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Geyer Center stages 'Joseph'

| Wednesday, July 31, 2013, 9:06 p.m.
Marilyn Forbes | For The Independent-Observer
Roger Rhodes of Mt. Pleasant is playing the role of Jacob and is surrounded here by his “wives” who are, from left: Eva Levin of Belle Vernon, Cindy Merkovsky of Hempfield, Shelly Hepler of Smithton and Tina Lepidi-Stweart of North Huntingdon

An amazing display of sight, sound and color will hit the Geyer Performing Arts Center stage this weekend and next weekend as the theater proudly presents “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.”

The show is directed by Tracy Kelley of Smithton, whose love for it is evident in the hard work and dedication that she has shown in bringing the elaborate production to the stage.

“I love doing this show,” Kelley said. “This is my favorite musical.”

Ironically, “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” was also the first show that Kelley was in as a performer at the Geyer Theater many years ago. “It's a great show with a nice flow. It's always moving.”

The show's lyrics are by Tim Rice with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and is based on the story of Joseph's coat of many colors that is from the book of Genesis in the Bible.

With virtually no dialogue, the show is entirely sang, and Rice and Weber's unique style of wit and humor is evident in many of the songs whose musical type ranges from county and western, to Calypso to a little “Elvis” music.

“This is a fun show,” Roger Rhodes of Mt. Pleasant said. “Even if you aren't a Bible person it's a great story about a person's struggle to overcome.”

Rhodes, who plays Jacob and Potiphar, jokes that although he is the oldest member of a cast that numbers about 50, he enjoys working with the young thespians and particularly Kelley.

“Tracy's shows are my favorite every year because I love working with the young casts,” Rhodes said. “Their energy is amazing and the kids are so great to work with.”

The show is quick-paced and fun and is perfect for audiences of all ages.

“Everything moves so quickly and there is always something going on,” Kelley said. “I don't think that young kids would ever get bored watching this show as its just so lively.”

The cast began practicing in mid-June and because there was such a huge interest in the production, Kelley double-cast the lead roles of Joseph and the narrators, having a different Joseph and two different narrators for each weekend.

“I was fortunate to have so much talent and by double-casting, it would give more people the opportunity to be involved in the show,” Kelley said.

The entire cast will be performing for all eight shows with Michael Hamilla as Joseph with Emily Urbaniak and Bolana Fuge-Hary as the narrators for the first weekend, followed by Luke Diamond as Joseph with Kate Nedrow and Bethany Coldren as the narrators for the second weekend.

Music director for the show is Michael Busija and the choreographer is Meredith Semon.

The show will be staged Thursday through Sunday and again Aug. 8-11 at the Geyer Performing Arts Center. Show times will be 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and 2:30 p.m. on Sundays. Tickets will be $12, and there is also a dinner and theater package in conjunction with Miss Martha's Tea Room and Floral offered for $25. For ticket information, call 724-887-0887 or visit the website at

Marilyn Forbes is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.