In the bucolic amphitheater at the Lubber Run Community Center in Arlington, a packed crowd was treated to an exuberant performance of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, the first-ever collaboration of The Arlington Players, Avant Bard Theatre, and Encore Stage & Studio.
While the performances last weekend (August 5, 6, and 7, 2022) are not scheduled to be repeated this year, plans are already underway for next summer. “We’re starting to plan for another collaboration for next year immediately,” shared a jubilant DeMone Seraphin, a Helen Hayes–nominated director (Topdog/Underdog) after the performance. This production was made possible with the support of the Arlington Arts and the Lubber Run Foundation.
This 60-minute concert staging of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s family classic, inspired by the Bible’s book of Genesis, featured a cast ranging from age eight into their fifties and a three-piece band. The band members, conducted by Seraphin, included a Grateful Dead–inspired drummer, Jim Hoffman, along with a jazzy Zak Sandler on the keyboard and Steven Natrella on violin, The band had to compete a bit with a cacophony of crickets but they rose to the occasion and rocked.
As the sun gorgeously eased into the trees behind the amphitheater and a breeze cooled the August heat on the last performance on Sunday evening, the stage jumped to life with “Jacob’s and Sons.”
The stage presence and comic timing of Joseph as played by Cole Jaconski hit all the right beats. Three other performers were particular standouts: Jeffrey Hollands as Pharoah, Molly Spooner Agnew as Zebulon, and Ira Coates as Judah. However, it was the joyful energy of the entire cast, highlighted by the children’s choir in their brightly colored T-shirts, that made this a delightful evening in a picture-perfect setting.
The directing by Seraphin moved seamlessly, and often playfully, between the 21 musical numbers. The dancing was top-notch, ranging from tap to tango, with credit to choreographer Victoria Jungck as well as the performers. The costume design by Joan Lawrence was sweet and simple for the most part, but eye-catching when it had to make a point with the famous dream coat.
As the cast rang out the last song, “Any Dream Will Do,” the idea of more free Lubber Run Community Center summer musicals seems a dream that should come true.
Running Time: 60 minutes, no intermission.
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat played free to the public August 5, 6, and 7, 2022, presented by The Arlington Players in collaboration with Avant Bard Theatre and Encore Stage & Studio performing at Lubber Run Amphitheater, 200 North Columbus Street, Arlington, VA.
Narrators: Olivia Clavel-Davis, Anna Longnecker. Audrey Townsend
Joseph: Cole Jaconski
Reuben (Brother): Victoria Jungck
Simeon (Brother): Alex Beach
Judah (Brother): Joseph Fagen
Jacob (Father)/Baker/Potiphar: Michael Blinde
Pharaoh/Dan (Brother): Jeffrey Hollands
Mrs. Potiphar/French Dancer/Butler: Emily Gjovik
Levi (Brother): Mollie Becker
Naphtali (Brother): Eliza Tiebo
Gad (Brother)/Featured Soprano: Allison Finkelstein
Asher (Brother): James Best
Issachar (Brother): Megan Hastie
Zebulun (Brother): Molly Spooner
Benjamin (Brother): Paden Tranter
Children’s Choir: Reagan Holland, Pippa Holland, Phineas Holland, Cornelia Holland, Noah S. Golden, Riziki Dunbar, Sally Berkon, Akunna Isiadinso, Moira McBride, and Lucy McBride
Conductor: DeMone Seraphin
Drums: Jim Hoffman
Keyboards: Sarah Vespa, Zak Sandler
Violin: Steven Natrella
Producer: Sara Duke
Producer: Cleo Potter
Director: DeMone Seraphin
Music Director: Sarah Vespa
Assistant Music Director: Erika Kennedy
Choreographer: Victoria Jungck
Costumes: Joan Lawrence
Lighting: Gary Hauptman
Sound: Chris Kagy, Chris Cooley