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A Star is Born

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Posted: Friday, November 14, 2008 10:00 pm

It's been a Broadway favorite since 1982. It's won Tony Awards for Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical and Best Original Score. And it will be the largest theater production to be performed on stage at Hutchins Street Square.

"Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat," which opens Nov. 20 at Hutchins Street Square, will feature 48 cast members and a 35-member chorus - and they're all Lodi-area residents.

"Most productions have about 30 cast members. This one has three times that," said Anthony Allen, who plays Joseph.

Written by Andrew Lloyd Webber - creator of "Cats" and "Phantom of the Opera" - "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" is the Old Testament story of Joseph, who was sold into Egypt by his 12 brothers and then rose to fame as Pharoah's right-handman. The story is told through song and includes a mosaic of music and characters: Vaudeville tap, swing and Elvis, country western and even go-go dancers.


Lisa Lindsay, right, rehearses a dance with cast member Sally Sperling during a dress rehearsal for "Joseph and the Amazing Technocolor Dreamcoat." (Dan Evans/News-Sentinel)

It was because "the music is brilliant" that Director Nicole Warren chose to bring "Joseph" to Lodi, but it's also because of the true story and universal message.

"It has a message of no matter what hardships life deals you, you can come out victorious if your attitude is (good)," she said. "When you take that moral and apply it to the music of Andrew Lloyd Webber, you have a production that everyone relates to."

Warren is the owner of Troupe Cabana in Lodi and has been putting shows on at Hutchins Street Square for 15 years. She fell in love with the play when she was only 16. With Jimmy Osmand in the lead, she was in the ensemble of a Sacramento Music Circus production of the show. She knew then she would one day direct "Joseph." Then, as a student at Brigham Young University, she was cast a second time in the play.

With enough experience, exposure in the community and a grant from the Lodi Arts Commission, Warren felt she was ready to take on a new kind of production.


Cast members portray Joseph's brothers during a recent rehearsal at Troupe Cabana in Lodi. (Dan Evans/News-Sentinel)

With professional costumes, singers who will blow you away and a storyline for the entire family, everyone is ready for the curtains to rise.

Warren and producer Colleen Lindsay hope to soon create a Lodi community theater company, in which they will become the producer and director of regular shows. They hope "Joseph" will be a launchpad for other plays at Hutchins Street Square. Warren already has plans to bring "Annie," "Scrooge," and "Les Miserables" to the Charlene Lange Theater.

Earlier this year, Warren and Lindsay held community-wide auditions for "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat." In every part - from leading roles to chorus members - she wanted the play to be performed by the community for the community.

"Every single (actor) is an extraordinary performer and wonderful people," Lindsay said. "Nicole and I feel so blessed to work with these people and to see their joy of the theater."

After seeing "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" on Broadway several times, Warren says the only difference between Broadway and her show is a $5 million budget.

"Our talent is just as good," Warren said. "I'm a really harsh judge of theater. It takes a lot to impress me. This show is impressive."

Contact Lodi Living Editor Lauren Nelson at laurenn@lodinews.com.

"Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat"

When: Nov. 20-29
Where: Charlene Powers Lange Performing Arts Theatre, Hutchins Street Square, 125 S. Hutchins St.
Tickets: $14-$17, plus a $3 processing fee
Information: Order tickets at http://dreamcoat.org">dreamcoat.org. Not for children under 2.

