Criterion production of Joseph postponed to November
WITH "a crash of drums, a flash of light," the Criterion Theatre's production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat has been postponed.
The internationally acclaimed musical/dance extravaganza was set to explode onto the stage to open the 2020 season at the Oliver St venue.
The decision was made to cancel the shows scheduled from March 26 to April 5 amid growing concerns about the spread of coronavirus.
Criterion Theatre president Desan Padayachee thanked the committee, all cast members and their families for their understanding and co-operation on the matter.
"The majority of the cast are under the age of 18, so the numbers game was too high risk," Mr Padayachee said. "We were starting to get a few concerns from parents about what we were going to do.
"Also a big percentage of our audience who come to see the shows are in the high risk category if the worst case scenario occurred.
"We decided to be brave and make this decision, and every single member of the committee agreed it was the right thing to do."
The decision was made on Monday prior to yesterday's announcement by Prime Minister Scott Morrison of the tightened crowd ban of 100 or more people.
"Our vice-president Dan Fahey is a pharmacist and he was a big driver in prompting us into deciding quickly with his professional background and the advice coming into him," Mr Padayachee said.
"I had a look at the last run through on Sunday afternoon, which a week and a half out from opening night, and it was tracking really well to be a cracker, which is a shame.
"Luckily, given the young age of a lot of the cast, they all took it very well."
However, the committee is excited to announce it has already locked in alternative dates from November 26 to December 6.
"It will be our Christmas show, and bigger and better. Now everyone's got until spring to rehearse from home, so everyone will be so well prepared with their singing and dancing."
While the Criterion Theatre has already announced the postponement on its Facebook page and paused online ticket sales on StickyTickets, the committee was set to hold an emergency meeting last night to organise plans for ticket refunds and further communications.
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat was the first full-length musical by legendary theatrical team Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, retelling of the biblical story of Joseph, his devoted father, his jealous brothers, and his incredible series of adventures.
The musical was only 20 minutes long when an unknown 19-year-old named Andrew Lloyd Webber first created it for a British school choir in 1968. He asked his friend Rice to write the lyrics and soon they expanded it to 40 minutes and took it to the London stage. Since then, Joseph has continued to grow, both in length and popularity.
Noted for its family-friendly storyline, universal themes and catchy music, the show is a sentimental favourite of director Jacinta Bentley and the production in November will be her fourth Joseph experience.
After starting as the eldest in the children's Choir 25 years ago, to playing The Narrator, and later being part of a production team, directing felt like the natural progression.
Musical direction is in the proficient hands of multi-instrumentalist and composer Dan Fahey, and choreography by Kate Terry who choreographed and starred in last year's acclaimed Monty Python's Spamalot.
Filled with youthful energy, Joseph combines a wide variety of musical styles - everything from country to calypso to rock 'n' roll - in a series of memorable musical numbers.
Described as a high-voltage extravaganza, Joseph includes such classic songs as the contemplative "Any Dream Will Do," the Caribbean infused "Benjamin Calypso," the dazzling "Jacob and Sons/Joseph's Coat," the rockabilly sensation "Song of the King (Seven Fat Cows)" and the unforgettable "Go, Go, Go Joseph."
Joseph will use one of the largest casts to perform on the Criterion stage with 30 cast members, and six musicians.
Samuel Powell stars as Joseph, who was last seen as Patsy in Monty Python's Spamalot and the Narrator will be played by newcomer Alice Granleese who is an exciting find with her beautiful soprano voice and calming presence. Duncan Sage plays Potiphar, Lachlan Scott is Reuben and Eli Butcher as Asher. We are also 'graced' with the Elvis stylings of William North as Pharaoh!
Incredible artwork and painting by Sue Mackey and Joseph's coat by Michelle Champion.