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Joseph, the Musical

Joseph, the Musical

Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is a Biblical story-based musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber. The musical story is narrated from the Book of Genesis and describes the tale of Joseph with his brothers and his father, Jacob. Tim Rice wrote the lyrics for the musical. Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat was the first public musical performance of Webber and Rice.

Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice actually prepared the musical for performing in Colet Court. They presented the musical in March 1968 at the School’s Easter Concert. Lloyd’s father, William, enjoyed the show and was a composer also. He arranged for the second and revised performance of the musical at Westminister Central Hall later that year. The show gained good reviews from the audience and they planned to expand the musical. In 1969, Decca Records recorded the musical scores first as a concept album. Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat made its first appearance in America at Cathedral College, New York in 1971. The opera made a deep impact among the school?s opera groups for its family and religion friendly influences.

There are two acts in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. The musical has very few dialogue sequences and in a full performance, about 24 musical scores are performed. A Lady starts the musical by narrating a dream inspiring the viewers to dream of Joseph. Joseph is the most beloved by his Father among his twelve sons. Joseph?s colorful coat is the sign of his Father?s affection and his brothers are jealous of him. They sell Joseph to Potiphar as a slave and inform their father of the false news of Joseph?s death. Potiphar then brings Joseph to Egypt, where he sends Joseph to jail after a misconception causes him to accuse Joseph of trying to start an affair with his wife. In jail, Joseph helps out his two fellow cellmates and later, one of the cellmates introduces him to Pharaoh. Joseph becomes the most powerful figure in Egypt (after Pharaoh, of course) and, after several years, he meets his brothers again during a famine. Joseph?s brothers plead their guilt and Joseph realizes their grief. The musical ends with a happy reunion of Joseph with his father.

The powerful tragic storyline with the collaboration of magnificent musical numbers make it a very popular opera. It has received several nominations for Tony Awards and Oliver Awards for Best Musical, Best Revival of Musical, and others. According to Lloyds?s Production group, the musical has been staged more than 20,000 times under different producers including schools, colleges, and amateur theatre groups.

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