logistics behind mounting an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical are not lost on the braintrust guiding The Knowlton Players. When the production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat runs Nov. 2 to 12 at Theatre Lac Brome, it will feature 44 actors from multiple generations, including 15 members of the Knowlton Academy Choir, ages 6 to 12.
There are elaborate costumes and sets, 22 songs to learn and perform, and a karaoke machine that must do the job of an orchestra in a pit. There are serious performance rights to pay, a building to rent, and thought given to how such an enormous cast will squeeze into the limited acreage on the theatre stage, even with its stunning new addition. There are, heaven forbid, children and their protective parents to wrangle. Director Lucy Hoblyn has “already had her nervous breakdown.” Even the unflappable Danny McAuley, who is building sets with nowhere to keep them, and a real concern with finding space onstage to place them, admits the entire enterprise is “hugely ambitious.” Everything has to serve more than one function.
“Trying to get all the elements together is the interesting part,” he understates. Which may explain why they first started rehearsing last March, working on music and harmonies, and praying there are no ghosts in the karaoke machine. They say they are blessed with lots of volunteer choreographers and helpers of all stripes, in what will be the first community production in the theatre since renovations were completed earlier this year.
Though it’s the first time Joseph has been produced here since 1994, there are cast members who will have been in both. And it’s a rare event that will see parents and their kids sharing the same floorboards, belting their hearts out in a show as big as its name.
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat runs Nov. 2 to 12 at Theatre Lac Brome, Thursday through Saturday nights, with matinees on Sunday. Tickets are $16.50 and $11.50 and are available at Brome Lake Books and online at http://gogojoseph.brownpapertickets.com