Nick Bello, director of LaPorte Little Theatre’s production of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” knew he had a hit on his hands as soon as rehearsals for his musical began.
“The very first night when we sat down, we were just going to get everyone familiarized with this, and our very first night, people were singing harmonies,” he recalled. “They knew the music from day one.”
Opening Oct. 12 and running through Oct. 21, “Joseph” is the tale of the title character, the son of Jacob, who is sold into slavery by his brothers. Years later, Joseph triumphs as the most powerful man in Egypt, and his brothers must seek forgiveness.
Inspired by the Book of Genesis in the Bible’s Old Testament, “Joseph” was conceived for the stage by Andrew Lloyd Weber and Tim Rice. Featuring now-standards such as “Any Dream Will Do,” “Go, Go, Go Joseph” and “Close Every Door,” Joseph debuted at the duo’s college in England in 1968.
“Joseph” received a half dozen Tony Award nominations for its inaugural Broadway run in 1982. For many area theatergoers, “Joseph” is also remembered for extended runs in the early and mid-90s in Chicago, with Donny Osmond starring as Joseph.
“It attracts multi-generational groups,” Bello said of “Joseph.” “You have the more mature generation that enjoys the story side of it and enjoys the music, and you’ve got the kids who enjoy the music and all of the colors. It’s a super, family friendly show.”
Jeremiah Mellen is Joseph and leads a cast of nearly three dozen actors and singers in La Porte Little Theatre’s “Joseph.” Also performing are Erin Imer as the Narrator, John Bello as the Pharaoh, John Watterson as Jacob, Thom Nelson as Potipher and Tom Coe as Reuben.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better cast,” Bello said. “We have such incredible voices. Because the show is a popular show, we were able to attract talent from all over the area.”
Next up for La Porte Little Theatre is a production of the Christmastime favorite “Yes, Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus,” scheduled to open Dec. 7.