This November, the Herricks Players are putting on the popular musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. After 40 years, the players are heading down a different path, while still remembering the impact the group has had on the community.
“This is our first major production since we changed directions,” Lisa Simon-Weitz, the producer at Herricks Players, explained. “We have had a few smaller productions, but this is also the first time doing an all music musical. It’s an operetta, so there is no spoken word at all.”
Herricks Community Center is located at 999 Herricks Rd., and the group was only recently renamed to Herricks Players after being called Herricks Community Players since 1976.
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is based on the Old Testament and written by Andrew Lloyd Weber and Tim Rice. Herricks Players will be putting on the show with a full cast of children and adults playing the roles in the show, as well as participating in the choir or dance ensemble.
“We have 20 children and 32 adults for this show with a huge variety in age, talent and diversity, which shows how much the community has changed recently,” Simon-Weitz explained.
Since former resident and director John Hayes retired two years ago, the Herricks Players have been moving forward in a different direction, while still honoring community values.
Simon-Weitz mentioned that the process to picking a play itself is more democratic now.
“Everyone picks two plays, the group votes together, and if the local theater can acquire the rights to the show the group voted on, then the play is good to go,” Simon-Weitz said. “There is much more involvement and it’s a more positive experience overall.”
Even though Herricks Players are moving forward, some aspects about the group remain the same. For example, the players still receive a budget from the Herricks Community Fund and keep the roles in the group local.
“All the proceeds go right back into the fund, specifically to help senior citizen, Alzheimer’s or other local programs,” Simon-Weitz said.
Regarding staff, Herricks Players has their own in-house choreographer, costume designer, as well as the ensemble and cast members. Everyone works another job during the day and comes to rehearse anywhere from four to six nights a week during show season.
Opening night of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is set to open on Nov. 8 with more shows following on Nov. 9, 10, 15, 16 and 17. The shows on Friday and Saturday begin at 8 p.m., while the shows on Sunday begin at 3 p.m. The cast has been working hard since rehearsals started in July.
Tickets are $25 for adults, $22 for seniors or kids 12 and under, and $20 for 10 or more people. They can be bought in advance online at herricksplayers.seatyourself.biz, over the phone at 516-742-1926 or in person at the door.
“This is the closest thing to seeing a Broadway production,” Simon-Weitz said. “You won’t get a performance like this in any other community theater.”