When Jason Munoz was 12 years old, he first performed in "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" with the Central California Children's Choir during a national tour of the musical starring Sam Harris.
"That was a defining moment for me in my childhood," Munoz says. "We rehearsed and got to perform with professionals on a level I'd never done before or since. Since then, 'Joseph' has always held a special place in my heart."
That was in 1995.
Now, 18 years later and at age 30, the Starbucks store manager will star as Joseph in CenterStage Clovis Community Theatre's production.
The musical tells the biblical story of Joseph (played by Munoz) and his coat of many colors as told in the book of Genesis.
Jacob's son Joseph is betrayed by his 11 brothers and sold into slavery in Egypt.
The entire dialogue is sung-through by the play's 37-member cast that includes a 13-member children's ensemble similar to the one Munoz and fellow cast member Kristen Fletcher (who plays a wife) sang in nearly two decades ago.
The play also holds strong ties for Lorraine Christiansen, who's starred as Dorothy in CenterStage's "The Wizard of Oz," and Belle in "Beauty and the Beast," who plays the show's narrator.
"This has been one of my dream roles for over 15 years," she says. "So finally having the opportunity to play the role is a real treat."
It's been more than a decade since the 34-year-old performed "Joseph," when CenterStage last put on the production in 1999 when she played one of the wives.
Since then, she's auditioned three times for the narrator role, before finally landing the part with CenterStage in May.
"I guess the third time was the charm," she says.
Christiansen will share her role as narrator with Kylie Briggs, who will alternate performances during the play's two-weekend run.
Directed by Scott Hancock, the high-energy, fast-paced musical is known to leave folks humming and whistling the tunes composed by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber.
Hancock, a Fresno State theater arts graduate, has performed the show twice and will make his directorial debut with CenterStage.
"It has always been a favorite of mine," he says. "The cast has bonded on an incredible level, which will play to the show's strength."
"Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat," 7:30 p.m. Friday and 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, also 7:30 p.m. July 25-27 (no Saturday matinee), Mercedes Edwards Theatre, 902 Fifth St. in Clovis. Tickets can be purchased at the door or online at www.centerstageclovis.com.
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