Cast

Lisa Lindsay
Age: 20
Occupation: Waitress at Lodi Beer Company
Role: Go-go dancer
What do you love about acting? Just being on stage. When you're on stage, it's just a different feeling.
Abby Ridgeway
Age: 9
School: Vinewood Elementary
Role: Chorus
Number of plays you've been in: 12
Favorite actress: Shirley Temple - she's cute and creative.
Brandon Graham
Age: 13
Role: Benjamin
School: Andrew Carnegie Middle School in Citrus Heights
What do you do outside of school? I like playing videogames. Right now I like Okami.
Kimberlee Pratt
Age: 18
School: Sacramento City College
Role: Wife
Where do you see yourself in five years? In Hollywood, doing acting.
Inspiration: My brother.
Katy Corbeil
Age: 23
School: Delta College
Role: Rachel, Joseph's mother; director Nicole Warren's assistant
What do you want to do profession­ally? I want to do it all. There's no better feeling than performing.
Adam "Ashizzle" Vuinovic
Age: 17
School: Galt High School
Role: Dan
Favorite thing to do in galt: Cow tipping (laughs). Given there's not much to do in Galt, I like to ride my bike around.
Ruqaiya Ghuzi
Age: 16
School: Homeschooled
Role: Wife
What do you want to do when you grow up? I want to go to L.A. to become a director.
Who would you like to direct? Natalie Portman
Allie Ehlers
Age: 18
School: Lodi High graduate, now at Delta College
Role: Wife
How did you get involved in theater? I did Troupe Cabana when I was in fifth grade.
Stanley Hansen
Age: 11
School: Greer Elementary
Role: Chorus
Favorite part of acting: Dressing up and showing off wat I can do. I've been dancing for two years - break dancing, tango.
Aaron Graham
Age: 17
School: Bella Vista High in Fair Oaks
Role: Judah
Favorite part of this show: It's the first show I've ever done. It's an exciting, new experience to be with this cast.
Anthony Allen
Age: 23
School: Graduated from San Joaquin Delta College in technical theater
Role: Joseph
What is it like to be the lead role? It's a big honor.
Jenna Kroff
Age: 16
Role: Gold narrator
School: Galt High School
Something people don't know about the show: It's a Bible story, but everyone can relate to it.
Dennis Rooker
Age: 30
Role: Reuben
School: Delta College
Why did you choose to be in this show? I've been dancing with the director for 14 years. She researched and developed her own vision for this show.
Natasha Erdmann
Age: 16
School: Tokay High School
Role: Wife
If you could play any role in any movie, what would you choose? Holly Golightly from "Breakfast at Tiffany's."
Ambre Shoneff
Age: 26
Role: Wife
Occupation: Science teacher at Serna Charter School
What do your students think of you acting? They're coming to the play.
Sally Sperling
Age: 20
Role: Go-go dancer
Where do you see yourself in five years? Owning my own salon, and hopefully still be involved in theater.
Favorite actress: Natalie Portman
Silvia Rodriguez
Age: 28
Occupation: Medical assistant at a Galt clinic
Role: Wife
What made you audition? I saw a flier at Curves.
Is it scary? It's my first time in a big production.
Brendon Hutchins
Age: 18
Occupation: Warehouse worker
Role: Asher
What would you tell someone who's thinking of auditioning for a play? It's really fun when you actually do it.
Daniela Santiaste-Loera
Age: 10
School: Lincoln Elementary
Role: Chorus
What is your costume? All white.
All-time favorite play: "West Side Story"
Zachery Knapp
Age: 28
School: San Joaquin Delta College, TV broadcast major
Role: Simeon
Will this help you be a broadcaster? Yes, it'll help me with being in front of people.
Lauren Gomes
Age: 16
School: Lodi Academy
Role: Wife
Best part of show: How jazzed up it is compared to the (Bible) story.
What are your professional goals? To do something in theater or art.
Dayna Azevedo
Age: 16
School: St. Mary's High School
Role: Wife
Favorite things to do in Lodi: Cross country, voice lessons, dance.
Dream job: I want to do something in fashion.
Brandon Christensen
Age: 16
School: Tokay High School
Role: Zebulun
What do your classmates say about you acting? They're supportive.
Favorite thing to do in Lodi: I wrestle at Tokay.
Jessica Griffin
Age: 23
School: Delta College
Role: Silver narrator
Who should see the show? It's something for the whole family. There's great music. It's more than just a show. For some, it's an experience.
Emily Chambers
Age: 10
School: Valley Oaks
Role: Chorus
Favorite part of acting: We get to sing lots of songs.
What do you want to be when you grow up? A pastry chef.

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