SIU alumni return for summer production at McLeod Theater

By The Alton Telegraph

Based on the biblical story of Joseph and his famous coat, an exuberant musical comes to campus this summer.

“Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” tells the story of a favored son who is sold into slavery by his jealous brothers, rises to become advisor to the Pharaoh, and reunites with his family in forgiveness. “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” brings its many colors to the McLeod Summer Playhouse.

The production boasts “many colors” itself. SIU alumnus Tim Wessel, fresh from the recent national tour of “Joseph,” choreographs. Kevin A. Smith, also an SIU alumnus, returns to the playhouse as musical director.


McLeod Summer Playhouse Managing Artistic Director J. Thomas Kidd brings his magical and clever touch to the show’s staging. The fun sets, which feature an enormous sphinx with sunglasses, are designed by Ron Naversen. Mark Varns, with his superb artistic skills, designs the lighting, and Kristina Sneshkoff adds style to the costume designs. 

The rousing score by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice is as great a mixture of colors as the dreamcoat. Songs in styles from pop, calypso, French chanson, rock and roll to country-western add fun and color to the immensely entertaining performance.

The show started as a short musical piece in 1968 and, after much development, opened on Broadway in 1982. Actors who have played the title role include, among others, Bill Hutton (the original Broadway Joseph), David Cassidy (yes, “The Partridge Family”) and Donny Osmond, who starred in the 1992 Broadway revival and the 1999 film. SIU production’s coat of many colors being used onstage is the actual coat worn by Osmond in the film.

The cast features the 22 members of the McLeod Summer Playhouse 2016 Company and eight children from the community as the “choir,” who are student visitors to the museum. Angel J. Lozada plays Joseph. Zoe Jensen and Carlina Parker, in a unique division of the original role of Narrator, play the Security Guard and the Teacher. Tom Nacy Warner plays Potiphar and Stephen Rochet plays Pharaoh.

“Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” performs at 7:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and at 2 p.m., Sundays from July 8 through July 17. Tickets for the show cost $10 for children, $14 for students and $30 for adults. Tickets can be obtained at the McLeod Theater and SIU Arena box offices Monday through Friday, by telephone at 618-453-6000 or

The show is appropriate for all members of any family.

(c)2016 The Telegraph (Alton, Ill.)


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