Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, the first
collaboration between Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, tells
the story of a young man named Joseph living in the land of Canaan.
His father's favorite son, Joseph is perhaps a little spoiled.
While the rest of his brothers are forced to wear sheepskin,
he struts around in a fabulous rainbow-colored coat, a gift from
his adoring father. The rest of Joseph's brothers aren't too
pleased with the situation, and when Joseph goes so far as to
tell them of a dream he has had in which their stacks of wheat
bow down to his stack of wheat, they decide they have finally
Joseph's brothers abduct him, destroy his cherished coat,
and toss him into a pit to perish. But when a group of Ishmaelites
come trotting by on their donkeys at the last minute, the brothers
have a change of heart and decide not to murder Joseph, but rather
to sell him into slavery. Either way, he's out of their hair,
and this way, they make a little extra cash. So they slaughter
a goat, bloody up Joseph's coat of many colors, and return to
their father, feigning great sorrow at the unfortunate death
of their poor brother Joseph.
Joseph, however, will not be put down so easily. After being
sold to an Egyptian property owner and serving a brief stint
in prison, he uses his dream-reading abilities to secure an interview
with the Pharoah who is so impressed with the young man that
he immediately appoints him Minister of Agriculture. Years later,
when a severe famine hits the land, Joseph's brothers come begging
for employment. Realizing that they don't recognize him, Joseph
decides to stage a little surprise for his would-be murderers
before he allows everyone to live happily ever after.
Lasting only fifteen minutes when it was originally presented
as a cantata at the Colet Court School in London on March 1,
1968, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat was
revised five years later by Webber and Rice, expanded to 40 minutes,
and presented at the West End. It was expanded again, this time
to 90 minutes, before its first New York production at the Boston
Academy of Music in 1976. In 1981, the show opened at an East
Village theatre and ran 77 performances before moving to the
Royale on January 27, 1982, where it remained for 747 performances.
The Royale cast featured Bill Hutton (Joseph), Laurie Beechman
(Narrator), and Tom Carter (Pharoah). During the Broadway run,
Hutton was succeeded by Andy Gibb and David Cassidy. The 2000
film version features Donny Osmand.
- Search eBay! for JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR