Fifty is the magic number as Fleetwood Area High School presents “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” on March 15 and 16 at 7 p.m. and March 17 at 2 p.m. It has been 50 years since 'Joseph' premiered, and Joseph will be the 50th production for Fleetwood’s Theater Society.

Fleetwood Area High School invites all alumni of past theater productions to celebrate its anniversary at the March 16 performance. Alumni attending the Saturday performance will receive recognition at the ticket booth.

A member of Fleetwood’s first performance, “Oklahoma,” is scheduled to address the audience and all former cast members will be recognized. Cast pictures will be taken after the show and alumni are encouraged to visit with the current company of actors.

“Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” with lyrics by Tim Rice and music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, is presented by arrangement with The Musical Company, LP.

The story takes place "way, way back many centuries ago, not long after the Bible began" in the land of Canaan and Egypt. It tells the biblical story of Joseph, his father Jacob, his 11 brothers and his coat of many colors.

Fleetwood’s cast will be joined by a live pit orchestra of select students in Fleetwood’s Music Department as well as a children’s chorus of elementary students. The story is told entirely by song, moved along by a trio of narrators who set each scene.

Joseph was first written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice at the request of a friend of Andrew's father, Colet Court School choirmaster Alan Doggett, for the school's 1968 end of term concert.

The children's concert proved so successful that the piece, originally 15-minutes long, continued to expand until it became a full-length professional musical. The first amateur production in America was in May 1970 at the College of the Immaculate Conception in Douglastown, New York. Professionally, Joseph premiered at Scotland’s Edinburgh Festival in 1972, and transferred to the West End’s Albery Theatre the following year. The Broadway opening was in 1982 and garnered six Tony nods, including Best Musical.

The title role has been played by a succession of stars including Gary Bond, Donny Osmond, Patrick Cassidy and Jason Donovan.

Full rehearsals for Fleetwood’s production began in January to put the show onstage, with set design and construction beginning in the fall as part of the school’s Theatrical Production course. All cast members are encouraged to be a part of the backstage work for set design and painting as well as costuming and promotion.

Fleetwood alumni who have been involved in performances in the past are encouraged to attend and visit with the current company of actors. Past shows at Fleetwood have included standards like “Hello Dolly,” “The Wizard of Oz,” “The Music Ma”n and many, many others.

Admission is charged. Advance tickets are on sale in March through the High School Office as well as at the door for each performance. Fleetwood Area High School is located at 803 North Richmond Street, Fleetwood. More information can be found on Facebook, FAHS Musical and through the High School office, 610-944-7656.

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