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New school Old Testament
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When we ask Bob R. Patterson, director of the Little Theatre’s upcoming production, what his concept for this musical is, he says, “To tell the Biblical story of Joseph as a Vegas lounge act.”

Do I have your attention?

Presenting Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the Jewish Educational Alliance Feb. 10, 12, 13, and 17 is the Little Theatre of Savannah.

The story plays out in Canaan and Egypt where Joseph, favorite and somewhat spoiled son of Jacob, is sold into slavery by his jealous brothers. Joseph ends up in jail after resisting romantic advances from his master’s wife, but is soon made the right-hand man of the Pharaoh after his abilities to interpret dreams are discovered.

“We’ve been playing out of the JEA for a couple of years now and they’ve always wanted to see us put on Joseph,” explains Karen Nelson, member of the Board of Directors for the Little Theatre. “This year is the JEA’s 50th anniversary, so we’ve decided to produce this play in conjunction with that.”

“Actually,” notes Patterson, “I played one of the brothers in a production of this show in Dallas about 20 years ago. That show ran for five months and I swore that I’d never do this again. Well... never say never.”

It’s a good thing, too, because between the rainbow-colored, braided wigs and the gold lamé Elvis costume, this show promises to be one of pure energy that the audience is sure to enjoy.

“This show can be a lot of fun because it can be done differently every time,” says Patterson. “I just went with the wild anachronisms of the music.”

One of the show’s more unique elements is its various costumes and the way they tie in with the music. Patterson elaborates on this as he shimmies into a gold Elvis jacket and tries on one of the neon afros.

“Every number is a different genre. There’s country/western, ‘60s -- hence the wigs -- all sorts of stuff. And, of course, the Pharaoh is not only the King of Egypt,” he says, striking a pose in the jacket, “but the King of rock ‘n’ roll.”

Speaking of rock ‘n’ roll, all the music for the show is played live by professional musicians headed by the musical director, Keena Charbonneau.

“This is a visually exciting performance,” says Nelson. “Vocally, the songs are great and the cast is musically delightful.”

“Musical ability was a bit of a setback due to the change of our show dates,” adds Patterson. “Seven out of 11 brothers had to drop out because of that. We weren’t sure that we could find that many more guys who could sing. The cast is so small that literally everyone has to be able to hold their own musically.”

“And they surely do,” says Nelson. “They keep it lively and upbeat and it’s just such an energetic cast with so much personality, and that’s really just as important as the characters, I think.”

The Little Theatre presents Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the Jewish Educational Alliance, 5111 Abercorn, Feb. 10, 12, and 17 at 8 p.m. and Feb. 13 at 3 p.m. $15 adults, $10 students and seniors. Call 355-8111, ext. 225.