“Joseph” is a Hit!
The Theatre Department closed its run of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” on Dec. 11, with rave reviews from patrons. The show was presented at The Municipal Auditorium as part of a partnership with The Bay Parks Conservancy, which is a new land-grant initiative to develop that bay front acreage into “the Central Park of Sarasota.”
The musical–the department’s first in a theatre since the closing of the VPA stage–presented plenty of opportunities for learning, with the challenges of mounting a full-scale production in an unfamiliar space.
It was the VPA directorial debut of Ms. Cynthia Howe Ashford, the department’s dance teacher and choreographer. Ms. Ashford also choreographed “Joseph” with spectacular numbers that dazzled audiences.
Mr. Johnnie Mnich was back at the helm of musical direction, his first in 21 years without longtime collaborator Scott Keys. The ensembles delivered pitch-perfect harmonies, and leads, including Abbey Holdway as the Narrator and Judah Woomert as Joseph, stunned audiences with their powerful vocals.
Heather Clark’s costumes were also magnificent, and the tech direction by Caleb Carrier delivered despite the numerous challenges of the space, which is not actually a theatre.
Tech Crew Makes Dreams Come True for “Joseph”
While often overlooked, the technical aspects of a show are where the magic happens. From lights and sound to sets and costumes, technical aspects work to deliver the story, highlight the cast, and support the director’s vision.
“Joseph” presented challenges aplenty for the tech and creative crew, from hauling several trucks full of scenery, props and costumes, to lighting a show in a building with a wall of windows.
Nevertheless, these students, led by Mr. Caleb Carrier, pushed through long days to ensure the visual and sonic spectacle came off without a hitch. It was a fantastic real-world problem-solving and collaboration activity that the students will likely remember for years to come.
Deck the Halls; Art Creates a New Mural
Watch out, Booker High School! Another imaginative mural is currently in progress in building 8. The product of the Level 1 art class, the mural presents a fantasy mushroom forest. It offers another colorful and fun slice of beauty to the otherwise drab hallway of the building. Come on by to feel inspired by this whimsical addition.
Music on the Move: Joy to the World!
If one VPA goal is to touch the community with the tendrils of our magnificent music, we’re succeeding! The Music Department had two performances in town last week.
The first was at the City of Sarasota Employee Appreciation Luncheon at the Robert L Taylor Community Complex. Our new jazz combo, Storm Surge, performed jazz standards that added elegant ambiance to the room. Under the direction of Mr. Timothy Eaton, they provided top-notch entertainment that made employees feel appreciated, indeed.
The second show was at the FCCI Insurance Group’s holiday luncheon. At their headquarters, modern band Cyclone delivered the heat with rockin’ holiday tunes. The group enlivened the luncheon with music performed under the direction of Mr. Alexander Zickafoose.
Sunsets at The Bay: Zephyr Concert | Dec. 16 @ 5:00-6:00 p.m. at The Bay Park Conservancy
Come out to hear the mesmerizing sounds of Zephyr, VPA’s indie folk cover band, while you take in a gorgeous sunset. This free concert is just the respite from the busy holiday season that your soul seeks. FREE. Made possible through The Bay.
Hermitage @ Booker Presents: Luke Stewart & The Edge of Music | Dec. 17 @ 5:30-6:30 p.m. in the Courtyard
Come see renowned bassist, composer and activist Luke Stewart in this very special appearance. It begins with a short solo concert, then storytelling/Q&A, then Stewart will jam with BHS VPA Music students as a finale. FREE. Made possible by The Hermitage Artist Retreat. Register here.
Rockin’ on Top of the World! | Dec. 20 @ 7 p.m. in the Courtyard at BHS
Jam out to holiday songs, performed by contemporary bands Zephyr, Category 5, and Cyclone for this one night only performance at the Eye. Tickets are $10 flat fee. Get your tickets here.