“Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” Performed by Hopkinton High School Drama Club

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Valerie von Rosenvinge, the director of the HHS Drama Ensemble, stands with the lead of the play, Justin Roshak, and narrator, Catherine Cote. Photo by Swati Sharma

By Swati Sharma
The musical “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” was performed in the Hopkinton Middle School auditorium to students, parents and residents of Hopkinton from Thursday, November 12th to Sunday, November 14th.  It was put on by the drama club of Hopkinton High School as their annual fall musical.

Though the story, based on one from the Book of Genesis from the Old Testament, is ages old, it was directed in the original style of  Ms. Valerie von Rosenvinge, director of the musical. The story was changed dramatically to depict the various phases in American culture through the decades. According to Ms. von Rosenvinge, “It is usually traditionally performed with actors wearing robes, as if in biblical times, but I feel that this story is timeless, so it was set in a span of years.”

Joseph is the favorite son of Jacob, the king of Canaan, and has eleven brothers who all envy his heightened status in the family and his possession of a beautiful, multicolored coat.  The coat was gifted to him by his father to mark him as the favorite son. To top it off, Joseph sees dreams in which he dominates over his eleven brothers. Overcome by jealousy, Joseph’s eleven brothers sell Joseph as a slave in Egypt and tell their father that Joseph was killed. Throughout the play, Joseph is enslaved, imprisoned,  and brought to a point in Egyptian hierarchy even higher than  the Pharaoh (king), bolstered by his clairvoyant dreams. Eventually, he is reunited with his father and repentant brothers.

The characters in the story are very dynamic and lively, particularly that of Joseph.  “Joseph is someone who has it easy, but in the end, earned his destiny. He starts out conceited but well-meaning, not manipulative but full of himself. By the end, he becomes more self-aware, which he does not start out as,” Justin Roshak, the actor who played Joseph, described.  Other memorable characters were Jacob, played by John Lanen, the seductive Mrs. Potiphar, played by Samantha Thyne, and the Pharaoh, played by Matt Clark in a style reminiscent of Elvis Presley.

The sets, costumes and general environment changed very rapidly as if to model changing time periods, moving through the 20’s and 30’s, and then the 60’s and 70’s.  The style of diction changed throughout the musical as well.  “One More Angel in Heaven” was sung by Karl Sargent, who played one of the brothers, in a Western accent. “Benjamin Calypso” was sung by Sam Chirco, who played another one of the brothers, in a bohemian style, while “Those Canaan Days” was performed in a French accent by all of Joseph’s brothers.

All in all, the musical received much praise from the audiences who viewed it.  There was a great amount of applause and cheering after each song, and the play received an enthused standing ovation at the end. The HHS Drama Ensemble will be performing their next production sometime in the spring.

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