Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Things To Do

November 29, 2012

REVIEW: 'Joseph' a show for all ages to enjoy together

CROSSVILLE — A high-energy extravaganza awaits you at the Cumberland County Playhouse with the new production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

Lindy Pendzick brings her enthusiasm to the opening announcements with rousing energy in her welcome; excitement is stirred in the audience before a note of music is heard. A pajama clad second-grader interrupts Ms. Pendzick’s words with a reminder that it is time for the show to start.

The music of Andrew Lloyd Webber surges forth from Ron Murphy and his nine-piece pit band. Leila Nelson has sung the role of the narrator each time I have attended. She serves as choreographer for the show as well as being a dancer, and vocalist. Anna Baker, a new member of the resident company of the Playhouse alternates in the demanding role of narrator. It is the narrator who moves the action of the show in song beginning with “You Are What You Feel.”

An amazing evening of musical theater has begun as Joseph, played by Colin Cahill with his winsome manner and strong voice, joins the narrator and a group of pajama-clad children to sing “Any Dream Will Do.”

Cahill has been with the Playhouse since June. Playing the title role of Joseph is a remarkable way to finish his season here. He has played in The Music Man, Backwards in High Heels, Golden Boy of the Blue Ridge and Big River.

Members of the Kids ensemble that are essential to the show include Sophie and Ellie Burnett, Joe and Josh Norris, Bailey and Emery Smith, Emily and Ava Graham, and Anya Reichers of the Blue Cast. Making up the Red cast of the Kids ensemble are Sasha, Anais and Zachary Villaruz, Christopher Figueroa, Rain Smith, Cally Copeland, Shaylin Morgan, Abby Spigner and Kaydi McCausland. 

Cahill as a skilled actor-choreographer brings us Joseph responding to his father’s love, coping with the anger of his brothers, caught in the pain of imprisonment, and gaining release through his understanding of dreams: both his own and those of Pharaoh. Jack Seville plays Jacob the father. Among the twelve sons of Jacob, Joseph is clearly the favorite. Jacob sees his own dreams coming true in this cherished son. The “Technicolor Dream Coat” with which Joseph is gifted, serves to set him further apart from his brothers, raising their jealous (and righteous) indignation. He flaunts the coat, leaping with grace across the stage, touting this symbol of his father’s prejudicial love. Small wonder the brothers agree that the dreamer must go. 

There appears to be boundless energy in this cast! Their age range is from second grade through senior citizens. None of the 80 cast members speak a word through the two-hour show. All the dialogue is in song. Britt Hancock, as director, and Weslie Webster, as the assistant director, have done a remarkable job of both direction and coordination.

A well-trained group of youth whose energy and skills in voice and dance are essential to the movement of the show. Red cast members of the “Teen Ensemble” are: Lily Barnes, Ashley Bennett, Perianna Evans, Malachi and Darbi Banegas, Alli Crain, Destiny and Phillip Hall, Demeter Drains, Vikki Avalon, Destiny Goss, Katey Dailey, Mariah McRae. Teen Ensemble members of the blue cast are: Brooke Morey, Caroline Daughtry, Victoria Housley, Derek Wagner, DeAnna Etchison, Olivia Parker, Houston Housley, Abigail Miller-Warren, Amanda Clack, Bryanne Thacker, Madison Lee, Moriah McRae and Darbi Banegas.     

There are many Playhouse favorites among the brothers: John Dobbratz plays Reuben (as well as the Butler), Quinn Cason is Simeon (who does a captivating Calypso number in the second act), Jason Ross (uniquely hilarious as he recalls “Those Canaan Days”) brings us Levi, Michael Ruff is Napthali, Greg Pendzick is seen as Issachar. Daniel Black plays Asher, Donald Frison is the agile athletic Dan, and Austin Price is Zebulan. Douglas Waterbury-Tieman is Gad, Chaz Sanders plays Benjamin, Isaiah Banegas and Cory Clark alternate is the role of Judah.  

Joseph is tactless in displaying his precious Dreamcoat, leaping with grace across the stage, touting the symbol of his father’s prejudicial love. The brothers agree the dreamer must go.

Daniel Black portrays his false grief as he reports to his father of Joseph’s supposed death singing “One More Angel in Heaven.” The angel that appears high at the back of the stage must be the venerable Carol Irvin.   

Mark Stenson plays Potiphar hilariously clad in golfing attire, club in hand. He is the only returning volunteer from the ’05 Joseph production. Dee Hill is priceless as the wife of Potiphar, transported in highest style; she is relentless in her pursuit of Joseph. The narrator adds her voice as Potiphar, Mrs. Potiphar and Joseph sing. The Teen Ensemble joins in a cheerleader inspired number. 

Joseph, in prison, continues his interpretation of dreams. Word reaches Pharaoh of his unique skills. Britt Hancock emerges as an Elvis-style Pharaoh. The narrator and the ensemble join in telling the story of the dreams. Members of the adult ensemble are Weslie Webster, Lauren Marshall, Emily Woods, Carol Irvin, Carly Amburn, Lindy Pendzick, Holly Bynum, Christy Sapp, Kim Davenport, Sherry Knox, Terri Ritter, Caitlin Schaub, Rachel Marie, Regina Villaruz, Zach Steele, Margaret Watson, Bob Johnson, Jaton Martin, Mason Angel, Trey Norrod, Houston Housley, Laura Kaluska, Carol Skiles, Bob Ochsenrider, Bob Cleeland, Pat Nelson and Amanda Clark.

