A dreamer finds purpose in a world of ‘Technicolor’
The biblical musical of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” is not told with church hymns but country-western music, calypso and rock ’n’ roll.
The Actors Cabaret of Eugene will close its 39th season with “Joseph,” a musical for all ages.
The Old Testament story in Genesis of Joseph and his “coat of many colors” was written into a musical by lyricist Tim Rice and composer Andrew Lloyd Webber. First performed in 1968, the musical has become an international success, being performed on tens of thousands of school and amateur theater stages since.
“The show is completely sung through, there are no book scenes, so it truly is a musical in all sense of the word,” said Anthony Krall, director of the performance.
The Actors Cabaret is well known for performing a variety of show types, from dark comedies to Disney musicals.
Unlike Actors Cabaret’s last, dramatic show, “Jesus Christ Super Star,” “Joseph” is an exciting blend of musical styles filled with comedic moments and bright costumes.
“It takes you every where from country-western to a French cabaret song to a calypso number to that classic kind of 1950s-style Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly kind of rock ’n’ roll,” Krall said, “It’s a much happier story in a lot of senses.”
The cast for “Joseph” is made up entirely of volunteer performers ranging from 12 years old to an actor in their early 70s.
The musical follows the life of Joseph, played by Chad Lowe, a dreamer and prophet, who is one of 12 sons. Joseph is given a coat of many colors by his father, the centerpiece of the production.
“Joe Zingo and one of our wonderful volunteers, Mary Jensen, they have worked tirelessly on the most beautiful rainbow coat I have ever seen,” Krall said. “I am very excited for the audiences to see it. Most of it was hand-stitched and quilted, and I have no other words to say other than it’s just a fabulous coat.”
The “technicolor dream coat” is viewed as a symbol of Joseph’s father’s favoritism by his 11 brothers.
“We see him going from his father’s favorite son and a lot of jealousy and envy from his brothers to a place where he is kind of thrown into the rock bottom of his life,” Krall said. “We get to see the arc of him kind of learning what power and responsibility is, and there’s a wonderful story of expectance and forgiveness throughout the show.”
The touching story of reconciliation and forgiveness will leave audience members wanting to reach out to family members who they have lost contact with, Krall said.
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