Performance Riverside has signed season 9 "American Idol" contestant Derek Klena and season 3 "America's Got Talent" contestant Stephanie Burkett Gerson for its season opener, "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat," September 17-26 at Landis Performing Arts Center.
Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's lively interpretation of the biblical story of Joseph of Canaan is suitable for all ages. The original 70's rock opera, Joseph has been given a 21st century makeover....watch out for woolly sheep, singing camels, Frenchmen in berets and a fantastic Elvis impersonator.
The production is directed and choreographed by John Vaughan, with music direction by David Lamoureaux.
Derek Klena is making his Performance Riverside debut in the role of Joseph of Canaan. Last year Klena was one of the twenty five contestants sent to Hollywood Week on FOX's "American Idol." This summer, he played the Prince in Cabrillo Music Theatre's production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Cinderella" alongside Sally Struthers and Marcia Wallace. He's performed on NBC-TV's "America's Most Talented Kids," and he was one of Orange County Performing Arts Center "Tomorrow's Stars of 2008".
Stephanie Burkett Gerson is well suited for the vocally demanding role of the Narrator in Joseph. She traveled the globe for two years as a lead female vocalist for Holland America Cruise Line and has been a featured vocalist for Disney World Tours, in the Disney 50th Birthday Celebration, the Disney Spirit Awards, and the Disney Christmas Spectacular at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood. She sang on Ed McMahon's "Next Big Star," Robert Schuller's "Hour of Power," and appeared in MTV's "Legally Blonde. In 2008, she sang on NBC's "America's Got Talent" with her husband Zane (Lt. Joseph Cable in Performance Riverside's Twenty-Fifth Anniversary production of "South Pacific)."
Performances of "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" are Sept. 17, 18, 24, and 25 at 8 p.m., and September 18, 19, 25, and 26 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $27-$48, with group ticket pricing for 10 or more. Specially priced Discovery Theatre Previews for School Groups are available on Sept. 17 and 24 at 10 a.m.
Landis Performing Arts Center is at 4800 Magnolia Ave. in Riverside. For more information call 951-222-8100 or visit www.PerformanceRiverside.org.