Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is on stage at the Givens Performing arts Center on Jan. 14 at 7:30 p.m.
The musical details the Biblical story of Joseph, who is the favorite of 12 sons. To show his love, Joseph’s father gives him a beautiful colorful coat. The other 11 brothers are overcome with jealousy and sell their brother into slavery, telling their father that he has died. They cover his beautiful coat with goat’s blood as proof. Joseph is taken to Egypt by the slavers and is taken into the home of Potiphar, a wealthy and powerful man. He is impressed by Joseph’s hard work and honesty until his wife tries to seduce Joseph, only to be caught by Potiphar, who has Joseph thrown in jail.
Joseph can interpret dreams, so while jail, he correctly interprets the prophetic dreams of Pharaoh’s servants. Word of his success makes it to Pharaoh who has also been suffering from strange dreams. He summons Joseph who predicts seven years of bounty followed by seven years of famine. Impressed, Joseph is given a government position in charge of storing food in preparation for the famine. When the famine finally comes Joseph’s family comes in search of food. Joseph recognizes his begging family but they do not recognize him. He tests their honesty and humility. Seeing that they have changed he reveals his identity and there is a beautiful family reunion.
The first performance of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat was on March 1, 1968. Alan Doggett, the head of the Music Department at Colet Court, St. Paul’s Junior School asked Andrew Lloyd Weber to create a ‘pop cantata’ for the school choir. Tim Rice wrote the lyrics for the project at Weber’s request. It’s next evolution was a concept album in 1969. It was well received, but not initially successful commercially. It was the success of Jesus Christ Superstar in the ‘70s that allowed this musical to grow and turn into a beloved Broadway production. It first opened on Broadway in 1982. Since then, there have been revivals and a movie version, which was released in 1999.
Rice and Webber are both famous for their work on incredibly successful musicals. Their relationship is a long one forged when both were still struggling and unknown in 1965. Together they created Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar and Evita. Rice has also worked on productions like The Lion King, Aladdin, King David and Beauty and the Beast. Some of Weber’s other well-known works are The Phantom of the Opera, School of Rock (a stage adaptation), and Sunset Boulevard. He has received numerous awards including seven Tonys, a Golden Globe and two Emmys.
Coming from such acclaimed artists, it is no surprise that Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is a well-loved favorite. The traditional Bible story is reimagined and updated for the modern audience. The messages of forgiveness and the importance of hard work and honesty are maintained. No matter how many times you have heard the story in Sunday school, seeing it come to life on stage is a uniquely beautiful experience. The music is a blend of pop, country and rock that makes the story of love and forgiveness as entertaining as it is relatable. The mix of genres makes the music as relatable as the story. This is a fun and energetic family show that everyone can enjoy.
This presentation of the now classic adaptation is directed and choreographed by the Tony Award-winner Andy Blakenbuehler. As a performer, Blakenbuehler has years of experience performing on Broadway. He won his Tony and Drama Desk Award for his work as a choreographer for the musical In the Heights. He was also nominated for a Barrymore Award for his work choreographing Waiting for the Moon.
Tickets can be purchased online at tickets.com or by calling 910-521-6361. For more information, visit www.uncp.edu/giving/advancement/givens-performing-arts-center. The GPAC is located at 1 University Dr. in Pembroke. Tickets range from $21 to $41.