From now until opening night on Nov. 3, the Livingston Post will be profiling cast members of the Community Theatre of Howell’s production of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.”
Hartland High School senior Tyler Dixon has been involved with the Community Theatre of Howell since elementary school, and with college in his future next year, he wanted to squeeze in one more CTH show.
He said that “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” was the perfect way to close out his high school years.
“I stumbled across the Community Theatre of Howell in the fourth grade,” Dixon said. “My mom’s friend told me that I should branch off from my roles in the school plays and join the best theater that Livingston County has to offer. Next thing I knew, I was cast in ‘Seussical Jr.,’ and found a new group of people that became the world to me.
“I’ve been involved with eight shows between ‘Suessical Jr.’ and ‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.’ With college approaching, I feel so blessed that I could start and likely end with a ‘Sherry show’ (the show’s director is Sherry Randall) and be a part of so many of them along the way.”
With music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice, “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” is based on the Biblical tale of Joseph, found in the book of Genesis. Dixon plays Judah, one of Joseph’s scheming brothers.
“My favorite role (prior to Joseph) was Chef Louis in ‘Little Mermaid,’” Dixon said. “It was such a fun role filled with one-liners and packed with dancing. However, I can definitely say that I’ve never enjoyed a role more than Judah. He’s such a complex, and incredibly fun, role to play. He’s so far out of my comfort zone and never in a million years would I have guessed that I would be cast as him. If I would have known that I would fit the role so well, I would have practiced my reggae and Jamaican accent.”
Dixon loves the role and he loves the show.
“ ‘Joseph’ is so fast and upbeat and high-energy,” Dixon said. “It truly is the perfect family show. The idea of a musical with only music and no dialogue seems to deter some people, but it’s truly incredible. It captures your attention continuously throughout the show due to the spectacular vocals and complex dances, you truly do not want to miss it.”
Dixon said that playing Judah gives him a chance to not only sing and dance, but try out his comedic chops, as well.
“At first, I was hesitant about this role,” he said. “I thought Sherry was slightly crazy. I haven’t played a comedic role since Chef Louis and don’t really consider myself a comedic actor. However, soon enough I found a love for this role. A huge part of it is comedic, but there’s so much more it. He’s a little bit caring, a little bit evil, a little bit good.
“It’s been a thrill ride to learn how to excel at the comedy behind it, but with some help from some great cast mates like Stefan, Kelly, and Sarah (among others), I’ve been able to elevate this role from funny to extremely hilarious. I might even consider myself a comedic actor now.”
The son of Andy and Kelly Dixon, Tyler has three brothers, Cameron, 15, Zack, 13, and Preston, 11. His brothers have been helping backstage by gathering props for the show. It’s part of the family feel that CTH is known for.
“CTH is so unique,” Dixon said. “It draws you in and once you’re in, you never leave – not that you’d ever want to. It has these one-of-a-kind qualities that just make you wish you could do theater there 24/7. At CTH, everyone is friends and everyone is just so involved.
“You have 4-year-olds painting cups and people much older excelling at dances that you can barely do. It’s such a mix of people from different walks of life and with different opinions but one thing unites all of us – our love for theater.”
With opening night coming up on Friday, Dixon can’t wait for the audiences to see what they’ve created.
“I can definitely say that this show has some of my favorite songs and dances and learning this dances has just been a blast,” he said. “There’s a hoedown, a rap, a reggae song, a jazz song, a disco song. All of those dances have been so much fun to learn and they’re all just so different from the last.
“Our incredibly talented choreographer, Maria Usher, has people jumping off the stage, dancing in the aisles, trust falling off the elevated stage, and doing amazing lifts. It’s just been so much fun and I’m so excited for people to see what we’ve put together.”
The Community Theatre of Howell’s production of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” takes the stage Nov. 3-5 and 10-12 at the Howell High School Freshman Campus, 1400 W. Grand River Ave. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, with matinees at 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday each weekend.
Tickets are $17 for adults, $15 for students and seniors, available at Finding Roots in Howell, Kahuna Coffee in Hartland, Maria’s School of Dance in Fowlerville, Big Acre in Brighton, and Ed Bock Feed and Seed in Pinckney. Tickets are also available by calling 517-545-1290, or online at cththeatre.org. You can buy tickets by clicking here.
Photo by Richard Lim Photography. Click here for more information.