Fifty years since first performed, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’s popularity never dwindles. This well-known show is still a favorite among different productions. In this timeless classic, audiences are drawn to learn about Joseph’s bible story, his relationship with his brothers, and his beloved multicolored coat. The legendary Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s music and lyrics will transport you to a light-hearted and vibrant world that delights children and adults alike. Coming to Tuacahn Amphitheatre in Ivins, Utah, this summer, prepare to be dazzled by this Tony and Drama Desk-nominated show.
“What a blast. This basic biblical musical has been triumphantly reborn as a vibrant slice of all singing, all dancing exuberance, more than 50 years after Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice first conceived it.” – Nick Curtis, Evening Standard
“Cohesive, satisfying overall show, one that serves Rice and Lloyd Webber’s eclectic, witty, catchy score magnificently well.” – Alun Hood, WhatsOnStage
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat has a long history beginning in 1968 when the young Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice were commissioned to create music for a school choir. The show started as a 15-minute cantata. The attention of a newspaper critic changed everything for the cantata as he reviewed it, dubbing it a “new pop oratorio and praising its innovation and exuberance.” After that, the two soon-to-be theatre legends expanded the cantata to a 35-minute musical. In the years that have followed, the show gained popularity not just in the UK but also in America. On January 27, 1982, it premiered on Broadway … and the rest is history.
Multiple production teams have added and modified some parts of the original show in the five decades. In the variations, the essence never changes. Its evolution might as well have contributed to its continued success. It reached mainstream popularity with the release of its movie in 1999. The Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat version we have today is the fruit of such changes and has become a fantastic mixture of five generations of pop music and culture.
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s first collaboration for a show. Thus, the musical reflects their lyrical strengths, i.e., Webber’s creative resolve and Rice’s openness to musical diversity. In the decades that followed, they were able to create multiple musicals, but nothing was as successful as Joseph’s. In this show, they came up with compatible and varied song numbers that present a wide variety of genres, including pop, country, rock, chanson, and calypso. The Afro-Caribbean music genre calypso particularly sets a bright tone throughout the show.
Storywise, the show is straightforward but brimming with clever creativity. The story is guided through ingenious song narrations, enriching the experience. It draws the audience, making it feel like you are part of it. The characters are full of energy, and their liveliness is infectious. Furthermore, the set designs and costumes fit perfectly with the performances. The coat is incredibly eye-catching, which is fun to watch as it flows and moves along with Joseph. One thing is for sure about this show, it never gets stale from beginning to end.
Additionally, humor is one of the musical’s strongest suits. The playful characterization is something that people look forward to. You will see an Elvis Presley Pharaoh, cartwheeling children wearing beards, and many more. It has a surprising absurdity that is not expected from a show adapted from a bible story.
As said, the plot follows the story of Joseph in the Bible. With some changes in the show, the story begins as the narrator introduces Joseph, a dreamer, his father Jacob, and his brothers. Joseph is his father’s favorite, which is why he was given the multicolored coat. His brothers despised this, and they aimed to get rid of him. Everything is fine until things go sour when Joseph’s dream implies a message that he will rule over his brothers. This caused to aggravate his brothers’ jealousy. To stop the dream from happening, they tried to kill Joseph but later decided not to do so. Instead, they sold Joseph to the Ishmaelites as an enslaved person. This caused Joseph to be taken to Egypt, where he encountered multiple struggles, having been jailed at one point. His fate changed when he met the Pharaoh, giving him a chance to rebuild his life. Many people know the story well, but the music, dance numbers, and set make it new and enjoyable.
An Excerpt from ‘Review: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’ by Sophie Hicks
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat is a classic musical for a reason. Its show-stopping songs, sets, and costumes make it feel like such a big production, as if you’re watching something special. After fifty years from when it was first created, it still resonates with many and feels just as magical.
Filled with talent, every cast member is truly wonderful. I never thought I’d say this, but I was even envious of how talented the children were. They were so energetic and fun to watch, and you could tell they were having a great time on stage.
As a sung-through musical, its pacing is very well done, considering how tiresome some musicals can be. With the range of songs and dance sequences, from an Elvis-impersonating Pharaoh to children harmonising, this show has something for everyone. I went to see the show with my friend who has never seen a musical before, and her face of joy said it all. Joseph is for the dreamers, and for those who like to have some fun, with many jokes in the show landing with the crowd.Written by Sophie Hicks
“The theatrical inventiveness is delightful!” – Marianka Swain, London Theatre
“What keeps the show alive is its delight in simple storytelling, the bounce of Tim Rice’s lyrics and the merry eclecticism of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s score, which embraces country and western, calypso, French chanson and Elvis-style rock.” – Michael Billington, The Guardian
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is a favorite show to recreate in different productions. At least this show is one of the most famous in school theatres. Performed in 86 countries, you can watch it not just in the UK and US but also in Mexico, Australia, and Japan. With multiple tours from different productions this year, it is not difficult to see it in your city. In particular, the Tuacahn Amphitheatre and Center for the Arts in Ivins, Utah, will present the musical from July 16 until October 20. Also, if you are a fan of David Archuleta, reserve your tickets already, as he will play as Joseph starting July 16 but only until September 3. Tell your family, friends, or special someone to watch this show with you. Surely, it will be a memorable experience! Get your tickets by hitting the “Get Tickets” button.