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Former TDL Performer to
Star in "Dreamcoat" Production



September 29th, 2006

Coat of many colors
Bible story goes Broadway in 'Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat'
Rebecca Ross, PensacolaNewsJournal.com

Want your tale of family dysfunction to really sing? Make it a musical.

The national touring production of the Broadway musical "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" is coming to the Saenger Theatre in downtown Pensacola for one night of singing, dancing sibling rivalry.

The popular musical, written by Andrew Lloyd Webber ("Cats," "Evita," "Phantom of the Opera"), is based on the biblical story of Jacob and his 12 sons, his favorite of which is Joseph. When Jacob gives Joseph an incredible "coat of many colors," the jealous brothers react by stealing the coat and selling Joseph into slavery.

Adam Ryan Tackett, in a role played by notables such as Donny Osmond, will be center stage as the ill-fated but ultimate hero, Joseph.

"Joseph is a dreamer," Tackett said during a recent phone interview from Birmingham, Ala., where the cast was preparing for the show's official opening. "His dreams are his reality, and I think the show has a good message about the importance of following your dreams."

Tackett has certainly followed his: After getting a taste for musical theater during high school productions such as "Little Shop of Horrors," the Baltimore native has made a career for himself on stage, appearing in national tours of "Cats" and "Singin' in the Rain." Other credits include "Oklahoma," "42nd Street" and stints at Tokyo Disneyland and Holland America Cruise Line.

"My first job out of college was as Prince Charming at Tokyo Disneyland," said Tackett, who earned a music degree from Shenandoah Conservatory in Winchester, Va.

"That was a neat experience, being thrown into a totally different culture and country."

No matter how far-flung, his proud parents travel to most of his shows.

"They're proud of me, but I wouldn't say that my parents were into musical theater when I was growing up," he explained. "My grandmother loved music, but my dad is tone-deaf. We like to say it skips a generation."

For his role in "Joseph," Tackett has to call on not only his singing skills, but acting and dancing as well.

"There's a lot going on in this musical. So, before the curtain goes up, I start getting into my 'show mode,' " he said. "I definitely have a mental ritual -- I get quiet and focused so I'm ready to go on stage."

Life in a touring Broadway musical can be exhausting -- "Joseph" is scheduled for more than 200 performances through June -- but it allows cast members to travel and meet new people, Tackett said.

"When we're off, I sleep. But when there's time, I love exploring each new city on the tour, and seeing the country," said the performer, who makes his home in New York when not on tour. "It's a good feeling to bring a Broadway show into communities that might not otherwise have that experience."

What's the downside?

"Being away from loved ones and dealing with luggage. I've had many an overweight fee at airports for being over that 50-pound limit," he said with a laugh.

-- Source: PensacolaNewsJournal.com

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