As a city with a burgeoning arts scene, Windsor has witnessed its fair share of musical magic over the years. But rarely has a production promised to be as unique and striking as Cardinal Music Productions’ rendition of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” opening September 8 at Lakeshore St. Andrews Church (LSA).
In a unique collaboration, Walter Riggi introduced Bayleigh Cardinal, the musical director of the production, to Shane Davis from LSA Church. “Walter introduced us and made the suggestion that we work together on a project. ‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’ seemed like an ideal show for this partnership,” Bayleigh told us.
What makes LSA Church particularly suited for this classic tale is not only its large altar, perfect for staging, but also its technological amenities. “The church is beautiful with a large altar that is perfect for staging,” Bayleigh said. “They are also equipped with lights and three projection screens, and the capacity to seat 750 people. The possibilities of this venue are many, and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to perform in this space.”
Furthermore, the acoustic setting amplifies the story’s inherent spirituality. “Music sounds incredible in that building,” she added, “and we are also lucky to have a full cast of talented singers whose voices resonate no matter the soundscape.”
Based on the “coat of many colors” story from the Bible, “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” has always been an audience favorite. “The story follows the journey of Joseph, a dreamer, from favored son to slave, and then to being the second most powerful man in Egypt,” Bayleigh explained. “It’s a story about ambition, jealousy, betrayal, but also redemption.”
Though many renditions of “Joseph” have been attempted, Cardinal Music Productions aims to do something a bit different. “The vision for this show is a concert but with intricate blocking,” Bayleigh said. “We are not standing and singing, but rather, telling the story through not only song but movement.”
The show is a bit of a tribute to Cardinal Music Productions founder and show director Joseph Cardinal, who’s made his theatre debut in a production of Joseph in 1996.
“It was the first theatre show I performed in back in 1996 with Windsor Light playing the role of Levi,” he revealed. “I remember they didn’t have the proper music for the Megamix, so John had me record it with about 15 cast members at Polaris Studios to add voices to the tracks. It was loads of fun! Imagine that! Pre-recorded tracks used live in 1996.”
Bayleigh further detailed what sets their production apart: “We are doing this in concert, but it is not a typical concert rendition because we have incorporated a substantial amount of blocking. There is also choreography and scenic projections to help really bring the story to life.”
Bayleigh couldn’t be prouder of her ensemble. Melissa Mills, the Narrator, and Caiden Finlay, Joseph, lead a cast that Bayleigh calls “one of the best” she’s ever directed. “From kids to adults, this show is stacked with talent,” she emphasized.
The production incorporates cutting-edge technology, including three projection screens for immersive scenic experiences. “We also understand the impact that lighting has on a show, and the light show we are designing is going to enhance the experience of our production,” Bayleigh noted.
As for the iconic Dreamcoat, it’s rented from Theatrix in Hamilton. “The vision is a stage full of color, with men in bright shirts and dress pants, and women in colorful, flowing dresses. The kids even tie-dyed their own shirts,” Bayleigh mentioned.
For Bayleigh Cardinal and her team, the ultimate goal is joyousness. “The music of this show is pure joy. It’s energy. It’s the kind of music that stays with you,” she said. “I hope that audiences will experience the same joy that we all do performing this music and carry that home with them after the show.”
With such enthusiasm and an innovative vision, Cardinal Music Productions’ version of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” seems poised to be not just another retelling but an unforgettable theatrical experience. Mark your calendars, Windsor; this is one dream you won’t want to miss.
Cardinal Music Productions’ Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat runs at Lakeshore St. Andrews Church in Windsor from September 8-10 and 15-17. More information and tickets are available at cardinalmusicproductions.com.