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posted: 9/14/2012 2:44 PM

Fox Valley Theatre Company production features siblings

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  • Five siblings in the Groth family of St. Charles are performing in "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat." Six other sets of siblings also are part of the show.

      Five siblings in the Groth family of St. Charles are performing in "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat." Six other sets of siblings also are part of the show.
    Courtesy of Fox Valley Theatre Company

  • Five siblings in the Groth family of St. Charles are performing in "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat," staged by Fox Valley Theatre Company. From left are Rachel, Elijah, Ben, Jacob and (front) Judah Groth.

      Five siblings in the Groth family of St. Charles are performing in "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat," staged by Fox Valley Theatre Company. From left are Rachel, Elijah, Ben, Jacob and (front) Judah Groth.
    Courtesy of Fox Valley Theatre Company

 
By Steve Olson
Fox Valley Theatre Company

Fractured family relationships are at the heart of the musical "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat."

So it's entirely appropriate that among the "Joseph" cast for the show being staged in September by Fox Valley Theatre Company are five siblings, including two brothers playing brothers at odds with one another.

"Joseph" tells the biblical story of Joseph, his devoted father Jacob, who gives favored son Joseph a multicolored coat, his jealous brothers and Joseph's incredible adventures.

The musical was only 20 minutes long when an unknown 19-year-old Andrew Lloyd Webber first created it for a British school choir in 1968. Webber asked his friend Tim Rice to write the lyrics and soon they expanded the show to 40 minutes and took it to the London stage.

Since then, "Joseph" has continued to grow, both in length and popularity.

Fox Valley Theatre Company will present the family favorite, featuring a children's chorus of 25 youngsters, weekends, Sept. 21- 30.

Featured in the title role is 17-year-old Jacob Groth of St. Charles. Playing brother Benjamin is real-life brother Ben, age 15. In the Children's Chorus are sister Rachel, 13, and younger brothers Elijah, 10, and Judah, 7.

The Groths are among several sets of siblings in the show. Also part of the cast are Kayla and Ryan Bussert, Molly and Audrey Carberry, Katie and Kristin Das, Charlie and Jordan Karner, Isabella and Max Romano, and Bethany and Deborah Vidad.

"It's been a lot of fun to work with them," said Jacob Groth, a high school senior, of taking the stage with his brothers and sister.

This isn't the first time the that Groth siblings, part of a family of eight children, have appeared together onstage. So, while it's a little bit of old hat, it's also a tremendous amount of fun for all of them since, as Rachel noted, with Jacob off to college in less than a year, it's also "one of the last chances we have to do this together."

Besides having fun being with each other, they're also having a great time with the other members of the cast.

"We like being able to meet and make new friends," said Elijah Groth.

Judah Groth, making his stage debut, says he is having a marvelous time experiencing the camaraderie and energy that develops among casts, and loves learning the songs and choreography.

Ben and Jacob, meanwhile, are enjoying the onstage rivalry and conflict.

"You won't be disappointed," said Ben Groth. "Come and enjoy the show."

Andy Bero is director/choreographer of the show and Chris Cherry is musical director. Both are themselves alums of the theater company and both performed in a long-ago staging of "Joseph."

Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for students and seniors. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 21, 22, 28 and 29, and 3 p.m. Sept. 23 and 30 at the Elgin Community College Arts Center, 1700 Spartan Drive, Building H, Elgin. The box office phone number is (847) 622-0300.

For details, visit www.cteelgin.com.

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