If you are not familiar with the Biblical story of Joseph in Genesis 37, you may wish to look for “Joseph (son of Jacob)” in Wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia. The show follows the story including the remarkable animals of the traders to whom the brothers sell Joseph as a slave.

For a time, the brothers enjoy plenty in the Land of Canaan, their shopping carts overflowing. Times change. “The Brothers Come to Egypt/Grovel, Grovel” they sing with the ensemble, Joseph and the narrator. It is Joseph, the brother they had hoped to destroy, now in the court of Pharaoh. What has happened to their dreams?

Indeed, “Any Dream Will Do.” The dream of the Britt Hancock and Weslie Webster, the supportive confidence of producing director Jim Crabtree and the sponsorship of M. Stewart Galloway, MD, have enabled a dream of a show to play on the Mainstage through Dec. 23. Do order your tickets. It is a show all ages will enjoy together.

Text Only
Things To Do
  • front page news.jpg "Front Page News" held over in Dayton

    Cumberland County Playhouse and its producing partner The Scopes Festival in Dayton, TN, have added three more performances of "Front Page News," the newly adapted, historically accurate play with music, currently being staged in the historic “monkey trial” courtroom in Dayton’s Rhea County Courthouse.  Additional shows of the new work are Saturday at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m., and the final show Sunday at 2:30 p.m. All times are EDT.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • granville.jpg Scarcrow Walk set Oct. 4-31 in Granville

    The Second Annual Granville Scarecrow Walk will be in Historic Granville on Oct. 4 through Oct. 31.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Conlee Color HI.jpg Conlee to perform at Palace

    John Conlee is a lot like the songs of which he sings. He lives a domestic life with his wife Gale and three children, Rebecca, Jessica and Johnny. During the past two decades, Conlee has achieved a level of success that he has sustained by simply being himself and by making records that the listening public can relate to. He is a gifted entertainer, but he’s not into the glitz and hype of the entertainment world. He’d rather spend his “off the road” time working on his 32 acre farm outside of Nashville or engaging in his woodworking and gunsmithing hobbies.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • City Lites.jpg 'Friday Night Air' features City Lites

    The “Friday Night Air” summer concert series continues Friday at the Spirit Broadband amphitheater in downtown Crossville with the City Lites Band. They are a very popular four-piece band from Crossville that has performed throughout Tennessee and the Southeast for more than three decades. Their lineup features Marty Gibson on guitar and vocals, Flavy Miller on bass and vocals, Glenn Holverson on saxophones and Wade England on drums. The song list includes a wide variety of musical styles from swing, country, '50’s and '60’s, rock and more. Something for everyone to enjoy! The performance is free to the public and begins at 6 p.m. and is sponsored by the Historic Palace Theatre and the city of Crossville.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Gypsy, Front Page News open this weekend

    They're gearing up for a very exciting week both at the Cumberland County Playhouse and at the Rhea County Courthouse in Dayton!

    July 17, 2014

  • LexVinDance260_2.jpg Vintage Dance Society opens PAART season

    The Performing Arts Alliance of Rural Tennessee (PAART) is pleased to announce the first event in it’s 2014-15 season: the Lexington Vintage Dance Society will perform "Downton Abbey Era: The Titanic to the Jazz Age" in period costumes. This performance will take place Oct. 3 at 7 p.m. at the Palace Theatre in Crossville.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • gypsy hombres.jpg Gypsy Hombres take stage Sunday

    For years, there has been a persistent legend in Nashville about a crazy gypsy ‘Fiddler on the Roof” who dances as he plays the violin on the roof of his Victorian house. Cumberland County Playhouse will prove the legend is 100 percent true as The Gypsy Hombres take the stage Sunday.

    July 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • 'Gypsy' opens July 18 at CCP

    Beginning July 18, everything’s coming up roses as the Playhouse brings one of the greatest American musicals of all time to life… “Gypsy”! From the unforgettable first notes of its legendary overture to the final white hot spotlight, “Gypsy” is considered by many to be “the best musical ever,” as it tells the story of the archetypal stage mother, Rose, and her daughters, June and Louise.

    July 10, 2014

  • wildman.jpg ‘Wild Man’ takes Palace stage Aug. 23

    Look out, Crossville, here comes the coolest guy in town and his name is Rafael R. Soriano, also known by fans everywhere as “Wild Man,” but he calls himself “Wild Man Billy Ralph!”

    July 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • KOTR Steven Whitson Picture.jpg 'An Evening with Steven Whitson' to benefit Kids on the Rise

    ds on the Rise will be hosting a fund-raising concert Aug. 2 at the Palace Theatre. The local non-profit agency will present An Evening with Steven Whitson.

    July 2, 2014 2 Photos

AP and the Gulf Oil Spill
AP Video
Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide