As Yogi Berra would say, "It's deja vu all over again."
For the third time since 1997, Stage West Community Playhouse will present the Andrew Lloyd Webber/Tim Rice musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. It's part of the theater's 30th anniversary celebration. Members and patrons voted to redo their favorite shows from past years.
The first Joseph was in September 1997, when the show was so popular that the theater brought it back for an encore nine months later.
The musical is based on the biblical story of Joseph, the favorite of the 12 sons of Jacob. The brothers are jealous when Jacob gives Joseph a coat of many colors, so they sell him into slavery, telling their dad that Joseph is dead (One More Angel in Heaven).
Joseph gets too friendly with the wife of his new owner and is thrown in prison, where he interprets the dream of the mighty Pharaoh and becomes the favorite of Pharaoh.
This show will look a lot like the first ones, said Leanne Germann, director.
"There's only so much you can do as far as changing things up," she said.
One big difference will be Jeanine Martin's choreography, she said. "That's totally different," as are the costumes.
Ms. Germann also halved the number of children in the chorus and added adults instead for this production.
A few of the faces will be the same.
Jason Yungmann returns to play the title role of Joseph. Matt Veasey will once again play Joseph's brother, Reuben, and lead his siblings in a plaintive memory of the good times in Those Canaan Days.
The narrators who sing the story as it happens are Morgan Burburan (Martha in 1776) and Angelena Burrow (Reno's Angel in Anything Goes).
Darrel Huling, who often appears in productions at River Ridge High School, will play Pharaoh. Stan Kane (Dr. Mortimer, It Runs in the Family) will play Potiphar, the jealous husband, while Leslee Starz (Angel in Anything Goes) will play his flirtatious wife.
The 41-member cast includes many other Stage West regulars — Bill Dimmitt, Jeff Germann, P.J. DiGaetano, Karen Doxey and Victoria Primosch, for example — as well as a host of newcomers.
Musical director is Wayne Raymond, who also filled that position in the 1997 and 1998 versions. Director Germann played one of the narrators in those productions.
Interestingly, former Stage West performer Wahnita Dow, who won several HAMI awards for her choreography before she moved to Texas, was in town for a few days and pitched in to help make costumes for the show.
"I have really been blessed with good cast and crew," said Ms. Germann, who was out for two weeks after an auto accident and had to ask others to continue the work she had started.
"Anybody asked to do anything has said 'yes,' " she said. "This has made it feel like a real community theater; everyone pitched in."