The student news site of Bernards High School

The Crimson

The student news site of Bernards High School

The Crimson

The student news site of Bernards High School

The Crimson

Bernards Theatre delivers a lively performance for their spring musical

On March 1, 2, and 3, the Bernards’ theater department came together to perform a production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. There were a total of four shows over the weekend, along with an in-school preview featuring the show’s first act. The show was directed by Mr. Christopher Tomaino, with musical advising from Mr. Matthew LaPine and Mr. Stephen Taessler, choreography by Ms. Jade Pietroluongo, set design by Mr. Judge Ellis, sound design by Dr. James Ferrara, costumes by Mr. Joe Schmidt, and Mr. Jared Ciocco as assistant director.

The ensemble gleefully celebrates after Joseph is sent to Egypt (Normandy Studio)

While Joseph was only the first Bernards theatrical production to Nate DeNicola’s ‘27 name, he did not fail to impress each show’s audience! The dynamic Joseph utilized many different costume changes and props–including a coat that featured each of the 29 colors mentioned in “Joseph’s Coat.”

Joseph’s four Narrators, from left to right: Abby Sebastian ’25, Kaley Welsh ’25, Gabby DeNicola ’24, Maddie Bozack ’24 (Normandy Studios)

The production featured 4 actresses as the Narrator (from left to right: Abby Sebastian ‘25, Kaley Welsh ‘25, Gabrielle DeNicola ‘24, and Madeline Bozack ‘24). Though Joseph is undoubtedly the main character of the tale, the story could not have been articulated as well without this quartet! Welsh said, “I loved being a narrator because I got to spend more time with some of my closest friends, and make amazing memories!”

The ensemble gleefully celebrates after Joseph is sent to Egypt

Joseph was a rather dance-heavy production, with “One More Angel in Heaven” being one of the most jovial numbers. Being a Western-influenced piece, the choreography for the “Hoedown” draws inspiration from line dancing. The brothers also wore cowboy hats to further complement the ambience of the number, and the Narrators entered with horses. While the rehearsal process for this number was especially rigorous, the cast came together quite resonantly in the final performances. Elianna Calicchio ‘25 said, “It was so much fun getting to learn the ‘Hoedown’, it was one of my favorite dances of the show!”

Alexis Szydlowski ’26 as Mrs. Potiphar, whose coercion lands Joseph (Nate DeNicola ’27) in jail.

When Joseph is brought into the world of wealthy master Potiphar, his work becomes his life. Potiphar quickly takes an immense liking to him due to his efficient work ethic and promotes him, to which Mrs. Potiphar (Alexis Szydlowski ‘26) meets him. Mrs. Potiphar is notorious for her infidelity, and her interactions with Joseph emulate that. “Potiphar” featured a dance break which depicts Mrs. Potiphar’s advances and Joseph’s rejection, which is followed by Joseph being imprisoned by Potiphar who catches his wife in the act. Szydlowski said, “Playing Mrs. Potiphar was super fun as I got to let go and have fun performing!”

The Butler (Meghan Fitzpatrick ’25) and the Baker (Georgia Kissel ’25) describe their dreams.

After Joseph is sent to jail by Potiphar, he is left feeling rather grim. After a long period of favoritism from his father, he has been turned on by both his own brothers and his master, who once highly valued him. A butler (Meghan Fitzpatrick ‘25) and a baker (Georgia Kissel ‘25) are locked into the same cell, and they attempt to inspire Joseph. Both men confess to having ambiguous dreams, in which Joseph assists them in interpretation. “I loved being a part of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat because of the diversity in the types of music in the show. The show truly had every type of song you could think to be in a musical, and I had a lot of fun with it,” Kissel said.

The ensemble lifts Nate DeNicola ’27 as Joseph in the end of Act I.

Despite hesitation, Joseph’s hunches about his fellow prisoners are rather accurate; thus, “Go Go Go Joseph” carries into a more dynamic dance sequence. The number closes out with an impressive lift, as successfully carried out by several members of the cast. The likeliness of this scene is later mirrored in “Benjamin Calypso”, as well.

Max Lenci ’24 channels young Elvis in his role as the Pharaoh. (Normandy Studio )

One of the many highlights of the show was Maxwell Lenci ‘24’s performance as the Pharaoh–otherwise known as “Egypt with a capital E”. While he remained covered for the first few numbers of Act II, he offered the audience a pleasant surprise when he went on to emulate Elvis Presley in “Song of the King”. Lenci shared, “My favorite memory from working on the show was the first full run, which was rough, but helped get everyone in the right mindset.”

Neal Chaayanath ’25 as Jacob, who struggles with the disappearance of his favorite son.

When the brothers returned after the Egypt sequence at the top of Act II, they pleasantly surprised the audience by infusing chairs into their routine, alongside an exceptional vocal performance from Brendan Lobo ‘24 as Levi. Each brother also had a short solo line detailing the emotional turmoil caused by the famine in Canaan. The Narrators enter for a brief dance break–depicting the brothers’ starvation and desperation. Ms. Pietroluongo, who was responsible for choreography, said, “Utilizing chairs as props in ‘Those Canaan Days’ was a fun element and learning the history of the ‘apache’ dance style was also enlightening. As I explained to our 4 narrators that typically an apache was a passionate and almost violent dance, they were immediately able to take my idea and create their own choreography for that segment!”

Furthermore, the tech crew made notably sound contributions to the show, including an elaborate set to align with the ludicrosity of the story. The set’s production took up much of February, and its effort was apparent. There was a series of technicolor platforms to further elevate the cast, followed by a background of dunes and four palm trees to enhance the likelihood of Canaan. “In Joseph, I was surrounded by such a friendly and welcoming community. Working on the set was a wonderful experience,” said Gabe Scotton ‘25, who was a part of the production’s tech crew.

The vivid set of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

An impressive instrumental performance was led by pit director Mr. Taessler, as well. Due to “Joseph” being an opera, the pit orchestra played twenty-one musical numbers back to back–one of which had a duration of nearly ten minutes!

On Sunday, the final matinee was succeeded by a round of speeches for both the directors and the seniors of the production–an annual tradition of Bernards Theatre. With the performance period of Joseph concluding, Bernards added another entry to its run of completed theatrical productions. Congratulations to all the seniors for a spectacular final show, as well as the rest of the cast, crew, and pit!

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Crimson Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *