Phenomenal, amazing, a MUST-see. St. Thomas Aquinas High School's production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat has lived up to its big expectations with viewers taking to social media to rave about the performance.
"It is quite remarkable," said Stage Director, Edward Franko. "[Musical Director, Lenard Whiting and I] had careers in Toronto for 40 years and I can't think of a high school that could do this like this group of kids. We just sit there and think about how incredible of an alignment of the stars this is, and they are stars."
Franko and Whiting joined forces with STAHS music teacher Darcy Ura to make Joseph a reality, and it was a large undertaking. There are 20 roles that need to be filled in addition to an entire choir made up of younger students.
Grade 11 student Jesse McIsaac was cast in the leading role of Joseph alongside Grade 12 student, Avery Bond, who plays the other leading role, the Narrator.
"I think this is amazing of the school to do," said Bond. "It's so wonderful to see all of the schools combined and us coming together to make this show happen. I've made new friends of all ages and I feel extremely proud and grateful for my amazing cast mates and how it all came together. We worked so hard for this and it all paid off."
McIsaac spoke about what it feels like to first step out on the stage in front of the audience.
"I'm just ready to start the show, begin the story for the crowd. I'm in character, in the zone, and I sing that first piece "Any Dream Will Do" so I try to sell it and get a lot of energy going for the show," he said.
Franko said the support they've received from the entire community was what made this musical such a success.
"I'm so impressed with the support of the school community, the board, and the teachers. Darcy Ura is a great, great teacher and on behalf of Lenard and myself we just can't believe how wonderful the experience has been working with these wonderful people," he said.
The show ran May 8th-10th with three evening performances and a matinee. The cast was excited to be able to perform in front of a full audience for every evening show. McIsaac said overall it's been an incredible experience.
"Everyone in the cast, crew and band is so wonderful and I feel so lucky to be working with such an amazing group of people," he said.
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat tells the story of Joseph, Jacob's favourite son, and his struggles after being given a beautiful multicoloured coat from his father. His jealous brothers sell him into slavery where his gift of interpreting dreams eventually lands him at the feet of the Pharaoh who has been having troubling dreams himself.
Joseph offers his interpretation of Pharaoh's dreams that seven years of bounty will be followed by seven years of famine. Pharaoh is so impressed he appoints Joseph to a post in his government.
When the famine does hit, Joseph's brothers are ill-prepared and forced to go to Egypt to beg for food. Joseph, who the brothers do not recognize, tests their honesty to see if they have changed. Once they pass his test to everyone's great joy, he revels his true identity. Jacob is brought to Egypt to join his family and be reunited with his beloved son.