Music

By Heidi Sutton

It was hard to discern who was having more fun during last Saturday night’s opening of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” at Theatre Three – the audience or the actors. The fast-paced family-friendly show, with lyrics by Tim Rice and music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, is told almost entirely in song and makes for a wonderful time at the theater.

Directed by Jeffrey Sanzel, the musical opens where the Narrator (Sari Feldman) is telling a group of children the biblical story of Joseph from the Book of Genesis, about a young man who lives in Canaan with his father Jacob and his 11 brothers. 

A predictor of dreams, Joseph is his father’s favorite (he reminds him of his late wife), causing much resentment and jealousy among the remaining brothers. When Jacob gifts Joseph a “coat of many colors,” the brothers decide that they must get rid of the chosen son once and for all and sell him into slavery to passing Ishmaelites who take him back to Egypt. They tell their grief-stricken father that Joseph was killed in an accident.

Joseph becomes a household slave to a wealthy man named Potiphar but is soon accused of seducing his wife and thrown in jail. He is eventually summoned by the Pharaoh to analyze his recurring dream, and in turn saves Egypt from a seven-year drought. Back in Canaan his brothers are not so lucky and are starving to death. They decide to go to Egypt to ask the Pharaoh for help but encounter Joseph instead. Will he seek revenge or find it in his heart to forgive?

Supported by an uber talented cast (38 in all), C.J. Russo is brilliant as Joseph and shines in his solos “Any Dream Will Do” and “Close Every Door.” Sari Feldman is terrific in the exhausting role of Narrator, shadowing Joseph and keeping his spirits up as he faces bad luck at every turn and leads the cast in an inspiring “Go, Go, Go Joseph.” Douglas Quattrock is hilarious in the duel role of Jacob and Potiphar and draws the most laughs with his perfect comedic timing.

Choreographed by Jean P. Sorbera, the many wonderful dance numbers in this huge production are each embraced by the cast with gusto, from the jaw-dropping country-western hoe-down “One More Angel in Heaven” featuring Kiernan Urso, the reggae inspired “Benjamin Calypso” with Londel Collier, the exotic Egyptian dance number “Potiphar” with Nicole Bianco and the too funny “Those Canaan Days” with Steven Uihlein. It is Andrew Lenahan’s Elvis-inspired “Poor, Poor Pharaoh”/”Song of the King,” however, that steals the show and brings the house down. 

The many colorful costumes designed by Ronald Green III, the live orchestra directed by Gregory P. Franz, incredible lighting by Robert W. Henderson Jr. and beautiful set by Randall Parsons tie it all together perfectly. Don’t miss this one.

Theatre Three, 412 Main St., Port Jefferson presents “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” through March 21. The theater continues its 50th season with Robert Harling’s “Steel Magnolias” from April 4 to May 2 followed by the ’50s rock ‘n’ roll musical “Grease” from May 16 to June 21. Tickets are $35 adults, $28 students and seniors, $20 children ages 5 to 12. Wednesday matinees are $20. For more information or to order, call 631-928-9100 or visit www.theatrethree.com.

Photos by Peter Lanscombe/ Theatre Three Productions, Inc.

SONGS SAY SO MUCH

It was bittersweet as the Book Revue in Huntington said goodbye to Jeff Sorg on Jan. 23. The singer/songwriter hosted his last Toddler Time at the bookstore, after performing there for 16 years. While he will continue to write music, Sorg said he plans to spend some time traveling with his wife, who recently retired. Parents and children joined Sorg for songs, some dancing and a puppet show and then met his replacement, Noah Packard (pictured on the right with Sorg) who’s first day is on Feb. 20. Thank you Jeff for the joy you have brought to so many children over the years. You will be missed. 

Photos by Heidi Sutton

The Harmonic Tides Quartet. Photo by Chris Beattie

They’re back! Just in time for Valentine’s Day, the Harbormen, the local choral group affiliated with the national Barbershop Harmony Society, will be available in groups of four to sing in homes, offices, restaurants, hospitals, schools and more for the romantically inclined.

“A great home video memory,” as one satisfied customer said, not to mention a good Instagram story with each quartet in bright red blazers and bowties.

Love songs have great histories and each has its own way of getting to the heart. Some evoke longing, others celebrate the object of affection. “Let Me Call You Sweetheart,” one of the songs that the Harbormen quartets sing to Valentines, was written in 1910 by Leo Friedman and Beth Slater Whitson. It went on to be recorded by Bing Crosby, the Mills Brothers, Pat Boone and was sung every year for decades by Yankee Stadium public address announcer Bob Sheppard on Mother’s Day. Bette Midler sang the song in “The Rose” and Shirley McLaine sang it in “Downton Abbey.”  It even ended up on the recent TV hit, “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.”

Quartet members include scientists, salesmen, engineers, an air traffic controller, a chef, author and policeman, among others.

Fred Conway, a retired math teacher with the group since 1966, has sung in all kinds of situations.  “I remember showing up at an overcrowded bowling alley to deliver our songs to a bowler, and trudging through eight inches of snow to sing to a secretary and her audience of fifty amused colleagues.”

Herb Mordkoff, another member, remembers being hired to sing with his quartet to a waitress in a diner near MacArthur Airport one year, then being hired to return when her husband proposed. “Not a dry eye in the whole diner,” he said. A year and a half later, his quartet was singing for the couples’ child’s first birthday party.  

The package for $75 includes two songs, a box of chocolates, personalized card and a signature rose.  To book a quartet for a singing Valentine or any occasion, call 631-644-0129 or email [email protected] A portion of the proceeds go to the Good Shepherd Hospice in Port Jefferson.

by -
0 358
Photo from LIGMC

Voices wanted

The Long Island Gay Men’s Chorus invites you and your friends to join them in their first rehearsal of the season at the H. Lee Dennison Building, 100 Veterans Memorial Highway, Hauppauge on Wednesday, Jan. 29 from 7 to 9 p.m. No formal audition required. Unite with them in song and friendship. For more information, visit www.LIGMC.org.

The interior of Alls Souls Church. Photo from Daniel Kerr

All Souls Church, 61 Main St., Stony Brook has added Gregorian Chant/Music of Taizé to its monthly programs, providing a time for quiet meditation to clear the mind and rest the soul. The historic chapel will be lit with candles and alive with mystical chants and songs. This is a unique opportunity for reflection and/or silent prayer for people of all faiths (or no faith) searching for a spiritual connection in their lives. Next session will be held tonight, Thursday, Jan. 16 from 8 to 9 p.m. For more information, please call 516-607-9111.

Photo courtesy of Vanderbilt Museum

A celestial evening

The critically acclaimed Canta Libre Chamber Ensemble returns to the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Planetarium, 180 Little Neck Road, Centerport for a fall concert featuring music of the late 19th and early 20th centuries from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Tickets for adults are $20 online at www.vanderbiltmuseum.org, $25 at the door; $15 for children ages 15 and under.

The Staller Center for the Arts presents Ensemble Español in Flamenco Passion for Hispanic Heritage Month on Oct. 26. Photo by Dean Paul

A MOSAIC OF WORLD CULTURES

Come see Spanish culture come alive at Stony Brook University’s Staller Center for the Arts, 100 Nicolls Road, Stony Brook on Oct. 26 at 8 p.m. with Ensemble Español, the premier Spanish dance company in the United States. With 40 dancers, singers and musicians, Ensemble Español fills Staller Center’s Main Stage with a magnificent mosaic of world cultures – Latin, North and South America, Asia, Middle East, and Europe. Tickets are $48. To order, call 632-2787 or visit www.stallercenter.com.

 Photo by Dean Paul