Meet the “Joseph” cast: John Hess adds Brother Simeon to his long list of memorable CTH roles

John Hess is Simeon in the Community Theatre of Howell’s “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” Photo by Richard Lim Photography.
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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.”

In his more than two decades on the CTH stage, John Hess has played some of the greatest characters in all of musical theater.

He’s had every role from Harold Hill in “The Music Man” to Bert in “Mary Poppins” to George Bailey in “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

He’s back on the Howell stage this fall in CTH’s “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” playing Simeon, one of Joseph’s scheming brothers. He sings the solo in one of the best musical numbers in the show, “Those Canaan Days.”

This is his 16th show with CTH, and Hess is loving every minute of it.

“Being Simeon, as one of the brothers, has been great fun,” he said. “It’s been great working with new people. We just have a good time on stage.”

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.

Theater has always been a family affair for the Hesses, and John is thrilled to be sharing the stage in this production with his wife, Becky. Their three grown children – Jeremy, Erica and Katie – has also been involved with CTH in the past.

“We got involved with CTH as a family many years ago,” Hess said. “My wife thought that it would be fun for all of us to be in a show together, so we auditioned. We enjoyed being in many shows as a family.This is my 16th show with CTH.”

A retired middle school teacher in Howell, Hess said that some of his favorite roles through the years have included Bert in “Mary Poppins,” Bob Wallace in “White Christmas,” George Bailey in the musical version of “It’s a A Wonderful Life,” Harold Hill in “The Music Man” and Benny Southstreet in “Guys and Dolls.”

“Becky and I enjoy the CTH experience because of the people,” Hess said. “Working together with others to put a show on stage is a very unique experience. Everyone putting themselves out there and helping each other for the good of the show. We have made many lifelong friends through CTH.”

This is the third time that CTH has done “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” Hess said it’s a show he’s always wanted to be in.

“CTH has put on Joseph twice before, and I remembered enjoying the show and thinking it looked like the brothers were having fun,” Hess said. “This opportunity came along, so I wanted to give it a try.  It’s a great show with a variety of types of songs.”

With opening night coming up on Friday, Hess said he’s excited for the audiences to see what they’ve put together.

“The entire staff and cast of ‘Joseph’ have made this a great experience,” he said.  “The ‘behind-the-scenes’ people are what makes the whole thing work. There is so much that goes into making a production successful before and during a show. They are all very talented and have made my experience in ‘Joseph’ wonderful.”

John Hess

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 You can buy tickets by clicking here.

Photo by Richard Lim Photography. Click here for more information.

About Buddy Moorehouse 119 Articles
Longtime Livingston County journalist Buddy Moorehouse is director of communications at the Michigan Association of Public School Academies.

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