Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

I call this delightful little piece, "Eleven Stalks of Corn." It was created by Andrew Lloyd Weber and Tim Rice for a boys' school many many years ago and is as corny as they come. It is a humorous re-telling of the Old Testament story of Joseph and his eleven envious brothers who sell him (thanks to his coat of many colors) into slavery in Egypt. Because it is both funny and heart-warming, it has been in production ever since. I watch my well-worn DVD on a regular basis.

Part of the appeal for the many Joseph productions is the wide variety of music they offer: from a Country-Western hoedown ("One More Angel in Heaven"); to a French Apache-dance lament ("Zose Canaan Days..."); and a howlingly funny "Grovel Grovel" when the brothers are literally brought to their knees. I particularly like the Island-flavored Calypso "Oh No!" when youngest brother Benjamin is falsely accused of stealing a goblet.

Although I've seen this on stage in Portland (Oregon), Baltimore (Maryland) and London (England), and in Washington State: Olympia, Everett, Bellevue, Seattle and Gig Harbor, my favorite production is the 1999 filmed version which stars:
  • Donny Osmond (lots of TV) in the title role, who hit the gym before he agreed to star in this show because he spends a lot of time in a loincloth! (Looks pretty good, too!)
  • Richard Attenborough ("Hamlet") is Joseph's grief-stricken father Jacob, aka Israel. Joseph was his favorite because he reminded him of Rachel, his favorite wife...sigh...
  • Maria Friedman (lots of TV) is the narrator with cast-iron vocal chords. This is always a pivotal role in the stage productions because the story is so important and the contralto range is so demanding.
  • Joan Collins (lots of TV) is Potiphar's wife. Sadly, her phony attempt to seduce Joseph doesn't add much to a Rudy Vallee-tinged 1920s production number.
  • Robert Torti (lots of TV) is Elvis/Pharaoh (who had been having those bad dreams). "Stone the Crows!"
You'll get a kick out of the anachronistic touches, e.g., a Polaroid camera in ancient Egypt, sunglasses in the Sinai, reference to a pyramid scheme, the go-go dancers, fish-net hose on a dancer in Canaan, a French chef serves Pharaoh. Please watch it!
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See if you agree:
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