Lakeview Church brings Joseph to town

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat

Amanda McAlpine
Arts and Culture Editor

“A crash of drums, a flash of light. My golden coat flew out of sight. The colours faded into darkness, I was left alone…” If you know these words off by heart like I do, you won’t want to miss Lakeview Church’s production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicoloured Dreamcoat on Feb. 17, 18, and 19. Let me tell you why.

This cast of 41, including stage crew, has been in rehearsal since October. Collecting talent from all corners of Thunder Bay, the actors and musicians have been working tirelessly to put on this production. Included in the work is a 10-piece pit band comprised mainly of Lakehead’s music students.

Mother and daughter team Diane and Hanna Laaksonen direct, with Lakehead’s music professor Darlene Reid in charge of the band.

“This is our first full-scale Broadway musical,” explains Diane. “It has been a great experience. Who knows? Maybe another one awaits.”

The story is from the biblical book of Genesis. Joseph is the second youngest of 12 brothers, and the favourite son of his father Jacob. His brothers resent him for getting special treatment, and are especially angry when Joseph receives a beautiful multi-coloured robe from his father.

His brothers, fuming with jealousy, decide to sell him into Egypt as a slave. Joseph rises to be the most powerful man in Egypt next to the Pharaoh, and, when famine strikes, his brothers come begging for help… I won’t ruin the end for you: be sure to get a ticket to see the rest of this classic musical.

Robert Perrier, who plays Joseph, has performed in local shows such as RENT, Cabaret and Little Shop of Horrors. He trained as a classical tenor in his formative years, and speaks of the Broadway show with enthusiasm.

“I remember seeing a production of Joseph when I was younger and it had a real impact on shaping my interested in musical theatre and ultimately leading me to this moment where I now have the chance to be Joseph,” Perrier said.

The Laaksonens have been talking about doing this show for years, and in Feb. 2011 they decided that they had enough talent and resources to put it together. Hanna’s most rewarding part of her job is “seeing everything finally coming together, [and] watching how the cast has grown and developed.”

For the past several years, Diane has been involved in “my church and community collaborations in Baroque concerts. I thought it was time for a change and a new challenge.” A new challenge is exactly what she got.

This production’s talented group of artists makes it a sure hit. The musical runs at Lakeview Church (278 Camelot St) Friday and Saturday nights at 7 pm, and Sunday at 3 pm. Tickets are $10 and may be purchased from Fireweed Crafts and Coran’s Music Centre, or by calling 251-0566.